Free Radical Design
After leaving developer Rare in February 1999, former GoldenEye and Perfect Dark team members Dr. David Doak, Steve Ellis, Karl Hilton and Graeme Norgate began trading as independent developer 'Free Radical Design' a mere two months later.
With a team of only eighteen, Free Radical shipped and delivered the 1st person shooter TimeSplitters to Eidos for the PS2 launch in October 2000. Despite the time constraints and pressures of building the company and its technology from scratch, they were the only European developer to hit the launch date without any delays.
"Finally, the game worth buying a PS2 for."
- EDGE Magazine
TimeSplitters not only reviewed extremely well (scoring well above the other launch titles) it also became a strong brand unto itself - catapulting Free Radical into the public conscience.
Constantly seeking to improve themselves and their games, TimeSplitters 2 went into development with an emphasis on evolving the theme with a fuller story and an even more satisfying single player mode. Along side this expansion, the multiplayer and mapmaker elements pushed the quality and replay value to new heights.
Once again, Free Radical delivered. True to form, TimeSplitters 2 came in on time and on budget for Eidos in September 2002. It was met enthusiastically by some of the best reviews of its time.
Significantly, TimeSplitters 2 paved the way for cross-platform releases as one of the first games to be available on PS2, Xbox and Gamecube - selling well enough to be re-released on both the PS2 Platinum and Xbox Classic labels.
"Heir apparent to GoldenEye"
- Electronic Game Monthly
By now, Free Radical's team had grown to twenty-eight. Working closely with their new additions, the Directors decided to develop a new 3rd person Intellectual Property in the form of psychic thriller Second Sight - to be published by Codemasters on PS2, Xbox, Gamecube and PC.
With a solid single player story, the game took players to new and terrifying levels of immersion as they steered the protagonist's journey of self-discovery.
"Narrative poise stands head and shoulders above most games... You actually care what's going on."
Tempted by EA into returning to the TimeSplitters franchise, Free Radical's ever-expanding team set to work on TimeSplitters Future Perfect.
Along side the innumerable extra features that fans had come to expect, the single player story took their experience to new ground. Expanding one of the most striking heroes from TimeSplitters 2, the story took man's man 'Cortez' through the complex maze of time continuum - utilising the unique 'meet yourself' gameplay.
Once again, on its release in March 2005, the game reviewed above and beyond its peers.
"A crowd pleasing blockbuster... The best PS2 shooter available"
- Official UK PS2 Magazine
Over the years Free Radical Design has received numerous awards and nominations including CTW Developer of the Year 2001, the DEVELOP Industry Excellence award for Best Independent Development Studio in 2003, along with five BAFTA nominations for TimeSplitters 2 in 2004, and two BAFTA nominations for Second Sight in 2005. Furthermore, they were listed in the Sunday Times Tech Track 100 as one of the UK's fastest growing technology companies.
Of the four games produced by Free Radical, the average number of units sold per game is well over a million. With a dozen awards and many nominations under their belt, Free Radical are not resting on their laurels. Their hundred-strong team is chomping at the bit - with new technology comes amazing new challenges, and amazing is what Free Radical does best.