THQ Nordic has confirmed that it has acquired the intellectual property rights to the TimeSplitters franchise, but the company hasn't yet indicated where this leaves ongoing fan remake project TimeSplitters Rewind.
Developed by Free Radical Design and first published by Eidos Interactive in 2000, TimeSplitters sees the player taking on a first-person perspective to blast baddies in a range of fictionalised locations spanning multiple decades. First available for the Sony PlayStation 2, with a pair of sequels that came to Microsoft's Xbox and Nintendo's GameCube, the trilogy was due to be expanded with a fourth entry development of which was confirmed in 2007. Developer Free Radical Design, however, entered administration in 2009, and was acquired by Crytek before being renamed Crytek UK. By 2014, with no TimeSplitters 4 in sight, Crytek UK itself was shut down, with the majority of employees moving to Deep Silver's Dambuster Studios.
All that corporate wrangling, though, did not add a new TimeSplitters game to the franchise - but the latest move proves promising. THQ Nordic has confirmed it has acquired the rights to the existing trilogy with a view to continuing the franchise using employees from Dambuster Studios, which it has owned since acquiring Deep Silver, Koch Media, and Volition in February this year.
Although the acquisition should excite those looking for an official entry in the franchise, particularly one from a studio which traces its lineage back to Free Radical Design itself, there's a note of concern: THQ Nordic has not yet confirmed the fate of TimeSplitters Rewind, a fan project to recreate the original three games for modern systems endorsed by former rights holder Crytek. Should THQ Nordic prefer to keep the rights entirely in-house, potentially releasing its own remaster of the trilogy, the project would have no choice but to shut down.