Free Radical Founder Sets Up New Studio

Illustration for article titled Free Radical Founder Sets Up New Studio

A few months before Free Radical Design cratered, founder Steve Ellis set up a new studio and parked the domain for "Pumpkin Beach." Well, he and 20 former FRD coders now have jobs there.


Smashpad had a source inside the now-closed studio, noted for its TimeSplitters and Haze IPs, who said Pumpkin Beach was set up about four months ago in-house. "We were told that because the project was going to be quite different from Free Radical’s previous games," said Smashpad's source, "they were setting up a new company, sort of a new label for the game, to avoid the associations with TimeSplitters and Haze."

Avoiding associations with the universally-panned Haze? Sound strategy. The source semi-disputed rumors that Lucasarts was most displeased and took away Battlefront III, giving it to Rebellion. But he or she didn't elaborate on them being "not entirely true."


The story also links over to the Unofficial Free Radical Design Blog, which having no Free Radical Design to blog about, continues the story:

Sources explain Dave Doak had left Free Radical Design a month ago. He and Steve Ellis are now looking at creating a new game developer company called Pumpkin Beach. Little is known about their plans for this company but a website,, has been reserved. It is possible TimeSplitters 4 could be sold to this new company. Maybe this new company was created as a rescue for TimeSplitters 4 but the lack of publisher support makes the idea a risky one.

During the meeting roughly 20 staff positions were offered into the new company for people at Free Radical Design. Codemasters and Monumental Games were also at the hotel used to hold the meeting to ask for CVs and applications for anyone who was interested.

So, there's some reason to be optimistic amongst the fallout; the jettisoned Free Radical employees either have jobs, or decent prospects, and TimeSplitters 4 is at minimum rumor-worthy, which is good, because this swrrt concept art surely needs a home.


Free Radical Founder Steve Ellis Opens New Studio [Smashpad]

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Glad to see some of those employees had a parachute as Free Radical went down in flames. As a big TS fan from back in the day, and especially the Goldeneye/Perfect Dark predecessors, I hope Pumpkin Beach continues that proud legacy.