THQ Nordic announced today that they have acquired the rights to the Timesplitters trilogy. They also acquired the rights to the sci-fi action-adventure game, Second Sight. The acquisition was made through THQ Nordic’s subsidiary, Koch Media. The media release reads:
“Timesplitters was largely considered as one of the most influential console games of the early 2000’s. The three game series earned a large and passionate fan base thanks to its unique humour, art style and pop culture references while encouraging customization and modification to give each person their own individual experience. Timesplitters was originally created by the development studio Free Radical Design that later become Deep Silver Dambuster, part of the THQ Nordic group.”
A beloved franchise
The Timesplitters franchise was a cornerstone of split screen multiplayer shooters, with the first in the series being a launch title for the PS2. However, the hugely influential series has gone silent since the release of Timesplitters: Future Perfect in 2005. While a sequel, Timesplitters 4, was announced in 2007, it was subsequently cancelled. There is a Timesplitters mod, with an official endorsement to use CryEngine, called Timesplitters Rewind, but the current state is unknown.
The original trilogy, and Timesplitters 2 in particular, garnered immense critical success, being hailed as one of the best shooters and multiplayer experiences of that console generation. As it was developed by ex-Rare employees, there are many comparisons made between Timesplitter’s place as the PlayStation 2’s deathmatch multiplayer game and Goldeneye 007 on the N64. The gameplay has enough excitement to keep players interested, but enough charm to give it a distinct character. As players travel through time, campaign missions and multiplayer maps take on particular themes. These range from the Wild West, zombie apocalypses, and alien spaceships. The titles also offered a multitude of game modes, from the rich campaigns, to the co-op challenge modes, to the deathmatch multiplayer.
As a result, console players have been clamouring for a new Timesplitters experience. Whether in the form of a fan game, in Timesplitters Rewind, a full-fledged sequel, in Timesplitters 4, or a remastered version of one or all of the games. In an age where both coach multiplayer is a lower priority than online multiplayer, a game like Timesplitters can distinguish itself from other shooters. Conversely, in the age of online multiplayer, the huge deathmatch battles that were typically filled with bots can now become online multiplayer mayhem.
Koch Media stated that they are interested in delivering a new experience with the franchise rights, but they are keeping the details hidden. In their press release they state “We have many fans of the Timesplitters series among our own staff who are passionate about creating a product that will thrill today’s gaming audience.”