The dream of Timesplitters 4 continues to live as a new campaign started by dedicated fans to get the game made has now started to grab the attention of both Crytek and Free Radical employees. The whole thing is a collaborative effort from gamers around the world to try to get 100,000 fans on Facebook to show publishers that people are still very much interested in a new Timesplitters game, especially in today’s market of copy and paste military shooters.
Their plan is to use the power of social media, news aggregators, gaming websites and possibly even carrier pigeons and signal towers to carry the word of Timesplitters to the ends of the Earth in a bid to get the fourth game in the series made. It’s a lofty goal for several reasons. Steve Ellis, founder of Free Radical, told Edge magazine that no publishers seemed interested in Timesplitters 4:
“I spent the whole of 2008 going round talking to publishers trying to sign up Timesplitters 4,” he tells us. “There just isn’t the interest there in doing anything that tries to step away from the rules of the genre – no one wants to do something that’s quirky and different, because it’s too much of a risk. And a large part of that is the cost of doing it.
“Nobody really buys any FPSes unless they’re called Call Of Duty,” he continues. “I guess Battlefield did okay, but aside from that pretty much every FPS loses money. I mean, [look at] Crysis 2: great game, but there’s no way it came anywhere close to recouping its dev costs.”
While Cevat Yerli, chief executive at Crytek, mirrored such concerns when speaking to CVG, seemingly ruling out a console release for another Timesplitters, although also showing interest in perhaps bringing a Timesplitters game to G-Face:
“The thing with TimeSplitters is, if we made a sequel to TimeSplitters, nobody would accept this apart from some fans, and we don’t know how big the fan community is unfortunately.
And we don’t want to design this as a packaged goods game that launches on a console, and even if we wanted to I don’t think publishers would like the idea. That is the truth, and that was the truth even before we bought Free Radical.”
“The concept behind TimeSplitters was pitched around before we took over and Free Radical had no luck. We think even on CryEngine and with Crytek behind it there would be fundamental issues with the concept,” he said.
Of course the idea of using Kickstarter to fund Timesplitters 4 has also been mentioned many times, something which Yerli also addressed in the same statement to CVG:
“I’ve been asked this question internally and I said, ‘how can we do a kickstarter? It wouldn’t feel right.’ I suppose if someone really, really wanted to…
I guess the other issue is this; the reality also is we’re quite a large company, but also we have capacity limits and we don’t want to hire 15 people just to do this game. Kickstarter is a concept we thought about seriously… we’ll see. Time will tell.”
But back to the campaign. While it certainly has lofty goals, it’s managing to grab some big attention with former Free Radical employee Graeme Norgate, the composer on all the previous Timesplitter games, says he’ll contribute a victory theme song to the campaign should it reach its goal of 100,000 fans. Meanwhile a senior Crytek artist says he’ll throw in a Timesplitters character design if they can get 1,000 likes on the Facebook page. At the time of writing the page has 6,483 likes. Not bad, eh? And that number is growing massively by the minute!
Yerli seems to be getting into the spirit of the things, tweeting: “I had 2 interviews that provoked this question, how big is the Timesplitters Community? Let me hear you!! TS2 rocks, one of my alltime favs!”
The Facebook page’s founder is keen, though, to remind people that reaching the goal doesn’t mean the game will be made: “For the record, even if this page does reach 100k. It does not officially mean its going to go ahead with development, it simply means were really doing a great job on grabbing Cevats attention. Articles have names such as ” Timesplitters 4 possible if Facebook page reaches 100,000 ”.. This is not true, we may need even 1,000,000 to show that it will sell well. Do not let you dishearten you tho, the rate this is climbing it should be do-able! just keep getting it around! Thanks everyone! – Dan”
Alright, so there’s no denying that fans have their work cut out to get Timesplitters 4 made, but if the site gets enough attention and people show enough interest, who knows? Perhaps we could even see Timesplitters 4 released as an Arcade game, which would be a considerably smaller risk for publishers. Sure, it wouldn’t be quite the sequel people hoped for, but at least it’d be Timesplitters
Anyway, if you want to show some support for Timesplitters 4, go check out the Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Timesplitters4PLZ
Or you can go and send a Tweet to Cavet Yerli who is keen to get an idea of how strong the fanbase is: https://twitter.com/intent/user?screen_name=RealtimeCevat&tw_p=twt&source=twt