I’m surprised that I hadn’t heard of anyone pointing at this and saying “I told you so.” Either I’ve been away from my computer when this news broke or most of this discourse is over on Twitter. Of course, I’m talking about all the consolidation that has been happening lately. Alarm bells were ringing when Microsoft acquired Activision. While it’s too early to tell what may happen there, we can see the ready-made results with the Embracer Group.
Monday, it was revealed that Free Radical Design has shut down. The company was tasked to revive the beloved game, TimeSplitters. It does not seem like that will be happening any time soon.
Before it was confirmed, there were many signs pointing towards its closure. Some of the employees that were working there started mentioning they were “open for work” on social media. Also, if you went to their website, you were greeted with a 404 error with the page reading “company not found”. A sad face was added to convey what we should all be feeling.
Of course, this comes at a time when the Embracer Group has been cutting things down to the bone after their Saudi deal fell through. It nearly looks like the company is in a free fall. It laid off over 900 people earlier this year. They cut more jobs over at New World Interactive. These could have been studios and jobs that would have been safe if it wasn’t for Embracer.
And let’s not forget the CEO Lars Wingefors. He emailed employees to express “gratitude” for the “remarkable work” Free Radical did. While no specifics were given, he stated that Embracer will support those laid off. You know, those who just got sent packing two weeks before Christmas.
For all these layoffs, the CEOs should be getting cut from their roles for making such terrible decisions. Spotify’s CFO got axed but only because he didn’t know how to make the company more money during lean times.
This is just embarrassing.