Speaking to Edge recently Steve Ellis, co-founder and former managing director of Free Radical Software stated “pretty much every FPS loses money.”
Ellis claimed that publishers were afraid of straying from the Call of Duty template given the risked involved. Having recently established new developer Crash Lab Ellis intends to leave the shooter genre behind saying “I spent the whole of 2008 going round talking to publishers trying to sign up Timesplitters 4.”
“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.”
Ellis went to say that while Battlefield 3 did well he believes there was simply no way Crysis 2 was profitable for EA and Crytek. In 2009 Crytek rescued Free Radical from administration with the developer since renamed Crytek UK which is currently developing an unannounced project.
Call of Duty: Black Op 2 is already setting pre-order records while Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 generated $1 billion over 16 days in sales it has failed to match the 20 million sales figure achieved by both Modern Warfare 2 and Black Ops. For the first for the series in several years Modern Warfare 3 also failed to make it into the top 10 games chart for March
A rumor that a playable version of Timesplitters 4 was “seen running” in playable form has since been debunked by Crytek UK.
Crash Lab has already announced the development of two iOS titles. A puzzle game, Twist Pilot, as well as a sidescrolling shooter Flying Rocket Defence.