Home Timesplitters re-release on the way, if ratings board listing is right

Timesplitters re-release on the way, if ratings board listing is right


  • Taiwan's ratings board approved TimeSplitters for a teen rating, hinting at a potential re-release.
  • It's likely part of PlayStation's plan to add classic PS2 games to its catalog, per Gematsu's observations.
  • TimeSplitters, released in 2000, is expected to join PS2 classics on PS5, offering nostalgic gameplay.

Taiwan’s software ratings board has approved TimeSplitters, the 2000 first-person shooter from Free Radical Design, for sale with a teen (15 and up) rating. Although hardly confirmation that a re-release is indeed coming, this ratings board has been something of a canary in publishing’s coal mine recently.

Gematsu noticed the listing, and noticed also that the first mention of Octopath Traveler’s arrival to PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 also came from this kind of police-blotter checking. And anyway, it makes little sense that Plaion would bring back Timesplitters for a re-release and sell it only in Taiwan.

More likely it’s part of a ramp-up to PlayStation’s catalog of classic PS2 games, both for sale and in the PlayStation Plus Extra catalog. Last month, Gematsu spotted an early PlayStation Store listing for 2002’s Star Wars: The Clone Wars on PS2, and that one came true as well (on June 11).

Until this point, there were no PlayStation 2 games emulated on PlayStation 5. PlayStation 5 is backward compatible with PS4 of course, and PlayStation 3 and PSOne games are available to PS Plus Extra and PS Plus Premium subscribers, respectively.

Anyway, it looks like an all-time great will be welcomed to the console soon. TimeSplitters launched in 2000 and has only appeared on PlayStation 2. Not PC, not Steam, not GOG, only PS2 on a disc. Though subsequent games delivered greater critical appraisal, the first TimeSplitters established its fandom and leaned into the first-person shooter gameplay qualities that had made Perfect Dark, GoldenEye 007, and others so popular, too.

What happened to TimeSplitters?

Despite the strong fanbase and the series’ enduring appeal — few IPs could draw this much attention almost 20 years after their last release — TimeSplitters and its studio have been jerked around by publishers for three console generations. Free Radical Design has been closed twice, once by Crytek in 2014 and again by Embracer Group in 2023.

That came two years after Embracer’s bold promise that it would reconstitute Free Radical (it did) for the expressed purpose of bringing back TimeSplitters (it did not). Embracer has since split into three different entities, (TimeSplitters’ rights holder, Plaion, is now a subsidiary of “Middle-earth Enterprises & Friends”) so fans are going to have to make do with the original games on new hardware.

Featured image via YouTube

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Owen Good
Gaming Editor (US)

Owen Good is a 15-year veteran of video games writing, also covering pop culture and entertainment subjects for the likes of Kotaku and Polygon. He is a Gaming Editor for ReadWrite working from his home in North Carolina, the United States, joining this publication in April, 2024. Good is a 1995 graduate of North Carolina State University and a 2000 graduate of The Graduate School of Journalism, Columbia University, in New York. A second-generation newspaperman, Good's career before covering video games included daily newspaper stints in North Carolina; in upstate New York; in Washington, D.C., with the Associated Press; and…

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