TimeSplitters 4 is not in development, IP holder Crytek has said.
A report yesterday suggested the shooter sequel was in the works and had even been seen running, but a Crytek spokesperson told Eurogamer this afternoon this is not the case.
And it did so in its own way, with the following statement:
"For Timesplitters 4, with ever spiralling development costs, massive teams and endless crunch we decided on a more radical development strategy. In short, the experiment was to implement the infinite monkey theorem.
"With cloning being a far too expensive option, we spent all of the development budget on buying monkeys on the black market. Those seven monkeys are now sat in a room with typewriters and lots of mirrors, and we fully expect TimeSplitters 4 to be finished soon. Rumours are that they haven't written any code but just tease the press from time to time. Those damn monkeys.
"PS: anyone got any bananas?"
The TimeSplitters IP was in the hands of Free Radical Design before German developer Crytek resuced the Nottingham-based developer from administration and renamed it Crytek UK.
In November 2010 Crytek UK Karl Hilton, one of the founders of Free Radical, told Eurogamer the studio was talking with various publishers about the possibility of creating a brand new TimeSplitters game.
"Talking to publishers, everyone is aware of TimeSplitters," he said at the time. "It's got a brand awareness that's really good. Its success in different markets was quite variable. So depending on who you talk to, they either look at it as a really successful product or as a product that was almost successful but could have done better."
The last TimeSplitters game was Future Perfect, released in 2005. It was received well by critics, but perhaps TimeSplitters 2, still one of the highest-rated FPS games on the PS2, is remembered most fondly.
More recently, Crytek was rumoured to be readying TimeSplitters 4 for release on the next-generation of consoles. It apparently saw the game as an early visual benchmark for the next Xbox, and reportedly had branching paths, exploration and sandbox gameplay built using CryEngine 3.
As far as announced projects go, Crytek UK is currently working on Homefront 2 for publisher THQ. Crytek in Germany is making Crysis 3 for EA and Ryse for Kinect.