2008 closed with bad news for the East Midlands, with Free Radical Design going into administration (Edge Online gave some of the best coverage), though so far it seems not liquidation. The gamers I know are quite shell shocked that they failed to find a publisher for Timesplitters 4, because they and those they know regarded its predecessors so fondly.
It was thought some staff would be retained, as was announced over Christmas: 140 people have been made redundant, and 40 have stayed on, with the administrators dropping strong indications that publishers are interested in buying the studio.
Codemasters and Monumental games were on hand during the company meeting in December, and it seems David Doak and Steve Ellis have left to start a new studio. These are very troubling times, with games booming yet games businesses struggling and risk averse, but some firms are still growing and, so far, doing well.
FRD was a massive indie to lose, but others are being set up. As well as Pumpkin Beach, Simple Lifeforms recently started up too.
(CC image of a new year bonfire by tanakawho)