The F.E.A.R. universe consists of two timelines which diverge after the events of F.E.A.R. First Encounter Assault Recon. As a result, not all of the games in the series may be considered canonical. This inconsistency is due to the fact that games in the F.E.A.R. series have been developed and published by a number of companies. The so-called Monolith Timeline, which includes games developed by Monolith Productions and Day 1 Studios, is generally considered to be official, while the Vivendi Timeline, consisting entirely of games published by Vivendi Universal, is not. The only game which overlaps both timelines is the first in the series.
The first game in the series, F.E.A.R. First Encounter Assault Recon, was developed by Monolith Productions and published by Vivendi Universal. However, Monolith Productions was purchased by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment during the game's development, and Vivendi Universal was dropped as their publisher. Vivendi Universal later went on to publish two expansions, F.E.A.R. Extraction Point and F.E.A.R. Perseus Mandate, which were both developed by TimeGate Studios.
During this time, Monolith Productions still owned the rights to the game's characters and storyline, while Vivendi Universal owned the F.E.A.R. title. As a result, it was initially announced that the first true sequel in the series would not carry the F.E.A.R. name. However, after Vivendi Games merged with Activision, Monolith Productions was able to regain the rights to the title. The sequel, titled F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin, was developed by Monolith Productions and published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. Prior to the game's release, Dave Matthews of Monolith Productions confirmed that the two expansions published by Vivendi Games are considered an "alternate universe" set apart from that of F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin.
Although it has been confirmed that Monolith Productions is not involved in the development of F.E.A.R. 3, which is instead being developed by Day 1 Studios, it is assumed that the events of this game are in the same timeline as the events of its direct predecessor.
The table below shows how each of the games and its related media are categorized. Simply put, all of the games developed by Monolith or Day 1 (regardless of the publisher) belong to the Monolith Timeline, and all of the games published by Vivendi (regardless of the developer) belong to the Vivendi Timeline. The original game, which was both developed by Monolith and published by Vivendi, serves as the starting point for both timelines.
- ↑ F.E.A.R. First Encounter Assault Recon box
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Monolith scaring up new F.E.A.R.s - News at GameSpot
- ↑ F.E.A.R. Extraction Point box
- ↑ F.E.A.R. Perseus Mandate box
- ↑ Project Origin is now F.E.A.R. 2 - PC News at IGN
- ↑ F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin box
- ↑ Dave Matthews of Monolith Productions: "[TimeGate] took the story in a direction that we didn't intend... We look at Extraction Point and Perseus Mandate as an alternate universe, a 'what could have been', and because of that it doesn't necessarily diminish the story that we were trying to tell. F.E.A.R. was about Alma, F.E.A.R. 2 is about Alma, and we wanted to continue the story the way we originally intended." (News: Ports and expansions "killed off a few" F.E.A.R. fans - ComputerAndVideoGames.com)
- ↑ F.E.A.R. 3 Confirmed, Monolith No Longer Involved