Crysis developer mulling move

Looming German ban on violent games could prompt shop behind EA's high-profile shooter to pull up stakes.

While the Wii and PlayStation 3 launches were hogging headlines in the US, games were also getting attention in Germany--for all the wrong reasons. On November 20, the central European nation was shocked when an 18-year-old went on a shooting rampage at his former school in the town of Emsdetten, near the Dutch border. After wounding six, the attacker, who also had explosives strapped to his body, turned the gun on himself.

Almost immediately, parallels were drawn to the 2002 Erfurt Massacre, where a student shot 13 in Germany, and the 1999 Columbine Massacre, where two students killed 12 and wounded 24 at a Colorado high school. As was the case with Erfurt and Columbine, media reports on the Emsdetten tragedy focused on the perpetrator's fascination with violent games, called "killer games" In Germany. The subsequent furor has led many members of the German parliament, or Bundestag, to call for a ban on all violent games.

"Killer games make a fatal contribution to a growing tendency towards violence and they promote aggressive behavior," Jörg Schönbohm, the interior minister of Brandenburg, a province in the former East Germany, told Der Speigel magazine. "That's why strict action is needed against games that glorify violence."

Currently, games deemed overly violent, like Dead Rising and Gears of War, are refused certification by the Unterhaltungssoftware Selbstkontrolle (USK)--the German equivalent of the Entertainment Software Rating Board--putting them in the same category as pornography. If released in Germany, an unrated game is available only in stores where minors are not permitted (for example, adult book shops) and are regulated by the Federal Department for Media Harmful to Young Persons (Bundesprüfstelle für jugendgefährdende Medien).

With the threat of an outright ban of violent games looming, one of Germany's most prominent developers is considering moving. In an video interview with the Focus TV network, Crytek CEO and president Cevat Yerli said that if the ban becomes law, "Perhaps there won't be a Crytek in Germany. That would mean we'd have to get out of here and go elsewhere."

Crytek has good reason to be concerned. The ban would almost certainly apply to its critically acclaimed 2004 first-person shooter Far Cry and its high-profile current project, Crysis, which is being bankrolled and published by Electronic Arts. According to the Focus TV report, Crysis has a budget of more than 20 million euros (approximately $27 million), which would make it one of the most expensive games ever made. Though they would not divulge an estimate of Crysis' cost, EA reps told GameSpot that figure is "not accurate."

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Discussion

203 comments
sdauz
sdauz

hey hey hey u dont need violent video games to see violence in the world, just look at the news EVERYDAY or go down to the pub at 9:30pm.

dannyg_001
dannyg_001

...although best be careful, i play a lot of Halo and may well be pretty handy with a pistol... if they were legal in the U.K...

dannyg_001
dannyg_001

Don't worry Crytek, you can come and live in my basement. I have Sky and industrial broadband!

keith22
keith22

nice responce crytek i cant seem to understand whats germany sproblem with violent games , lol its not like they can cancel there past at least this is virtual and not real . if the ban video games still there will be some sick fu--ed up kid who will do some sick things

mobius1aic
mobius1aic

Come to the US Crytek, we'll treat you guys with respect for your art!

venetianblinds
venetianblinds

This is a smart move. Video games are the reason people kill each other because no one committed homicide before Pong...

maniaxe613
maniaxe613

So why is it that they are considering banning violent gamse and not violent movies? I am not saying they should ban violent movies, but if they won't ban violent movies then they shouldn't ban violent games. Also, Japan doesn't ban violent games, so why not Germany?

gordanfreeman53
gordanfreeman53

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

sangoanuta
sangoanuta

It's not a matter of reducing or increasing. People who shoot people have mental issues. "Oh, But games are realistic and fun", So are movies... Even more realistic hehehe. This is a weak excuse of conservative people.

darkDemyze
darkDemyze

Well said B4mB00. The way I see it, games reduce the amount of violence that actually goes on. It seems many people fail to look at the games as a virtual outlet for aggression that builds up for various reasons. It's far too easy to put the pressure on video games for "being a bad influence." Before video games of the violent nature were in the spot light, it was movies, TV, and even comics, etc. Politicans always have and always will blame the media for society's dysfunctions because the populous buys it. As for Germany's economy, why would every last programmer leave the country just because their employer moved? I don't see the logic of people uprooting their entire life and home just because they have to switch jobs.

daniel8501
daniel8501

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

blazethe1
blazethe1

well, we all know where the little german kids will look forward to spending their time: ADULT BOOK SHOPS! if i was on any sort of german pro sports teams i was stop playing because, "i just dont feel very aggressive anymore"

Gamer3241
Gamer3241

Better move Crytek, move now .

imdhunter
imdhunter

thatis so gay rating teen games as porno. so i guess super monkey ball will have to be rated M because it has an evil scary monkey that could influence children to take over the world by building floating platform puzzles that people roll around on and fall to ther death

B4mB00
B4mB00

Cloud737, you're so right. Game developers would leave Germany and Germany's economy would be devastated. Germany would also have a severe shortage of programmers, since all programmers do is program video games, and they're all willing to leave if their game developer 'masters' tell them to. Yes, that's correct, game companies are one of the only businesses in existence that are completely nomadic. They wander around the Earth, searching for a safe haven to program their titles. Or, something that is far more likely to happen, is that nothing will happen to Germany's economy, and there will be no shortage of programmers because most of the people that are capable of programming do not program video games. As for my comments on the story, well, maybe people should evaluate the link between guns and violence, and mental problems and violence. If games really affected people as much as they say they do, then pretty much all of us here could kill a battalion of well armed, well trained soldiers without breaking a sweat. Look, in a country as big as Germany, or the United States, there are bound to be people shooting other people. Just because it happened in a school doesn't make it more serious.

Cloud737
Cloud737

I completely agree with you Aametherar. It is completely clear what would happen if the law passes. Almost all of the game companies will relocate, leaving a hole in Germany`s economy. Also, it`s a strong possibility that German developers and programmers would also move with them, leaving the country with almost no programmers. And since computers are the way of the future, that would mean a big hit to Germany.

Aametherar
Aametherar

They should pull out of there just for this being proposed! I agree this is sad, I hope every game developer moves out of germany, if they're willing to go so far they dont even deserve the gaming field for their economy. Talk about hindering creativity. Since I only speak english the Unterhaltungssoftware Selbskontrolle will be my new words for evil people.

Destroyeron13
Destroyeron13

They should pull out of there just for this being proposed!

bundok
bundok

Not that I'm advocating bans on violent video games (I like them as much as the next guy) but I'm willing to be the devil's advocate on the issue. The main difference between violence in movies and violence in video games is the difference of observation and participation. You watch a violent movie, you see it, you may even fantasize doing it. You play a violent video game, not only do you see it and hear it, you're participating in the action. You're causing the violence to take place. The best way to learn something is to engage as many of the senses as possible and video games take that up one notch from movies. Having said that, I totally agree with android_M in saying "that its always the politicians and lousy parents that are blaming video games for their kids being screwed up[.]" Whatever happened to parental intervention? The parents of the Columbine murderers never knew about the mass of pyrotechnics, plans and firearm they stored in plain sight in their room. If you ask my opinion, it's the parents who need to change, not the industry.

lhay-mehr
lhay-mehr

Yeah i was waiting for Crytek response.

ronen
ronen

Don't know what you think, but this game together with ambient light effects from www.a-r-e.nl is going to be a BLAST !

foxy42
foxy42

Mmmm, ban games, but let films, which show something MUCH closer to reality, remain in the market. Absolutely ridiculous knee jerk reactions, indicative of a world in which sensible society is crumbling....

PackersRock
PackersRock

I'm not saying this was the case here, but I always find it funny when ultra religious freaks *cough* Jack Thompson *cough* call on the goverment to ban violent games, since they always seem to be the ones advocating for the goverment to leave parents alone to raise their kids also. Anyway this sucks. Crytek is one of my favorite developers and I hope this dosn't mean the end for them.

malikmmm
malikmmm

this means the cryteck would have more time to fix the bugs

android_M
android_M

Am I the only one who notices that its always the politicians and lousy parents that are blaming videogames for their kids being screwed up?

tuscan440
tuscan440

I cant believe that it is going this far, blaming games is just a scape goat by people who dont play nor appreciate games themselves. exactly the same happened in columbine where the americans tried blaming Marilyn Manson for encouraging such travesties through his music (which is why 'cc3d' saying europeans are wusses is a retarded comment). No one tackles the violence in films anymore, and hell even some cartoons like tom and jerry have violence in and yet we are allowed to watch that from a young age!! if someone is that messed up in the head anyways something bad is only going to happen one way or another.

cc3d
cc3d

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

Spenneth
Spenneth

See, thats why we hate learning German in school!! :P Crytek should just come to Denmark.. :D hehe.. not to far away.. ;) And we don't have any restrictions! Plus we need labourers here in Denmark.. :D I mean, we don't have a law for consuming alcohol or smoking.. its our own god damn choice.. All I'm saying is that the government should not be allowed to decide what we want to play on our computers!! FREEDOM is the word here.. ;) Cheers to all with our favorite beer: Tuborg Christmas Brew!

majin_vegeta300
majin_vegeta300

Unterhaltungssoftware Selbstkontrolle (USK) That name is amazing, 5 points to the Germans

BloodReapR
BloodReapR

WTF!!! I was playing Counter-Strike, Half-Life and Quake 2(my favorite :D)when I was 8-9 years old and i was never acting more strangely or violent than normaly. But the worst is that it was even an 18 years old guy (or girl I dont know) who shot some people. Man dont waste your life if u have problems and dont kill innocents, kill the ones who gave u the problems! ok ;) ?

Andron666
Andron666

Truth is that you can't stop things like this from happening. Short of making everybody wear GPS equipped electric necklaces, controlled 24h by computers. And even that wouldn't work 100%.

Hellbounder
Hellbounder

If violence in media (not only games, but tv, movies and books as well) was making people violent, then just by the *sheer size* of all the consumers of all this violent-askew media there would be UTTER CHAOS. But instead, things like Erfurt/Columbine Massacre just don't happen a lot, hell, it almost doesn't happen at all. So how do these f*uckheads explain that? Scapegoating is something the weak of mind do. These very rare outbreaks of teenagers are explained by biology and parental (bad) education far better than any stupid "violence media" excuse.

Tomdogg
Tomdogg

You see, this is what it all comes down to. Everyone thinks that they can do what they do in video games and now that's the reason for the ban on violent video games. Thos people make this world lousy **** them all!!!!!!!!!!!

Williedude87
Williedude87

cjcr_alexandru $27 million for Crysis? That's a lot of money! Let's see... 27,000,000/50=540,000 games must be sold so Crytek can recover their investment. Crysis should better be a huge hit (and I think it will). Your math is scewered, you don't think your retailer, the truck drivers, or manufacturing takes any cut? It needs to sell way more the 540,000 copies to come out even. epousard - I think you just need to take more breaks during gaming sessions :) nobeaner You know, if there was mandatory ID checking in stores for everyone that looked under 35 it might help. I havn't looked at statics or anything, but when I bought games as a minor my parents where with me probably over 90% of the time. Req ID would be unconstitional in the U.S, and would involve way too many court costs to be reasonable. What they need to do is EDUCATE. Go in depth in teaching parents, teachers, and children signs of this type of behavior. Teach parents what the ESRB is, and how they can use it to make informed purchasing decisions before they run their cards. I believe it would be simple, and far far cheaper. It's so easy to be an informed consumer these days, why arn't people taking advantage?

42316
42316

Why do some kids have to be so F*cking stupid. I play violent games all the time and the only time I think of shooting something is when I'm at the internet cafe with my buddies and blasting them with a shot gun. It just freaking annoys me when these kids do this stuff that bring the gaming name down.:(:(:(:(:(:(:(:(:(:(:(

azaiarnyi
azaiarnyi

Stupid, immature, morons. That is what they are. They don't seem to understand that there is no REAL violence in videogames. It's all just electrons running through a circuit, meant to simulate reality. Yet there is nothing real about it. So if some Jason wanna-be goes on a killing spree, it's not becouse of the games he plays, Its becous of him.

Tybolt
Tybolt

i so happy i live in the middle of nowhere right now, where games are never going to be banned or anything like that....

stephenpryor
stephenpryor

I play video games and, though I have not seen it personally, Gears of War looks pretty cool. I’m losing control, and soon I will be taking a chainsaw to a nearby school and committing a massacre…I’m being sarcastic. Like ThePhatDragon said, violence in video games do not incite otherwise normal people to violence and killing. If someone would do something like that in the first place, it goes a lot deeper than a little video game.

ThePhatDragon
ThePhatDragon

This crazy theory is raising its head again. I am sure that violent videogames do play a part in susceptable people turning to violence. But, that is not to say they are the cause of the violently psychotic behaviour. For someone to be able to enact such extreme forms of violence on innocents there has to be an underlying mental condition. This condition may well be exacerbated by violence in video games but the games are not the cause. Just because I play a game that involves killing does not mean I am violent person, ( I am not ) and will not turn me into a crazed killer. This argument that we see cropping up is akin to saying we should ban alcohol because some people are overly susceptable to it, get aggressive and attack people. Yes this does happen, but there are no moves to ban its use, ( thank god ).

tr00pa_26
tr00pa_26

ha! an idiotic fool and his gun

nobeaner
nobeaner

You know, if there was mandatory ID checking in stores for everyone that looked under 35 it might help. Kind of like they did with booze and cigarettes. I use to work at a convenience store and I found that people just got use to it being what you had to do to get your purchase.

epousard
epousard

The other day I was driving home from a friends house after playing two hours of 2142, (it was a good night , I ranked up and got two silver badges). Anyways, as I was passing under an overpass, a homeless man ran across the street, for a second I was thinking I should run him over, perhaps I thought he was going to fire a rocket-launcher at me or try to C4 me. It got me thinking, not about homeless people with explosives, but that there is something to playing violent games for extended periods.

mafju
mafju

well, i live in germany and once again, some stupid polititicians started shouting "video games are bad!!!!!" after the emsdetten incident. but hey, i dont think that the government will ban video games because these politicians were just the ones who always desperately try to get more popular. and if they would really ban the games, we could just get them over the internet or from other european countries, even german-speaking ones like austria.

jrjcobra
jrjcobra

Really a simple solution to this. Check to see if the kid is the right age to play the game. When I goto buy beer just about any store I will go in pops a message on the cashier's screen asking them if I'm old enough. I can also tell you that EVERY STORE will check my ID not one just assumes I'm old enough. Actually enforcing that is another thing but at least if a kid gets a hold of a violent game then they'd have to blame themselves or just look completly stupid then not that they don't look that way already. The solution is so simple but these grandstanding political morons will never get it and as long as there are ignorrant stupid people there will still be this type of stupidity.

imthebadger
imthebadger

So, will we now find that George and Tony are secret long-term Halo addicts? Or was Pol Pot obsessed with Silent Hill? And there has to be an argument for Hitler having played too much Wolfenstein 3-d.........

Poshkidney
Poshkidney

Banning games will not solve this problem they ban something to shift the blame on something else