Crytek cracking open new IP

German developer of Crysis beefs up Kiev satellite studio to work on mysterious original project--which might be multiplatform.

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Despite a few run-ins with die Polizei, Crytek has been an independent development success story. The Frankfurt, Germany-based shop burst onto the scene in 2004 with Far Cry. Besides being one of the best-reviewed games of the year, the game launched a whole franchise for Ubisoft. It also prompted EA to woo Crytek away with a "strategic partnership" and a publishing deal for its new PC shooter, Crysis, due out later this year.

Crysis has been Crytek's sole official focus for the past several years. However, today, the company announced it is readying an all-new IP, which will be developed at its Kiev branch. According to Crytek, the one-time "satellite office" will now be a full-fledged second studio. It will be dedicated to the new project, which will use the same CryEngine 2 as Crysis.

"Our Kiev studio has been recruiting and growing for the past year and a half," Crytek managing director Faruk Yerli said in a statement. "The highly talented team there has undergone an intensive training period, and in that time they have made an invaluable contribution to our production in Frankfurt."

No platform or genre for the new Crytek game was announced. However, Yerli hinted that it might be something other than a PC shooter. "Now that our CryEngine 2 middleware has reached the point of maturity where it can be used to support both different types and styles of games, and run on multiple platforms, we thought it was the optimum time to begin work on a new project based on our own new and original intellectual property, and elevate the Kiev operation to full studio status." (Emphasis added.)

Though it helped Ubisoft bring Far Cry Instincts to the Xbox and Xbox 360*, Crytek has never officially said it was self-developing a non-PC title. However, it was recruiting PlayStation 3 programmers with cross-platform code development experience last summer.

*=Crytek was not involved in the development of the Wii Far Cry title, Far Cry Vengeance.

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