Last week, Electronic Arts confirmed that it was picking up German studio Phenomic, maker of the SpellForce series of games. Now it seems the publisher is looking to bring another Deutschland developer into the fold, as German newspaper Die Welt is reporting on its Web site that EA is interested in the Frankfurt-based Crytek. The studio, which created the critically acclaimed Far Cry on the PC, already has a publishing agreement with EA for the upcoming PC first-person shooter Crysis.
When asked about the report, an Electronic Arts representative told GameSpot the publisher generally doesn't speak to rumors or its mergers and acquisition strategies. However, the Die Welt doesn't appear to be idle speculation about an acquisition from people on the outside looking in.
It quotes EA executive vice president and general manager of international publishing Gerhard Florin as saying, "Crytek is a very, very interesting candidate" for an acquisition. For Crytek's part, the company's founder and CEO Faruk Yerli told Die Welt that talks are under way, although the company is also looking at other possibilities.
[UPDATE] After this story went live, an EA rep contacted GameSpot to clarify the company's stance on the subject. "Gerhard Florin's comments were misinterpreted," the rep said. "EA is not in negotiation for the acquisition of Crytek."
EA and Crytek's relationship began in 2004, when the megapublisher entered into an exclusive development deal with the Frankfurt-based studio. The arrangement saw the Far Cry franchise left with original publisher Ubisoft while Crytek devised a new intellectual property for EA. Besides spawning Far Cry Instincts and Far Cry Instincts Evolution for the Xbox and Far Instincts Predator for the Xbox 360, Far Cry is also being adapted into a film by controversial director Uwe Boll (House of the Dead, BloodRayne).