Crytek Lays Off Staff After Selling Homefront; Crytek UK May Be Shut Down

Crytek provides an update on where the company stands following recent reports of financial troubles.

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Update: Kotaku reports that, prior to today's layoffs, the "bulk" of the staff at Crytek USA had quit (some more than a week ago) as a result of not being paid. With so much of the studio gone, Crytek had no choice but to move development of Hunt to Frankfurt.

Original Story: Following the announcement that Deep Silver has purchased the Homefront IP from Crytek and will establish a new studio to continue work on Homefront: The Revolution, Crytek has explained what's happening on its end.

Most notably, as suspected, the Crytek UK employees who had been working on The Revolution will move to the newly founded Deep Silver Dambuster Studios which, like Crytek UK, is based out of Nottingham, England. This is according to a statement issued by Crytek, which doesn't indicate whether this means Crytek UK--formerly Free Radical Design--has been shut down. We've followed up with Crytek for clarification about whether this leaves any staff still at Crytek UK, which not long ago had talked about the prospect of making a new TimeSplitters, the series for which it is best known.

As part of Crytek's "internal restructuring," staff at its Austin, Texas location (Crytek USA) will be laid off, although "several" employees will remain behind to assist with CryEngine support for North American developers who have licensed the game-development engine. The game that the studio had been developing, Hunt: Horrors of the Gilded Age, will now be handled by Crytek's Frankfurt studio, developer of the Crysis series and Ryse: Son of Rome.

Several of Crytek's studios--including Budapest, Istanbul, Kiev, and Sofia--will "continue to operate as usual," while a "closer collaboration between Crytek's studios in Shanghai and Seoul is under review."

"As we look to cement Crytek's future, this strategic deal with [Deep Silver parent company] Koch Media would allow us to continue with our ambitious goals to become an online publisher," Crytek CEO Cevat Yerli said in a statement. "With Warface, Arena of Fate, and Hunt, we believe we have the perfect portfolio and teams to make that happen. We would like to thank all our staff--past and present--in both Nottingham and Austin for their contributions to the company, and we wish all the very best to anyone who may no longer be under the Crytek banner moving forward."

Reports have circulated for months that Crytek was in trouble, with staff at Crytek UK not being paid for extended periods of time. This resulted in a number of staff leaving the studio. Crytek denied anything was wrong until last week, when it described itself as being in a "transitional phase." It also said it had secured capital to ensure the company's future, presumably in reference to today's Homefront announcement.

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Avatar image for ChiefFreeman
ChiefFreeman

Crytek will fold by early 2015. They'll probably end up selling the CryEngine tech to EA or Activision to bail them selves out of trouble.

Avatar image for nintendians
nintendians

so I guess some former rareware employees are being laid off as well.

Avatar image for Tranula
Tranula

Its a shame. Crysis 1 and Far Cry 1 were allot of fun, and I think they developed some nice game engines.

Avatar image for Flamewolf75
Flamewolf75

But... Warface! I thought free to play was the future, crytek! Are you saying I've been lied to by a developer? Preposterous!

Avatar image for deactivated-5851d30844ac7

<< LINK REMOVED >>

Heh. Heheheh, That game is so Pay to win it's not funny.

Avatar image for couly
couly

Maximum Fail. That's what you get for dealing with EA, a good franchise destroyed, along with Dead Space, Dragon Age, Mass Effect, Battlefield, Sim City etc etc/

Avatar image for thefinalzapkeet
thefinalzapkeet

<< LINK REMOVED >> I'm sorry, but how did EA destroy Mass Effect? i've heard nothing but good things about mass effect 3. except for the last 5 minutes of it. and Dragon age inquisition looks amazing. and battlefield 4 is everything 3 and 2 were expanded on

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ES496

<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >>

Mass Effect 3 had other issues besides the endings and Battlefield 4 was full of bugs that are still being fixed. Hopefully Dragon Age: Inquisition does turn out to be amazing, but that's not a reason not to speak up when things like the above happen.

Avatar image for robbiejones
robbiejones

don't really care about Crytek TBH. There games have always been "bargain bin" grabs at best!

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AshTrai

<< LINK REMOVED >> agreed. Always hated their cry-engine too.

Avatar image for BradBurns
BradBurns

Koch Media is going on a buying Blitzkrieg on it's own fellow German developer Crytek! Watch out Crytek, the Luftwaffe is flying in for the CryEngine next, dig some deep trenches under that "capital" you "secured" and "transition" into your defenses!

Where were you when your German brothers at Replay Studios needed you, Deep Silver?

Avatar image for TheCyborgNinja
TheCyborgNinja

The Homefront IP has some Twilight Zone-esque curse, looking financially appealing only to destroy any company that comes in contact with it. If Koch goes under, we'll have confirmation.


Seriously though, Crytek is only good at making pretty games. Efficient, polished products, but never anything with charisma. I don't expect storytelling or characters like those you'd find in an RPG, but franchises like Bioshock and Half-Life prove the FPS genre can drip with personality. I'm almost never happy to see people lose their jobs, so best of luck to those laid off.

Avatar image for Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

Not paying your employees? Whelp, you're done.

Avatar image for illage2
illage2

It sucks when people lose their jobs. Hopefully HomeFront doesn't disappoint when its finally released, but I think for now I'd consider HomeFront to be shelved. Odd though .... I thought CryTek were owned by EA?

Avatar image for Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

<< LINK REMOVED >> EA published their games. Shows what happens when you deal with the devil.

Avatar image for Warlord_Irochi
Warlord_Irochi

<< LINK REMOVED >> And considering EA does not own them nor controls their capital or assets, that made no sense at all.

404 knowledge of how the industry works not found...

Avatar image for Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> When EA's name is on the box, people tend to not buy it. Then you have less money to say....pay your employees.


404 knowledge on basic logic.

Avatar image for SythisTaru
SythisTaru

My friend (who I met online when learning 3ds Max) lost his job, was working on Homefront :(

Avatar image for Stogin
Stogin

It sucks for people to have lost their jobs, but they should've saved money on that Homefront IP and made a damn Timesplitters game, that would have seriously helped them.

Avatar image for apolloooo
apolloooo

Electronic Arts.

Avatar image for yoda101280
yoda101280

<< LINK REMOVED >> EA might be crappy some times but the one thing they are not is in financial trouble.

Avatar image for Bumblebee1138
Bumblebee1138

<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> Though EA 'might' try to buy Crysis off their hands and the big prize CryEngine along with it.

Avatar image for NTM23
NTM23

This sounds bad, and while I do hope Crytek comes out of all this, still making games, I just hope the CryEngine can be adopted by other developers so it can be used because they did make a great engine.

Avatar image for AyatollaofRnR
AyatollaofRnR

So now Crytek will make the transition to glorious FTP.


At least the new Homefront has been saved. That game has potential.

Avatar image for dark_rising76
dark_rising76

So that means that Crytek was technically lying about the state of their studio. Must have been very bad there.

Avatar image for KBABZ
KBABZ

<< LINK REMOVED >> So far they haven't said anything about the staff directly. It's the equivalent of going silent when somebody asks if your house is on fire, while fire engines drive past.

Avatar image for Bumblebee1138
Bumblebee1138

<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> They denied all the previous reports of them having financial trouble and rumours of them not paying their employees.

Avatar image for foxrock66
foxrock66

And this is why you don't bet your entire livelihood on how pretty your game looks

Avatar image for BradBurns
BradBurns

@foxrock66 Not so much that. From what I've read of their plans, they diverted far too many resources to F2P-only development. And I don't think every F2P game is destined to be a money printer.

This could be a case of following market trends off a cliff. Corporations tend to be very shortsighted and will follow short-term profit to their doom. Just look at what Sega did to the once-pristine reputation of the Sonic franchise.

Avatar image for bullsfan769
bullsfan769

<< LINK REMOVED >> they make engine showcases, not games

Avatar image for hystavito
hystavito

<< LINK REMOVED >> Perhaps but we do need people to working on engines like that and pushing the technology.

Avatar image for robbiejones
robbiejones

@hystavito @foxrock66 exactly, that's why CD Project Red are a brilliant example of great exterior blended beautiful with a brilliant interior, if you know what i mean?

Avatar image for Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

@hystavito @foxrock66 Then they should have been making that, not crap like Crysis 3 and Ryse.

Avatar image for DAOWAce
DAOWAce

Homefront was a mistake anyway. I don't care about the IP personally, and why would anyone else after the first game came out?

Avatar image for firehawk998
firehawk998

Man I remembered when Great Graphics and Great gameplay went hand in hand with Crytek games. Crysis 1 , Far Cry 1 had great gameplay and graphics. It was around the time when Crysis 2 was coming out that the company started to focus to on the graphics and not gameplay and it shows Crysis 3 was the worst of the Crysis series and the less we talk about Ryse the better.

Avatar image for NTM23
NTM23

@firehawk998


No, I thought Crysis 3 was better than 2, though the soundtrack and perhaps atmosphere was arguably worse. I enjoyed three way more than the very disappointing, bug filled, bad A.I., not so good voice acting, Crysis 2, though it didn't feel as special, which sounds weird. Ryse was extremely linear, and could have used more variety, but overall I enjoyed it. The first Crysis is one of my favorite shooters ever (and Warhead was superb as well), but Far Cry I didn't care for much and actually liked Instincts far more. I will agree though that with Crysis 2, it started going downhill.

Avatar image for firehawk998
firehawk998

<< LINK REMOVED >> Agree to disagree here man. I thought Crysis 3 was the weakest of the series but yeah I understand what you are saying dude.

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PNOVA

you can't be a 3rd party and make excluisves to xbox one, it doesn't make since. Do they want to lose money?
EA does it with microsoft because they have a agenda with drm.

Avatar image for bullsfan769
bullsfan769

<< LINK REMOVED >> can't imagine ryse would have sold well even if it was released on ps4 as well

Avatar image for yoda101280
yoda101280

<< LINK REMOVED >> You can it's just not very smart, I honestly don't know why companies do that. I can't imagine any up front money you would get from microsoft or Sony is going to make up for what you would lose in sales if you went on all the platforms.

Avatar image for Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> Desperation. Notice it's always the desperate companies that do it. Like Capcom with Dead Rising 3.

Avatar image for Vodoo
Vodoo

These studios do not know how to manage themselves. Crytek not only had blockbuster games, but they also licensed out the Cry Engine. I've played so many games that used that engine. They had more than enough resources to make it work and they squandered it. It seems like once a studio makes it big, the owners like to use the business as their personal piggy bank instead of managing the business as a separate entity.