Money crisis hits Crysis developer

The studio behind the Crysis franchise, CryTek, is having money troubles according to Gamestar, a German gaming magazine.

DSOGaming picked up the story, saying that Gamestar has blamed CryTek’s money woes on poor CryEngine adoption, poor sales of the Xbox One exclusive Ryse and the abandonment of the core audience for Crysis – hardcore PC gamers – in favour of the greener pastures of Console Land, a move that has not paid the dividends CryTek expected.

Gamers on the DSOGaming forum, as well as the DSOGaming article itself, cite CryTek’s move away from the PC and making cutting-edge graphics to a focus on consoles (and the subsequent technical compromises needed to get Crysis 2 and 3 running on those) as one of the main reasons CryTek is struggling. CryTek CEO Cervat Yerli, on the other hand, cited rampant PC piracy as the reason for changing CryTek’s publishing strategy from PC-only to cross-platform. Crysis was, after all, one of the most-pirated games of 2008. Unfortunately for him, putting out two Crysis games for consoles didn’t translate to the sales figures he clearly expected from making games for platforms theoretically less prone to piracy than the PC.

To put that into perspective, Crysis for PC alone moved over three million units and its expansion sold over 1.5 million as of 2010 (link), figures that neither Crysis 2 nor 3 have yet beaten despite being made available on multiple platforms. Sales of Crysis 3 were particularly disappointing, according to the game’s publisher, Electronic Arts.

Failure is always an option

Other CryTek projects have struggled in the post-Crysis era as the company tried to adapt to the changing gaming landscape. G-Face was CryTek’s attempt at a gaming platform that brought together social gaming, multi-platform gaming and in-game communications but it has yet to see widespread adoption Its other big project, a free-to-play first person shooter called  Warface hasn’t impressed anyone outside of Russia’s borders:

Not what you want to see on Google about your game.
Not what you want to see on Google about your game.

We recently reported that CryEngine became available through Steam for the crazy-low sum of just $9.90 a month, a move that would in theory allow more developers to use the engine to build their games without worrying about developing their own technology. More surprisingly, Crytek announced that they wouldn’t ask for royalties for successful games built on their engine, either, something that should have really incentivised prospective game devs to snap it up.

But in light of DSOGaming’s report, it would appear the move was made to boost the slow adoption of the engine and generate some much-needed revenue for CryTek.

So for the moment, it appears CryTek’s future is in jeopardy. Let’s hope someone (Microsoft?) snaps them up and puts them back on the right path which is, naturally, focusing on PC gaming and making the most jaw-dropping graphics imaginable.

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