Crytek: “We are in the transitional phase of our company, transitioning from packaged goods games into an entirely free-to-play.”

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This is a quote that I want to double, triple, and quadruple check, because it changes the nature of Crysis developers Crytek so completely: Cevat Yerli, CEO of Crytek, revealed to Videogamer that his company is currently transitioning to free-to-play.

Thankfully Yerli clarified the statement himself: “What this entails is that our future, all the new games that we’re working on, as well new projects, new platforms and technologies, are designed around free-to-play and online, with the highest quality development.”

Why didn’t I believe it? Crytek make blockbusters. They make games about mountains shaking apart, about buildings falling over, about tropical islands freezing. The sort of game with a cover and in a box that you expect to see blaring ‘buy me!’ from the shelves in shops. It’s not that I’m surprised that a big developer is moving to FTP; I am surprised Crytek are. They’ve just announced Crysis 3, they’re making Homeworld 2, but after those are done they’ll be a fully free-to-play developer, with future games joining their current FTP shooter Warface.

“As is evident in Warface, our approach is to ensure the best quality, console game quality. That implies budgets of between $10m to $30m – so no compromise there – but at the price-point of $0 entry.

So they’ll be throwing money at it, but this means it could be the final days of single-player gaming at Crytek: no stories; just online shooting and social networking on Gface. The implication is also that, unless Microsoft open up their system, following on from the games they are currently working on, there will never be another Crytek game on the Xbox.

This is the bold new future for Crytek.

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