Crytek CEO: “Team Fortress 2 is not a real free to play game, in a sense”

Crytek’s CEO Cervat Yerli’s been swung by free-to-play gaming, he’s pushing to have every future Crytek title run on the model - the first of which will be Warface, which Jeremy was very taken with last week. Though, Yerli’s not so keen on how Valve turned Team Fortress 2 into a free-to-play game: “Team Fortress 2 is not a real free to play game, in a sense.

“I kind of think it's a 70% free to play title. It's on the way to be there, it's a good model and it works for them, but there is still pay to win there and I don't like that.”

Valve’s version of free-to-play sees the base game being entirely free but a charge being placed on custom content. Largely this is purely cosmetic gear; the infamous hats. However, not all of it is cosmetic. There are also whole new item sets such as new weapons and apparel that apply bonuses to qualities like damage and hit points. This is what Yerli objects to “There's some great experiment there, with user-generated content, but you buy items. You have to buy items.”

In his view, “a free to play game doesn't allow you to sell items. This is the issue I have with that. We would allow communities to create items for virtual currency, but you can't really go with commercial items because that's pay to win. So that's why I'm saying I'm disapproving of the concept of Team Fortress 2, because that is effectively not quite free to play. The only thing that's free-to-play there is they I can just go into the game and play it. But there's a piece of game I can't access without spending money.”

With free-to-play being bandied about as term so much now it’s easy to forget that it’s not one single homogenous business model and that, in fact, there are very different ways of implementing it. Valve have always suggested that they’re experimenting with how to create a working model of the system so it will be interesting to see how their future games change up the system.

Sign in to Commentlogin to comment
psyke avatarTheHeartsman avatarwhocares101010101 avatarGary Bilboa avatar
psyke Avatar
4 Years ago


"We would allow communities to create items for virtual currency, but you can't really go with commercial items because that's pay to win."

I'm sure that 3D artists and contributors will really love those crytek "fun-bucks" you offer out.

I'm sure this will go down just aswell as homefront did.

Keep trying. you might hit the mark one day

TheHeartsman Avatar
4 Years ago

So, by your logic, you won't be allowing anyone to 'buy' crytek fun-bucks with REALY money, becasue that would be commercialising the game, right?


Or are you just trying to softball the fact you aren't going to pay your community contributers 'real money', by villainising the way valve is so generous to it's community artists, calling it 'Play-to-win'.


There are only three of four item sets available in the store that give the player a 'slight' stat advantage. But purchasing is always a choice. The items are all available for free, through crafting and random item drops. If anything, it's 'pay-not-to-waste-your-time'


Sounds like another Exec has no idea how this industry actualy works.

whocares101010101 Avatar
4 Years ago

You forgot to mention that along with those hat bonuses there are crippling downsides, and that crafting exists that allows you to earn those items without paying.

The whole idea was idiotic from the start, but at least Valve listened to the overwhelmingly negative response and now there only exist those 5 underpowered / sidegrade hat sets.  Thank god.

Gary Bilboa Avatar
4 Years ago

I went through the trouble of creating an account just so I could comment what a crybaby idiot this guy is. 


If you are comparing your unreleased game to a highly-successful game that's still very active 7 years after release, you've already lost. 


The game IS free to play.  I know, I've done it for years.  Crytek makes games that runlike garbage.  Nothing to see here, just a wannabe blowing smoke up his own ass.