After a second batch of reports came in about employees failing to be paid, Crytek has closed five of its studios. Development will be focused towards its studios in Frankfurt and Kiev and, due to financial woes, the Hungary, Bulgaria, South Korean, China and Turkey studios are all being shut down.
Crytek became known for its powerful engine, CRYENGINE, and developing the Crysis series as well as the original Far Cry. As of late, the company had come under fire from critics for “too closely following trends.” The company released the free-to-play shooter Warface in 2013 and development was ongoing for a F2P card game, Arena of Fate. Elsewhere this year, Crytek developed the Virtual Reality titles, The Climb and Robinson: The Journey.
In the latest press release, Crytek stated: “we will continue to work and develop on premium IP’s.” However, while Crytek will be closing the five studios, they also say that “all other development studios will not remain within Crytek and management has put plans into action to secure jobs and to ensure a smooth transition and stable future.”
So, what does this mean? The most likely solution – although, still just a rumour passed along to Kotaku – is that Mail.ru, a large Russian tech company, bought up Warface and the currently-unannounced Warface 2. Mail.ru will take over publishing duties of Warface in January and layoffs are still expected.
Though, as I said, as of now everything is rumour and not confirmed by Crytek or Mail.ru.
Whatever the case, and we’ll try to stay updated, this is an incredibly hard time for some developers at Crytek. For many, January will be the fourth straight month without any wages. And while the German government covers any missing wages up until three months if a company goes under this state of confusion currently won’t help.
Out thoughts go out to any that will be affected, and those currently affected, by the ongoing situation.