Crysis developer Crytek denies "verge of bankruptcy" claim
But reports indicate staff have gone unpaid.
By Wesley Yin-Poole Published Monday, 23 June 2014
Crysis developer Crytek has denied claims it is on the verge of bankruptcy.
A recent report from German magazine GameStar claimed Crytek, which has its headquarters in Frankfurt, was in financial trouble and that the development of Xbox One exclusive Ryse: Son of Rome had been a "disaster".
Our colleagues at Eurogamer Germany looked into the report, and gave me the following translation:
"'The vultures are circling already,' so says a leading employee of one of the large publishers. Companies like this have already started making offers to the most talented people at Crytek, to hire them away. Such a brain drain can become dangerous for any studio, even a financially stable one.
"A takeover of Crytek would be interesting for a company, that could use the development-experience of the Crytek and doesn't want to build up such experience itself. That is why the Belarus F2P-giant Wargaming is rumoured to be a potential buyer.
"When you are reading this, there is hope that Crytek has managed to avoid disaster. A new source of money, said Avni Yerli [one of the managing directors], is in sight. When we called him in early June, the contract had not yet been signed, but will be in a short while. 'Not all is good. Our transition to become a F2P-studio had been painful. But all that is now behind us.'"
Responding to our enquiries, Crytek dismissed the GameStar report.
A Crytek spokesperson issued Eurogamer the following statement:
"Regardless of what some media are reporting, mostly based on a recent article published by GameStar, the information in those reports and in the GameStar article itself are rumors which Crytek deny.
"We continue to focus on the development and publishing of our upcoming titles Homefront: The Revolution, Hunt: Horrors of the Gilded Age, Arena of Fate, and Warface, as well as providing ongoing support for our CryEngine and its licensees.
"We have received a lot of positive feedback during and after E3 from both gaming press and gamers, and would like to thank our loyal employees, fans and business partners for their continuous support."
Crytek has a number of studios worldwide, and has recently announced a number of games in development, including Homefront: The Revolution at Crytek UK in Nottingham and Hunt: Horrors of the Gilded Age at Crytek USA in Austin, Texas. It also has a game engine licensing business for CryEngine.
Before E3 one source told Eurogamer staff at Crytek's Sofia office in Bulgaria hadn't received salaries for the past two months.
Eurogamer has also received worrying reports coming out of Crytek UK, which is rumoured to have failed to pay employees on time. Management have been accused by some staff of a lack of transparency over these issues, and many are disgruntled, Eurogamer has heard.
But Crytek may have secured investment and thus its future - in the short term at least. The GameStar report mentions a potential buyout by World of Tanks maker Wargaming, but Eurogamer has heard investment from a Chinese firm may have been tabled.
Are you an affected Crytek developer? If so, please contact the author of this story, firstname.lastname@example.org to tell your side of the story in confidence.