Well known game developer Crytek is on the defensive today after an anonymous blog posted on the Tumblr web site service sometime this past weekend made some serious accusations about work conditions at the company. The blog stated that at Crytek's main office in Frankfurt, Germany, the management team subjected its employees to " .... six months of crunch time due to project management failures. This caused certain members of staff to suffer both in medical and personal ways." In addition, the blog claims, "Several ex-Crytek employees have already been successful in mounting legal battles and won settlements, yet Crytek still treat staff as disposable pieces of meat to be discarded at will."
These statements have caused Crytek co-founder Avni Yerli to go on the defensive. In an interview with the Develop web site, he states that the blog has " ... completely misleading accusations. One thing that will always be the same is that Crytek respects and values its employees very highly, and equally – that’s very important. Whether it’s an intern, whether it’s a director, it doesn’t change; everyone is important."
Yerli says that while team members have either left or been let go from its Frankfurt offices, other new team members have been hired as well. Currently there are about 300 people employed at Crytek's Frankfurt operations. The blog lists the job titles of some people who it claims left Crytek but according to Yerli, " ... nine resigned, one was a contractor, and four were released. Two of those ended in court cases which we won. So never have we lost a case in accordance to labour cause."
As far as crunch time for projects extending to six months, Yerli also denied that accusation saying, that the company only had three months recently that could be considered a crunch period. He also said that " .. during crunch people were given the choice to work one weekend day, but only if they chose to." He added that Crytek also " ... offered huge compensation for this."
Crytek recently released the sci-fi shooter Crysis 2 for Electronic Arts. It is currently working on the free-to-play shooter Warface and the Xbox 360 Kinect exclusive title Ryse. The company also recently released a free version of its CryEngine 3 game development tools.