Crytek, the saviors of THQ's Homefront franchise, might be in need of a savior themselves. While making plenty of headlines in recent months with the official unveiling of Homefront: The Revolution and the free-to-play Arena of Fate, the latest reports - and mounting evidence - points a bleak picture for the creator of the popular CryENGINE.
The onslaught of buzz surrounding the potential bankruptcy of 800-person Crytek Studios began with a report from German publication, GameStar. In short, they claim from insiders working at the studios (there are multiple Crytek offices around the world) that development on the Xbox One exclusive, Ryse: Son of Rome, was a "nightmare" for the studio, that the company is suffering from a "brain drain" of talent and they were in big financial trouble. This is all amidst allegations that some employees hadn't been paid in sometime - some say in order to avoid layoffs.
The obvious snowball effect to such allegations is that once talented devs or high-ups start moving, other devs will be recruiting hard to get who they can, and more and more employees would look for work elsewhere - where employment may have more potential and stability. A Crytek rep responded to Eurogamer addressing the report:
"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.
Kotaku followed up the report from multiple sources inside Crytek, adding that staff have been leaving since March (over 100 according to one insider), that staff have had their payments delayed, and that a few projects had to be cancelled or put on hiatus - including Ryse 2. The situation doesn't look good and multiple insiders who've been leaking info to Kotaku claim that there's a serious lack of internal communication and a lot of it may be due to mixed messaging around the goals of the company, going free-to-play, jumping on what's perceived to be a big trend in the industry instead of taking advantage of the CryENGINE, and not having financing from publishers to back their current projects. Some of the internal frustrations come from high-ups spending money on unnecessary things and driving high-end cars to work, etc.
There's a lot of sift through, from lots of employees, so read more about it here. It may not be all doom and gloom though as the rumors list Wargaming.net (World of Tanks) as a potential suitor looking to acquire Crytek and take advantage of their tech knowledge and developer talent.
Crysis 4? Ryse 2? More Homefront? What do you want to see from the studios next?
Homefront: The Revolution is due out in 2015 on PC, Xbox One, PS4, Mac and Linux.
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