Crytek’s financial woes have become a very poorly-kept secret, as past weeks have seen the company plagued by rumors of turmoil behind the scenes. The developer has been facing a crisis (forgive the pun) so damaging, it has allegedly led to the cancellation of Ryse 2 and a number of other titles - the total of which may not be known for some years.
With word of financial stress comes new reports of staff unrest, with rumors of Crytek workers leaving the company unhappy with their treatment. Those hoping for a turnaround of Crytek’s fortunes, however, will be distressed at new reports from Crytek UK, where staff have not been coming to work.
According to Kotaku sources, a number of staff at Crytek’s UK studio have handed in formal grievance letters over payment problems, with workers either being paid their wages late, or not being paid the full amount owed. It has led to the staff leaving the studio, and refusing to return to work until the issues are addressed. It’s not just a small minority, either — allegedly, the “bulk of employees” are vacant from the studio's offices.
The developer has tried to calm reports of their monetary difficulties, yet those same sources reveal that the UK studio has been steadily losing staff for the last few months. Allegedly, up to 100 Crytek UK workers have left — although whether those are permanent departures or only temporary is not confirmed.
The troubles come as the company seemed to be hoping that the 2015 release of Homefront: The Revolution would help turn around these financial problems. After Crytek purchased the rights to Homefront in the THQ fire-sale - developing an open-world follow-up to the first person shooter - that title was reportedly being developed by Crytek’s UK studio in Nottingham. Could it now be in jeopardy?
The report gives a brief glimpse at what Crytek and Homefront: The Revolution publisher Deep Silver have planned for the title, as they are (understandably) alleged to be negotiating the future of the game. Apparently employees are hoping for a Deep Silver buyout of the studio to secure the title, and continue funding development, with one source offering their prediction that Deep Silver's investment in the project may mean a buyout will be made to protect the project.
It would not be the first time that a buyout has been rumored, as the first word of financial woes at Crytek brought speculation that Wargaming was looking at purchasing the developer. In the meantime, Crytek UK members of staff are left waiting to discover the fate of their studio. Whatever happens, let’s hope Crytek can stop the rot better than THQ did.
What do you make of the news? Do you think Crytek can turn around their fortunes with upcoming titles like Homefront: The Revolution and HUNT: Horrors of the Guilded Age? Or do you think we’re facing the loss of another popular developer? Let us know in the comments.
Homefront: The Revolution is due out in 2015 on PC, Xbox One, PS4, Mac and Linux.