Over the past few weeks, developer Crytek has made no secret that all is not right at the house that built Far Cry and Crysis. There was talk of bankruptcy, cancelled sequels, and employees refusing to work over unpaid wages, and we knew something had to give.
What ended up happening, however, was much tamer than we were expecting. Crytek UK offloaded the Homefront: The Revolution property to Koch Media (owners of publisher Deep Silver) and set their focus on previously announced properties like HUNT: Horrors of the Gilded Age.
Even amidst a seemingly studio-saving move, there were many questions. How could Crytek let it get this bad? Was it as bad as rumors and insider reports suggested?
In an exclusive interview with Eurogamer, Crytek CEO Cevat Yeril answered some of those questions, but at the same time painted a confusing and potentially bleak picture of his studio’s future. It’s a tough read given how bluntly Eurogamer asks Yeril about everything from game directors dropping out to unpaid wages, but it’s well worth the time regardless.
One of the more interesting non-Crytek-is-in-trouble tidbits had to do with the recent cancellation of Ryse 2. In the interview, Yeril reveals that although the studio is officially calling Ryse 2 “cancelled” they are prepared to bring it back when the situation is right. To put it more bluntly, Yeril intimates that when the Xbox One builds a bigger fan base then Crytek might consider Ryse 2 again.
“We are not 100 per cent happy with Xbox One sales right now. So we want to wait till the current gen and next gen catches up. For Ryse 2, we aren’t saying it’s cancelled. It’s our IP. It just has to wait for the right timing. And the right timing means higher installed base across next-gen.”
Obviously, with life-to-date sales of about 5 million units, the Xbox One install base still isn’t where it needs to be for an expensive console exclusive to be considered successful. However, thanks to the recent unbundling of Kinect from Xbox One SKUs, Microsoft has an opportunity to boost their sales numbers — even further then they already have — through the end of the year.
Whether that will be enough to bring back Ryse is unclear, but another potential solution is a multiplatform release. As Yeril reveals, Microsoft does not own the Ryse IP, so Crytek has the option of releasing a sequel on both Xbox One and PS4. That isn’t to say they will, but rather simply that Crytek has that option in their back pocket.
For now, though, the focus at Crytek is on re-grouping. They have Hunted: Horrors of the Gilded Age and several other free-to-play titles in the works, as well as a PC port of Ryse, but the most important thing is coming out on the other side of all these negative reports. And don’t ask Yeril about Crysis 4, because it doesn’t sound like that is happening anytime soon.
Would you like to see Ryse return with a sequel? How about a multiplatform sequel? What do you make of Crytek’s recent troubles?