Rumours Swirl About Trouble At Crytek

Rumours Swirl About Trouble At Crytek

Crytek, the multinational video game company behind games like Crysis and the new Homefront, appears to be facing financial difficulties, according to numerous rumours and reports.

For the past few months I've heard rumblings of employees going unpaid at Crytek studios. Though Crytek representatives have denied that the company is facing payment issues, a handful of employees at Crytek's UK office -- currently developing Homefront: The Revolution -- have reached out with stories of late paychecks and delayed bonuses. What I've heard has been vague, but one Crytek employee insisted that at least some of the staff are disgruntled and looking for new jobs.

Eurogamer claims to have heard similar things from people at Crytek UK and other studios within the company, which employs around 800 people. A report by the German magazine GameStar, published on Saturday, also alleges that Crytek is facing financial difficulties, and that paychecks are coming in late.

In addition, I've learned that Crytek UK managing director Karl Hilton is leaving his current position. When I reached out, Hilton said he would be moving to a different role within the company, though he had no other details to share.

"With new titles such as Warface and Arena of Fate, Crytek is moving in to self publishing and new business models," Hilton told me. "After 5 years as [managing director] for Crytek UK I am also looking to develop my role and responsibilities in line with these new opportunities at Crytek and I am currently looking at this with the company."

Rumblings about issues at Crytek started in March, when Kotaku got a tip from an anonymous email address:

I am an employee in the Frankfurt studio.

None of us have been paid last month's salary. It is normally paid before the end of the month.

It is 11 days late and none of us have been given an explanation by management.

All we have to go on are rumours.

This is not the only sign of troubles at Crytek.

I responded asking for more information, but never heard back. In the coming months I heard a couple more tips about issues at Crytek, but nothing concrete -- until earlier this month.

Three weeks ago, one Crytek UK employee contacted us to say the studio had been missing bonuses, and that they had not been paid since April.

"My reason for reaching out is mainly because there are a lot of people in my situation and it isn't right for a company to not pay staff on time," a Crytek UK employee told me in early June. "People should know that there are a bunch of employees who deserve a better company. These things should not be kept in the dark."

When I reached out to Crytek for comment, Crytek's PR head denied that there were payment issues, but would not offer clarifying details or comments.

At E3 two weeks ago, I went to Crytek's booth to ask for more information, and again, Crytek's PR head denied that the company had issues with payment, offering to set me up with an interview after E3. Over the past week, both before and after the GameStar report, I sent four emails to Crytek PR, but did not receive any responses.

Crytek denied GameStar's report in a statement to Eurogamer:

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 rumours 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.


Comments

    Now I wont get that upcoming free to play mobile game I've always wanted... might have cared if Crytek hadn't screwed over its PC fan base.

    Last edited 24/06/14 8:18 am

      How?

        Crysis 1 was an awesome looking open zone game with multiple play options.. as soon as the focus was moved to console it was downgraded to your basic corridor shooter not to mention the insultingly little graphical options for PC at launch.

    If you read the Gamestar article it says Crytek was on the verge of bankruptcy in April but got funding.

    Crytek should change their plan of making only F2P.

    It's Homefront. That thing's cursed.

      Yeah. It's any huge budget AAA game that fails to inspire. Unless it's the hot new thing it can sink the Titanic. It won't be the hot new thing.

      If management are looking for other reasons look at this one statistic: 800 staff. That's huge. Way too big. How much money are they throwing away month in month out, without any substantial income until their next big game is released.

      The new Homefront does look pretty darn awesome though.

        Yeah I hope it makes it because the demo was one of the best things at E3

      Exactly my thoughts! The curse of Homefront strikes again. Let this be a warning to all grave-robbers! ;p

      It would be a shame really. I really liked the sound of the new Homefront.

    Hope all ends well for them I'm a massive crytek fan would be sad to see such a great studio go under.

    Last edited 24/06/14 9:01 am

    Would be a rather unfortunate end to the only real competition in the engine licensing space.

    This could have all been avoided if when they acquired Free Radical they let them work on a new Timesplitters. Instead of pure gaming fun they have them working on a sequel to a game no one seemed to enjoy.

    Last edited 24/06/14 10:14 am

    FREE RADICAL :(

    Man I want Timesplitters 4 so bad.

    Every gamer I know wants that game and they refuse to make because of some apparent lack of interest. Its ridiculous.

    Surely if this is true, there's some not too expensive things they could do to boost sales.

    Surely they could release a remastered Crysis. Port it over to the latest version of the engine. Slap on some higher res textures. Give some options like classic power suit controls, the streamlined ones. The bow if people want. Add a few new effects and shaders and make sure no ones damn computer can run the game. Bam, instant sales!

      Just port all three games over the NG consoles and there's guaranteed sales

      Also Warface - it's okay but it has none of the fun of Crysis 2's MP which was COD with superpowers. I'd rather they made that MP FTP.

      I'd probably buy a remastered crysis trilogy pack since I don't own 3 and would like an ever more prettyificated (shut up spell check, that is a word!) version of 1. On steam preferably but I'd probably settle for origin

        Crysis 3 looks pretty darn good on PC. Probably best FPS SP out there graphics wise. I actually really enjoyed it. Especially the stealth and game play mechanics. It was just too short.

        A crysis Trilogy pack (plus warhead) would be great. All in the same engine.

        Actually what they should do is a new Crysis Wars. However focus on modders. It works because the engine is amazing and many know how to use it. Plus from their point of view, using modders keeps costs down on them making content.

      They already ported it to cryengine 3 few years ago came out on xbox and ps3

    poor crytek they make great games especially the Crysis series on Origin I don't actually mind origin I use it more than Steam and i've only every had one issue with it so that good. I definitely think we should see more from the Crysis series. I actually really liked Crysis 3 the campaign was a bit short but I think the multiplayer was really good. Hopefully there financial troubles soon go away and Crytek continue to make PC games with the best graphics, maps and environments like everyone knows they can.

    Last edited 24/06/14 4:15 pm

    Probably because their not making good games, Crisis 1 was great, but 2 and 3 were boring and tedious and home front was worse than COD, tiz a shame though, no doubt the development heads are trying to ensure the game 'appeals to the mass market' by making it as generic as COD. Developers like this intentionally favor $$ and the 'safe option/proven model' in regard to game development as oppose to innovation and creativity.

    I really enjoyed all the Crysis titles, the original Crysis along with HL2 remain my favourite games of all times.

    Crysis 3 looked amazing on Ultra 2560x1440. Make Crysis 4 a PC exclusive and all is forgiven. :)

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