Crytek Embraces Free-to-Play
JUNE 11, 2012 • Crytek, the game company best known for its Far Cry and Crysis PC game franchises, is determined to become an all free-to-play (F2P) developer. In an interview with Videogamer.com, Crytek chief executive Cevat Yerli said that the company’s upcoming multiplayer FPS Warface will begin the shift to F2P. Once Crytek’s existing contracts to deliver boxed retail products expire, Yerli said the company would only produce F2P games, which would be supported by the home grown GFACE social gaming platform. Crytek also licenses its CryEngine technology, which has been used in games such as Aion: Tower of Eternity, Entropria Universe, and Homefront 2.
Impact: There is some concern that in the movement to F2P it will be hard to replace the revenue generated from charging upfront for a product, be it boxed retail or a download on Steam. While many companies in North America and Europe have been going F2P, consumers have not taken up F2P games as fast, at least when it comes to spending. However, Crytek is based in Germany, a country that is embracing F2P more than others. Crytek is also strong in Eastern Europe and has worked with several Korean companies. In addition, CryEngine is used by many companies and could be a natural path for the GFACE social game network. As was discussed in the DFC Intelligence report The Market for Browser and Social Network Games, much of the growth in this area is forecasted to be with games on dedicated game social networks as opposed to more general purpose networks such as Facebook. In other words, Crytek is following a strategy that seems to make sense given its market position.