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Homefront game director leaves Crytek - report

Hasit Zala quits amidst mounting evidence of unrest at Crytek UK

The situation at Crytek UK has deteriorated even further, with new reports indicating that Homefront: The Revolution's game director has now left the company.

Hasit Zala started at Free Radical Design back in 1999, and he stayed with the studio when Crytek acquired it back in 2009. He took leading roles on the development of the multiplayer modes for Crysis 2 and Crysis 3, and, significantly, he was game director on Homefront: The Revolution - the only announced project in development at Crytek UK.

Now, Kotaku has received word that Zala has left Crytek, which is bad news for both the studio - Zala's experience and history will be difficult to replace - and the future of Homefront.

Crytek UK's development manager Ben Harris also left the studio this month. However, Harris is now employed as solutions manager at Switch Concepts Ltd.. so it is unclear whether his departure was a direct result of the ongoing situation at Crytek.

Indeed, Crytek has remained more-or-less silent on the exact nature of that situation. Reports that Crytek UK's staff hadn't been paid in months started to surface in late June, an accusation that the company denied. However, there was no official response to the mounting evidence of an employee walkout earlier this month.

Crytek has not responded to our requests for comment.

If you have jobs news to share or a new hire you want to shout about, please contact us on newhires@gamesindustry.biz

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Latest comments (4)

Steve Wetz Reviewer/Assistant Editor, Gamer's Glance2 years ago
I'm a little surprised that a formal bankrupcy filing has not occurred. I wonder if a THQ-style sale would follow (though it remains to be seen what is worth buying outside of Crysis and Homefront - Warface does not seem popular enough to cover upkeep).

Still, very sad to see this happen.
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Alfonso Sexto Lead Tester, Ubisoft Germany2 years ago
@Steve
What I can think of, is that according to German law (need more detail here from another German worker), if you are unprofitable or in the brink of bankruptcy you have to made it public to you employees, investors and the state government. Failing to do that in a period of two weeks maximum (iirc) can even translate into jail penalties.
I may be wrong, but this would kind explain why they remain so silent.
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Chris Billson Test Analyst, alemba2 years ago
Truly this is very sad for all those potentially affected.

Whichever way you slice it, it looks like we may be looking at what is essentially yet another casualty of the AAA business model. How many are left standing now?

Meanwhile, crowd funded development via Kickstarter and early access initiatives continue to gain momentum. More crucially, games being developed via these channels are managing to connect to gamers in a way the remaining AAA publishers are simply unable to match.

Console and PC gaming are indeed healthy and far away from dying, but itís pretty safe to say that the current model of AAA development is very much out for the count at this stage.
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Show all comments (4)
AAA is not going away, but perhaps the culture, approach and business practise needs streamlining towards a sustainable, and equitable appraoch
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