Crytek has reportedly found itself in the midst of another pay crisis, and one former employee plans to sue the company for overdue salaries with the help of crowdfunded legal support.
Spotted by Kotaku, ex-Crytek FX artist Ludvig Lindqvist has started a GoFundMe campaign to raise €20,000 towards the cost of a lawyer. Lindqist joined the firm back in March 2015 and was based out of its Frankfurt headquarters, but quit last week after two months of waiting to be paid.
His claims that Crytek has failed to pay its staff on time since May 2016 align with numerous reports emerging this week that the company is once again struggling to pay its employees. GamesIndustry.biz and other media outlets have received emails from people purporting to be Crytek staff complaining of long delays in receiving their salaries. We reached out to Crytek for comment, but have still yet to receive a response.
It's a similar story to the troubles Crytek faced back in 2014. Reports emerged that the firm had been missing payroll for months at some of its studios, something Crytek initially dismissed as rumours and later attributed to a "transitional phase" the company was going through. The turmoil even led to staff walking out at Crytek UK, and the studio was eventually rescued along with the Homefront IP by Koch Media.
In the end a licensing deal with Amazon enabled Crytek to recover from its financial difficulties - a deal that later led to the creation of the CryEngine-based Lumberyard engine. Cevat Yerli later told GamesIndustry.biz that the company's future was "absolutely" safe. However, two years later and Crytek has found itself in the same scenario.
"Ever since May this year, salaries have been delayed," Lindqist writes on the campaign page. "Today [14th December 2016], it was 58 days since Crytek paid me my September salary. Two whole mores have failed to make it into my account. The last salary I got was one month late.
"After more than two months of not getting paid, I resigned with immediate effect. My last day at Crytek was the 8th of December 2016. After resigning I decided to take legal action towards claiming the monies Crytek owe me.
"This does not only affect me. All Crytek employees are in the same situation."
Lindqvist has pledged that any funds received that he does not spend on legal action against Crytek will be donated to fellow employees needing legal aid and video games charities such as SpecialEffect and Able Gamers.