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Crytek dropping multiple studios in wake of pay troubles

Developer will focus close all but Frankfurt and Kiev locations, focus on 'premium IPs' and CryEngine

Updated: The Crytek Istanbul studio looks set to remain operational as it is not a developer studio.

Original story: Crytek has finally spoken out following a week of reports concerning missed salaries and multiple departures, revealing that it will cut loose several of its development teams in order to streamline its business.

A statement reveals the company plans to "refocus on its core strengths" by concentrating on development in its Frankfurt headquarters and Kiev studio. All others branches - including studios in Budapest, Sofia, Seoul, Shanghai and Istanbul - "will not remain within Crytek".

It it not clear whether this means the studios will be closed or sold, but Crytek's management has apparently "put plans into action to secure jobs and to ensure a smooth transition and stable future".

Those that remain at Crytek will either continue to work on the firm's "premium IPs", referring to Crysis and perhaps Ryse: Son of Rome, or CryEngine. The firm said the games development toolset will "remain a core pillar" of Crytek's strategy "with enterprise licensees and indie developers alike continuing to be served by regular engine updates".

The news follows multiple reports that Crytek has struggled to pay its employees for up to six months - a situation the firm found itself back in 2014. Back then, a licensing deal with Amazon rescued the firm from further financial turmoil, but it appears more drastic steps have been required this time around.

Crytek co-founder and managing director Avni Yerli said: "Undergoing such transitions is far from easy, and we'd like to sincerely thank each and every staff member - past and present - for their hard work and commitment to Crytek.

"These changes are part of the essential steps we are taking to ensure Crytek is a healthy and sustainable business moving forward that can continue to attract and nurture our industry's top talent. The reasons for this have been communicated internally along the way.

"Our focus now lies entirely on the core strengths that have always defined Crytek - world-class developers, state-of-the-art technology and innovative game development, and we believe that going through this challenging process will make us a more agile, viable, and attractive studio, primed for future success."

GamesIndustry.biz's Brendan Sinclair had some choice words about the current state of affairs at Crytek in our latest weekly round-up. Since that article was published, we have heard from recently resigned Crytek employees that the firm is catching up with the delayed salaries, but it hasn't been fast enough to prevent multiple people leaving the company.

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Latest comments (3)

robert troughton Managing Director, Coconut Lizard7 months ago
Wow, really sorry to hear this news... I've been hearing rumblings about this for some time now, I really hope the directors of the business do the right thing by the employees.

Any good programmers affected by this, feel free to get in touch - robert.troughton@coconutlizard.co.uk. We're in particular looking for good network and rendering programmers.
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Adam Campbell Game Production Manager, Azoomee7 months ago
I'm a bit surprised it took this long for Crytek to reign in their expansion strategy. They seemed to become so big as a corporation in record time with few follow-up hits after the original Crysis.

As Rob has highlighted, I trust the industry will rally around and help find work for these talented employees. Tough news but I wish everyone the best of luck.
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I'm curious what are Crytek core strengths?
Is it more of a software company with a entertainment segment?
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