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Free Radical Design purchase accelerates Crytek's console plans

Wed 11 Feb 2009 11:37am GMT / 6:37am EST / 3:37am PST
Development

Crysis developer looking to staff up UK team in anticipation of imminent new project

Crysis developer Crytek has told GamesIndustry.biz that the acquisition of Free Radical Design will accelerate the developer's plans to enter the console market.

Crytek is well-regarded for its high-end PC games, while the Free Radical team in the UK has extensive experience working on multiple home consoles with titles such as Haze, TimeSplitters and Second Sight.

"We always planned to enter the console market and it was part of our strategy even before the acquisition. This step will certainly bring us forward a bit faster to achieve our goal to develop high quality games on consoles," said Cevat Yerli, president and CEO of Crytek.

Free Radical Design was working on TimeSplitters 4 before falling into administration last year, but Crytek would not comment on specific projects, stating that "at the moment we're looking into all possibilities and haven't decided anything yet."

However, the UK studio is now staffing up in anticipation of a full-blown project, with Yerli confirming work is about to begin on a project at the newly renamed Crytek UK.

"Right now we're looking at 42 people and intend to bring the studio to full production capability in the near future,” he said. “This is something that relates to the project we'll be kicking off very shortly."

Crytek swooped for the beleaguered UK developer last week, picking up staff, technology and intellectual properties.

The group, which also has locations in Hungary, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Germany and South Korea, has been open in its frustration of PC games piracy, with Yerli last year stating that the developer will no longer create games exclusively for the PC market.

With Free Radical now part of the group, all eyes will be on the developer's plans for home consoles.

"We think Free Radical fits into our culture and strategy," added Yerli. "They have a proven track record in developing great games on consoles and PC. This combined with our own CryENGINE technology and a very experienced team is more than perfect for us."

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