Crytek: Retailers holding back F2P on consoles

CEO Cevat Yerli says platform holders' reliance on retail slowing the shift to digital

Crytek's CEO has told those wondering why there aren't more free-to-play titles on console to look to the platform holders and retailers for answers.

"Why are free-to-play online games not widespread on consoles? You should ask Microsoft and Sony this question," said Cevat Yerli in an interview with CVG.

"We see the future of consoles as free-to-play - ideally focussed on free-to-play. That's what I want to see in the future. But unfortunately not everybody shares this vision due to many other reasons."

Crytek is currently developing its own hardcore free-to-play title, Warface, but Yerli said even Crytek is struggling to find a home for it on consoles.

"Eighteen months ago we talked to Microsoft about doing a free-to-play version of Warface, and then again 12 months ago, and then again six months ago. It was the same with Nintendo and Sony," he revealed.

He argued that it's pressure from retail that's causing the problems, it's not in the interest of high street stores for consoles to go entirely digital, after all. They need games to sell.

"The number one issue that needs to be resolved is how companies like Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo become independent from retail so that they can go fully digital."

"It's an industry problem that needs to be overcome and somebody just has to say, 'I'm going to cannibalise it, I don't care, there's a risk of burning some relationships, but we're changing the world for good.'"

It's interesting that the interview comes just as CCP is revealing more about its free-to-play title for the PlayStation 3, Dust 514. In an interview with GameIndustry International CMO David Reid had nothing but praise for Sony when it came to accommodating the needs of the new MMO.

"The Sony folks have been very open and collaborative with us. Everybody realises that it's something different. It's a different project than other projects on the console or in the PC space really have been. And as a result at CCP we've had to find a partner that could be open with us. We have worked through virtual goods policies together to do things," he said.

"This is not something we could have done on any other platform. You have to think about the complexity of connecting the PlayStation gamers on Dust with the PC gamers of Eve Online and there isn't any other platform in the world where we could do what we wanted to do on Dust 514."

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