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Crytek helping launch Crycash cryptocurrency

Developer says paying players who reach certain milestones in its games will be a cost-effective user acquisition strategy

Crytek is partnering with Crycash to launch the start-up firm's eponymous cryptocurrency, as reported by VentureBeat. The developer of Warface is hoping to use Crycash as a user acquisition tool, paying players who reach certain milestones in its games, who can then spend the currency on in-game transactions.

"You go to a performance marketing agency and pay $5 or $10 per user, and you never know the quality of those users," Crytek co-founder and managing director Faruk Yerli said. "With Crycash, you can set goals for the players to achieve certain milestones in your game before they get the tokens. They fulfill the objective, and their receive their rewards in Crycash."

Yerli is one of two people listed as an advisor on the Crycash website, along with Warface creative director Michael Khaimzon. (The size of Crytek's investment in Crycash, if any, is unclear, and a Crytek representative was unable to clarify as of this writing.) Crycash is expected to be integrated into Warface Turkey early next year, and Crycash is hoping to integrate the currency with games from other publishers as well.

The companies want to create an ecosystem around Crycash, starting with a mobile app called Plink. The app will allow users to earn Crycash by viewing ads, and they'll be able to see what developers are currently offering for the completion of specific tasks in their games. It will also include social functionality, allowing friends to message one another and see which game each other is playing. Crycash is also looking to build an esports betting platform based on Etherium with some Crycash-specific functionality, like earning Crycash for competing in tournaments.

The initial coin offering for Crycash will go live on December 12, with a price of .001 Etherium per 1 Crycash, and run through January 15. (A survey of multiple exchanges found 1 Etherium trading for between $395 and $439 as of this writing.) Crycash is offering an additional 15% Crycash for those who jump on in the first five days of the sale, and an additional 20% throughout the ICO for any transaction over 200 Etherium.

Crycash will make its money by charging fees for every transaction. By integrating the cryptocurrency into the CryEngine Marketplace, Crytek will be on the hook for a 1.5% fee for all payments made using Crycash. Developers that pay out rewards for gamers accomplishing tasks will owe a 20% fee, and dev-sponsored tournaments on the esport platform will pay a fee of 4% of the size of the prize pool.

Crycash has said that it will try to ensure the currency is stable and in continuous market demand by using 30% of the money raised during its initial offering and "up to 80%" of its profits to buy back Crycash on the secondary market.

It remains to be seen how beneficial Crytek's involvement in the cryptocurrency will be. The company's reputation suffered last year following reports that it neglected to pay employees over a prolonged stretch for the second time in three years. That was followed by the closure of multiple Crytek studios as the company said it was putting its focus on premium IPs and its CryEngine business. It again cited a desire to "focus on core competencies" when it laid off another 15 people from its Frankfurt headquarters earlier this year.

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Brendan Sinclair avatar

Brendan Sinclair

Managing Editor

Brendan joined GamesIndustry.biz in 2012. Based in Toronto, Ontario, he was previously senior news editor at GameSpot in the US.