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Crytek wants to "transition entirely" to free-to-play

Free-to-play may be Crytek's only business model in two to five years

Crytek chief executive officer Cevat Yerli has told VentureBeat that he expects his company to "transition entirely" to the free-to-play business model in two to five years. Warface is the company's first free-to-play shooter and Crytek expects to launch the game by the end of the year.

"We decided five or six years ago that we want to marry the quality of triple-A games with the business model of free-to-play," Yerli told GamesBeat. "And at that time, we decided some other games, in some of our other studios, would head in this direction. But we kept pushing the quality bar higher on our console business, which is the main dominating business for the Western world, but we are observing, plainly - and we see this already with Warface - that the free-to-play market is on the rise. I think over the next two to three years, free-to-play is going to rival retail with quality games like Warface."

Crytek's current efforts are in the PC market, but Yerli said that the company is looking to bring the same ethic to consoles.

"We're looking at free-to-play as a force that drives our growth and world-domination plans," said Yerli. "So we have quite a few console titles in our pipeline that are [traditional retail games] while we investigate free-to-play on consoles. But our primary goal is to make triple-A free-to-play games for the world market and transition entirely to that."

GFace, Crytek's gaming platform that's coming alongside Warface, is the developer's master key into the world of free-to-play.

"As a company, [we will] transition from a developer to a service company, and we're going to offer a platform, with G-Face, to any other [developer that needs it]," he said. "If we could launch our games on a platform that already exists today, and we could get the same results, then we wouldn't build our own platform. But we're convinced that our platform does some particularly new things that makes our games behave better. That's why we plan to offer this service to third parties."

"This doesn't mean our main business will be driven by our platform business. We are just going to open it up and see how it works. We are always going to be a games-first company. We will always have our own development because we are all about making games. We provide technology, but technology is not our main driver. We make technology to make great games," added Yerli.

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Mike Williams

Reviews Editor, USgamer

M.H. Williams is new to the journalism game, but he's been a gamer since the NES first graced American shores. Third-person action-adventure games are his personal poison: Uncharted, Infamous, and Assassin's Creed just to name a few. If you see him around a convention, he's not hard to spot: Black guy, glasses, and a tie.

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