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Crytek "wouldn't exist" as a new company today

Cevat Yerli doesn't think the studio could have set up in current industry conditions

Cevat Yerli, CEO and president of Crytek, has told that he doesn't think that his company could have survived if it was starting out today.

"Absolutely, nowadays I don't think Crytek could have set up," he said. "It wouldn't exist. The situation has changed drastically - the competition is more serious, companies have consolidated, costs have increased, the platforms are getting more difficult to enter.

"For example, to make a next-gen PC title entering the market now we'd need about EUR 10-12 million, even for a newcomer, to make an FPS as good as Far Cry was back then. To get the trust and commitment from a publisher for a newby studio...I think it's quite impossible."

And his advice for anybody thinking about setting up a company today was to look at specific values and distribution methods.

"From the concept perspective, don't rely on anything that's about realism or technology, focus on something that involves creativity and gameplay," said. "No new company can really compete on production values.

"The second thing on the business perspective I would suggest looking at digital distribution - whether it's you or a publisher distributing it, it doesn't matter, but prepare for that market. Then you've already narrowed down your choice of platforms, which is either PC, mobile/iPhone, modding potentially, XBLA and PSN."

The boss of Far Cry and Crysis developer - which now owns studios in Kiev, Bucharest and Sofia as well as the Frankfurt Main headquarters - also revealed that the founding team's initial thoughts on how to succeed proved correct in the long run.

"I think the number one thing we learned was to be agile and iterative - we knew that already, but that thought was confirmed," he explained. "Always stay independent, agile and iterative, but when I say that it doesn't mean necessarily being independent of a publisher, but being having the ability to make decisions.

"If you want to make iterations, it means you need to be able to cycle through changes quickly, and again you can't need to ask somebody before you make changes. So it doesn't necessarily mean financial or business independence - that's one idea to aim for - but also within the structure of the company."

The full interview with the GCDC keynote speaker is available now.

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