Crytek Plans Free to Play Everything
Crytek are planning on completing their transition to free to play games by making the Crysis franchise, completely free to play within five years.CEO Cevat Yerli has said in an interview with VentureBeat that
"...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 [...] 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."
Apparently Crytek is also going to become a service company over traditional game development, thanks to its GFace platform,
of which Yerli says "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."
Taking the free to play route is an interesting choice, it could mean that game quality is lower across the board or Crytek have simply found a way to make more money out of free to play, than traditional charge upon purchase. I don't know how I feel about Crysis going free to play however, it doesn't strike me as the franchise best suited for the purpose. I imagine F2P works best with primarily multiplayer games. Still, if Crysis games are getting more and more scaled back and less ambitious with each release, then what does it matter.
In one final effort to appease gamers, Yerli says "We are always going to be a games-first company. We will always have our own development because we are all about making games." Although when a Games Developer has to explicitly reassure fans that it is still about making games, surely something has gone wrong.