Crytek’s CEO On Crysis 4, Homefront 2, The Future

By Nathan Grayson on December 11th, 2012 at 9:00 pm.

If you climb to the top of Mt Videogameland, you’ll see that Crysis 3 is just over the thoroughly tessellated, HDR-lit horizon. That, however, is hardly the only thing that’s got Crytek’s tear-powered mega-lair whirring along at maximum efficiency. There’s also Homefront 2, Warface, Ryse, an entire F2P social platform, piracy concerns, and a brand new Crysis – which is totally not Crysis 4, but also kind of is. I spoke with Crytek CEO Cevat Yerli about all of this things and also asked him the question that’s almost certainly been devouring your every idle thought for far too many months: why’s it called “Warface”? 

RPS: You recently announced that Crysis 3 will have a full suite of graphical bells, whistles, and settings options out of the probably-not-a-box. That’s quite the turnaround from Crysis 2, obviously. What happened there, though? In retrospect, do you think you underestimated how much these types of things matter to some players?

Cevat Yerli: It was, to be honest, a consequence of Crysis 1. In Crysis 1, many people complained about the high specs. Many people couldn’t play it. Or many people saw that they couldn’t. Because when many people say, “I can’t play,” they always assume they can’t maximize it. But that was completely intentional, because we were building a future-proof game. A future-proof game by definition doesn’t run at its highest settings on today’s machines. So that was our philosophy. Let’s give this a four year lifespan on PC specs.

That was our intention, but it backfired in Crysis 1. So then we said, “OK, Crysis 2. Let’s make it much more accessible, so that people can max it out quickly.” We approached the whole production very differently. But then people [got upset about that]. So it backfired again [laughs]. So now we’re making Crysis 3 accessible at the low end, but really pushes the future-proof graphics at the high end. In a way, it’s the best of both worlds.

RPS: The best of both worlds thing has definitely been a focus of your promotional efforts for the game. “It’s your favorite bits of Crysis 1 meets all the good stuff from Crysis 2,” etc. But, in going that route, is there a risk of creating a risk-free jack-of-all-trades, master-of-none? 

Cevat Yerli: I don’t think so, because we’re not really mixing in a literal sense like that. It’s more like, “What is the gist that people really like about Crysis?” And we know that, because we created the game. Same with the gist of what doesn’t work in Crysis 2. Luckily, these are very complimentary things. So, for instance, Crysis 2 was perceived as too narrow and linear, because of the inherent consequence of going urban. Urban environments have to put buildings in front of you. Their structures aren’t as vast and expansive.

Now, we didn’t want to get rid of that completely, but also we wanted to have very expansive areas. So we decided to take a 70/30 kind of approach, which is 70 percent nature and 30 percent urban. We wanted to make an environment that’s never been done before: the urban rainforest. From a fiction perspective, it also made sense, because this is like a terraforming operation to cleanse the alien remainders.

From a gameplay experience, it allowed us to take advantage of a very open experience – at times even more open than Crysis 1 – but still have the visual reach and detail-oriented uniqueness of Crysis 2. Because Crysis 2 had so much production value put into it, and we didn’t want to lose that. And I think people will appreciate it, because our Seven Wonders are much more than just seven environments. They’re different in terms of weapon choices, the preferred way you play, the way the AI works, sound effects, storyline – all of that.

RPS: You’ve spoken a bit about the next Crysis – mostly about your plan to do something very, very different. So much so that you don’t feel comfortable calling it Crysis 4. What does that mean, though? And why take this gamble now? Do you think Crysis is in danger of getting stale? 

Cevat Yerli: Well, it’s too early to really talk about it, because we don’t know yet. With Crysis 1, 2, and 3, we knew roughly. So even after Crysis 1, we knew what the next one’s could be – the different options of where we could take it. We stayed true to that. The technology and the storyline and whatnot.

But that’s all coming to an end in Crysis 3. With the next Crysis, we have the creative freedom to depict some of the things we couldn’t do otherwise. Some of the new ideas we’d like to do with the world. Some of the new ideas we’d like to do with the cast, and with bringing new characters and enemies to the table. We couldn’t do those things if we were shipping it in the current fiction. So we want to the opportunity to reinvent Crysis.

RPS: You’ve been all about free-to-play lately, so will the next Crysis be designed around that? 

Cevat Yerli: It’s too early to say [whether the next Crysis will be F2P]. I don’t think F2P’s a mutually exclusive way of looking at things. I mean, the future is definitely free-to-play, but likewise, retail can co-exist with it. Premium games can be free-to-play. When I said free-to-play’s gonna be our future, I meant that and I hold to it. But I didn’t mean it for tomorrow. When I say there will inevitably be only free-to-play games, I mean that there might be ones where you can just download them with an free-to-play business model, or you can go to the store and buy it for $60. So that’s what I meant: there’s gonna be free-to-play available, which brings the entry level down to zero from a price perspective.

But if people like packages or they want to go to the store for a special edition with a nice statue or whatever, then they’re going to get that experience. Because that’s how games still are for at least another five years. But that amount is fading off every year. So fewer and fewer people are buying packaged goods, and at some point, it’ll just be people downloading games and streaming them.

RPS: Actually, I was wondering why you haven’t done anything like that with Crysis. I mean, you’ve been focusing on really making the multiplayer stand on its own, so why not make it, er, standalone? 

Cevat Yerli: We even considered a standalone free-to-play version for Crysis 2, to be honest. Launching the single-player as a packaged good and then making multiplayer free-to-play-only. For various reasons, it didn’t happen. We also considered that for Crysis 3, and it didn’t happen again. There are considerations like that.

That said, I do think there’s a way of making a very accessible game package. My desire is that everybody can just play Crysis and don’t have to spend money from day one. So people don’t have to think, ‘Oh, do I really want to pay $50 for that game?’ I don’t want that question to be asked. I just want them to be able to give it a try. And then they can make their choices about spending money. That’s honestly why I’m most excited about free-to-play – regardless of [how it'll impact] storytelling, single-player, multiplayer, and co-op experiences. I think there’s an answer to all of those problems.

But players need to be ready for this change – at the benefit of the player. I mean, they can access games for no cost. We’re not trying to make life more difficult. We’re trying to make it easier.

RPS: There are a few pretty strong arguments against it being easier, though. Most obviously, some approaches to microtransactions make the core game a complete chore for everyone else. Also, there’s usually an online requirement, which seems like a convenient way to circumvent piracy. Given how close Crytek’s come to sinking in those waters, is that also a factor in your decision to go fully F2P?

Cevat Yerli: Actually, I’d rather have tons of users that are playing Crysis – let’s say in a F2P version – and never pay one euro to us, but they play the game and be part of the community. I mean, Warface already works this way for us: there is not a single moment where you’re required to pay money. So it’s not pay-to-win. It’s not “Oops, you can’t play this section of the game.” But if you want to pay money, you can spend a lot to save time on progression and things like that. So you’re buying time or vanity – not content.

What this means is that you can’t buy exclusive gameplay. And if somebody pirates a game, it’s because they don’t want to pay for it. I’d rather have those guys turn into legal users and be part of the community – become part of the progression and the competition – but be fair to each other. That’s really what I want: for the community to be connected into one ecosystem. There’s no reason to pirate at that point. Why would you pirate a free game? At least, so long as you can play for free forever.

RPS: Way on the other side of the industry spectrum, you’re also working on a Kinect arena battler: Ryse. And while it continues your never-ending quest to innovate in the field of creative Y placement, it’s sadly not coming to PC. But there’s a PC version of Kinect now, so have you considered bringing Ryse over here? 

Cevat Yerli: There are currently no plans for a PC version, no. It’s certainly worth discussing, though.

RPS: Homefront 2′s your other big one, but THQ’s currently in all kinds of financial trouble. What’s it like creating a game amidst so much uncertainty? Has it influenced any of your development decisions? Is it tempting to pull punches when you’re not sure if they’ll be worth it in the long run?

Cevat Yerli: Our support and collaboration with THQ has been really strong. But obviously, it’s an unsettling experience at times when you read this news [about trouble at THQ]. I mean, we’ve constantly had a great relationship and communication with THQ’s top management. What’s more unsettling isn’t when we read the news – because we kind of already know these things before the public – but when some of the team members don’t know the details, and they get concerned. And then the fanbase gets that way as well. When the fanbase of Homefront or Crytek gets worried, we need to fix that.

That being said, we’ll see how it turns out. We know how our relationship is, but we don’t know what’s happening to fix THQ’s financial problems. That’s THQ’s prerogative. But we have hopes that THQ is going to turn around, and Homefront 2 is a very big part of that turnaround. I would say it’s probably the most important project, actually. I would say it’s the IP that’s most relevant along with Saints Row. Those two are pretty much THQ’s flagship.

RPS: What about the general environment surrounding all of this? I mean, publishers like THQ are floundering, and Activision, EA, and Ubisoft are the only ones that are really healthy – at least, financially – anymore. What does that say to you about the health of triple-A gaming? Is it sustainable at its current cost? 

Cevat Yerli: I think the field is narrowing not because of cost increases, but because of player changes. Players are moving away from traditional platforms, and traditional publishers aren’t covering them yet. That puts a lot of stress on R&D costs, which some companies weren’t prepared to take on. So what happens in traditional companies is they focus on more reliable IPs where they know something will be successful because it’s already been successful.

As a result, there’s less investment in triple-A innovation on traditional platforms and more investments on the new platforms. That can be very costly. If you spend two million on a mobile game and two million more on marketing, you might expect a return worthy of such an investment, but you might get zero out of it. Literally. The mobile market is a very different beast. Same with tablet gaming and browser gaming. So, in order to understand each market, it’s a whole different approach to organization and expertise.

EA’s doing a good job of that, but many others aren’t. It’s just the tip of the iceberg right now. Some companies like Activision are resting on their strong IPs like Call of Duty and whatnot. And others have failed to adapt. So I think the industry’s in a difficult spot right now. Platforms did not adapt to player styles, and players have wandered away. I hope next-gen as well as the next online platforms are going to fix that.

We’re trying to fix that a bit ourselves with Gface. We’re launching a social gaming platform that’s focusing on triple-A core F2P games. That’s gonna be a huge bet for us as a company.

RPS: Are you hoping to eventually bring games from outside of Crytek’s library into that fold?

Cevat Yerli: Absolutely. The first phase of Gface is Crytek-developed games, but then we’re going to publish F2P games from other developers. And then, in the second phase of Gface, we’re going to open up the platform so that people can just publish games themselves into Gface. So Gface is going to be a completely open platform.

RPS: So it’s going to be completely user-based and open to everyone on that front? There won’t be an approval process along the lines of, say, old-school Steam or something like Greenlight? 

Cevat Yerli: Yeah, pretty much. It’s more like Facebook or the iOS App Store. There’s lots of freedom, but it’s curated to some degree. The curation’s very lightweight. That said, there are going to be premium partners and game developers with whom we’ll have a close relationship. But the idea is to give everyone access to real-time social networking for their games. That’s the angle I want to try: how do you make gaming for you and your friends easier and more productive?

RPS: Lastly and most importantly – especially for the future health of the industry – the world must know: why are you calling it “Warface”? The name stands out, sure, but it sounds a bit, er, funny.

Cevat Yerli: Because I think it’s very personal. I think it’s a very social experience. Yes, it’s a very strange word combination, but I wanted to express that it’s a truly social FPS game. It’s about war on a different scale – between corporate entities – but also, it’s a shooter between you and your friends. That implies so many new kinds of possibilities with the social technology that we’ve invested over the last five years to build. So that’s why we as a company keep going back to “face.” It’s very personal.

RPS: Thank you for your time.

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133 Comments »

  1. mehteh says:

    As far as im concerned Crytek is dead. They’re games are too console focused(take no skill or boring) for me to care anymore

    • RodHope says:

      Which games? Crysis 2? That one game?

      • Bhazor says:

        That one game that was the best shooter that year?

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        • DarkFenix says:

          Best shooter of the year? Crysis 2 wouldn’t have been best shooter of the year if it was the only shooter that year.

          As far as I’m concerned the last good game Crytek made was Far Cry. Since then their offerings have been decent to mediocre.

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          • f1x says:

            So Crysis 1 was not a good shooter then?

            I like it more than Far Cry definitely

            And on the other hand, Crysis 2 while it was not surely the best shooter of the year (even if it was a not so good year for “pure shooters”) it was quite a good game besides some flaws, it just didnt deliver as much as it promised, (for example the verticality they were talking about before release)

        • gritz says:

          Sure, if you don’t count DXHR, Battlefield 3, Sanctum, Hard Reset and arguably RAGE.

          • f1x says:

            DXHR and Sanctum involve shooting but considering them as shooters,humm well

            Battlefield 3 and Hard Reset are good points tho

            Rage….. I think there was honestly a good game somewhere in Rage, too bad I could never get the game to actually run properly, or decently at least

          • DanDeath says:

            And Bulletstorm.

          • Cytrom says:

            Despite the awful marketing for bulletstorm (which made it look like its designed for a demographic even below the standards of a codtard), it was a very solid shooter with cool uniue weapons and gameplay focused on the good parts of the first person shooter genre, some nice environments.. and some lightweight story that worked alright. The weakest point of that game was that it was kinda short, and it could have worked perfectly for some competitive and cooperative multiplayer, but without them it was simply slim on content.

          • f1x says:

            Yeah I loved Bulletstorm aswell, because it was simply fun, something that we are missing from the FPS genere

            Its a shame that People can fly its not given another chance with a sequel

    • Enivri says:

      Crytek need to smarten up and realise the amount of money that could be made out of a new Timesplitters game!

      Hell, go F2P with it and add another 1000 characters, taunts, costumes for people to grind / purchase.

      Time it with the release of the “steam box” and make sure it is cross platform and it is well supported with regular content.

      Profit.

      • Bahlof says:

        Aw man. I remember when Crytek took over Free Radical. I’ve been hoping ever since then a timesplitters would pop up. So many great times with friends. and the last games that could recreate the atmosphere games like Goldeneye and Perfect Dark made.

        Man we need a new Timesplitters..

        • a2217613 says:

          I’d say Company of Heroes or Warhammer are higher up than Homefront… Not hard to imagine why he’d say that, though.

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9bZkp7q19f0

          • stiffkittin says:

            Ah, clever, clever spambot. You got me that time.

          • f1x says:

            They learn, they reproduce, they evolve,

            the end is near!!! soon we all will become iphone cases

          • enobayram says:

            The other day, I was reading a story about my friend Mike, He has bought a shoe from mamma’s bigass shoe company….

            HAHAHAHA SPAM BOT! That’s my revenge!

      • Network Crayon says:

        the lack of a Timesplitters game since the PS2 is bizarre to me, such a missed opportunity.

      • JukeboxJoe says:

        Tell me about it. My favorite gaming memories are from Timesplitters, all huddled round a tiny TV with a multi-tap playing virus.

        Incidentally there’s a petition going for a TS 4: https://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/crytek-uk-create-a-timesplitters-hd-collection

        Sign it, you never know

    • Derppy says:

      I don’t really care for Crysis as a game, to me it’s more of an elaborate tech demo of CryEngine.

      Saying “Crytek is dead to me” because you don’t enjoy the gameplay of Crysis is like saying “Epic games sucks, because I didn’t like UT3″.

      Both companies make a huge effort to push gaming technology forward and the tools they make for developers are absolutely brilliant. Unreal Engine 4 and CryEngine 3 are the “Next Gen” in gaming.

      The games these companies make simply try to appeal for the biggest possible audience, which means simplified shooters. It funds the development of engines, which fuels the fierce competition between AMD and Intel/Nvidia, resulting in better hardware for all of us.

      They also allow even hobbyists to use their engines and achieve the kind of workflow, visual fidelity and physics they couldn’t even dream about creating themselves.

      Respect to Crytek, they certainly aren’t dead to me, no matter how bad game Crysis 3 might be.

    • rocketman71 says:

      Crytek has been dead since Far Cry. And the douchebag they interview is not even entertaining anymore. Where is the line about how they would have sold 50 million copies if not for piracy?.

  2. felisc says:

    Oh come on. I was hoping for a funny answer on the warface thing. :(

    • Shuck says:

      That it’s being called “Warface” essentially because of “Facebook” is pretty funny, if you ask me. WARBOOK!

    • frightlever says:

      I think his answer on the “Warface” question and a couple of other questions suggests that Crytek are successful despite their “management” and not because of it. Surely enough people are ridiculing the name now that they have to see it’s going to hurt them.

    • FakeAssName says:

      no, that was the bullshit cop-out answer; the real answer is that they wanted to call it “warCry” (which would be fitting with their naming structure) but that name is already taken by Games Workshop as a line of CCG for Warhammer.

    • SuicideKing says:

      CRYFACE4

  3. Kuromatsu says:

    I’d like to know why they got rid of Powerstruggle. I’d much rather have a Crysis every off-year than a Medal of honor game.

    GFace, though, really? It’s really feeling like a return to the proprietary multiplayer master servers of yore. What happens when every game is online and free to play, then they start shutting servers down like gamespy?

    • RockandGrohl says:

      Ah yes, I loved Power Struggle! For me it is one of the best designed multiplayer game types along with TF2′s Payload and Halo’s Oddball.

    • FakeAssName says:

      that’s why they are doing it: Gface is in house developed by Crytek, that way no third party has power over the MP elements of the game.

      it’s dumb as fuck that they hopped into bed with Trion, since that essentially negates the benefits of running your own system, but I guess Crytek needed someone with pretrained GMs and capable of handle the banking side of microtransactions

    • wodin says:

      GFace..WarFace..Shitfaced…

      • P7uen says:

        Presumably branching out into other genres on GFACE with RACEFACE, POKERFACE, FOOT-TO-FACE, etc.

  4. asshibbitty says:

    Should’ve asked how he likes his status as the top yellow man killing simulator developer.

  5. I Got Pineapples says:

    I always thought Cryteks games piracy defence was being around 2000 gig

  6. ZIGS says:

    WARGFACE

  7. x3m157 says:

    PERSONALFACE!

  8. nasenbluten says:

    They ruined Crysis 2 by making it “accesible” and for consoles, I know I will never play the campaign again. Even the engine was a step down, they tried to fix it afterwards but too little too late, the gameplay still sucked. I don’t expect much of Crysis 3 either.

    • Dervish says:

      It is an annoyingly persistent myth that CryEngine 3 is a step down from 2.

      Engine != graphics settings != quality of assets != game/level design.

      • nasenbluten says:

        Cryengine 3 may have splendid capabilities but they just didn’t put them to work on the actual game. Destructible enviroments? Nowhere to be seen on Crysis 2.

  9. Brun says:

    Homefront 2
    I would say it’s the IP that’s most relevant along with Saints Row.

    BZZT. Wrong. That would be Metro: Last Light. More proof that Yerli has lost touch, in addition to being a childish crybaby about piracy.

    • Werthead says:

      The more relevant financially to THQ’s future? I think that’s a fair statement. METRO 2033 was superior on almost level, but HOMEFRONT sold a lot more copies, and that’s more important for ensuring THQ’s survival at the moment.

      • Brun says:

        I’d be surprised (and depressed) if Homefront 2 sold as well, after how terrible the original was.

        • Premium User Badge darkChozo says:

          It’s being made by an entirely new developer; it’d be a bit silly to discount it now based on the quality of the first. Hopefully people don’t preorder it ages ahead of time, but that apparently happens without any rational thought.

          Personally, I’d be interested to see how Kaos’s gameplay ideas could work when properly executed. I liked what Frontlines did as a concept (never played Homefront), but the game feel was way off, and Crytek have proven themselves able to at least create a game that feels nice.

        • SkittleDiddler says:

          Homefront was a great game marred by some horrible design quirks that never got fixed (thanks, THQ) and an anticheat system that didn’t catch those AA hacker pricks quickly enough (thanks, VAC) to give the game a decent chance. All in all, it was a better multiplayer experience than CoD or Battlefield for many people, myself included.

      • Bhazor says:

        Homefront did well? It really didn’t.

        It may have sold a couple million but that barely covered the advertising. In fact if you want to name what put THQ on life support to begin with then its Homefront. The hundreds of millions they put into that shit and I seriously seriously doubt they broke even. Hell their stock price crashed once the universally negative reviews came in.

        The fact they’re making a sequel proves that THQ has the exact same bunch of cretins in the upper echelons as every other big publisher.

        • Brun says:

          if you want to name what put THQ on life support to begin with then its Homefront

          BZZT! Wrong. That would be UDraw.

          EDIT: Although I suppose you could argue that UDraw sent THQ to the hospital and Homefront put it on life support.

          • Bhazor says:

            Wow.

            I’ve never even heard of that. Reading the article I can see I didn’t miss much.
            They were expecting to sell 2 million of those? In a single run?

            Wow.

            Suddenly their situation makes sense.

          • Desmolas says:

            “While the initial release of the device for the Wii met with some success, THQ’s expanded release of the uDraw for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 has been described as a “disaster”. THQ’s Chief Financial Officer described 1.4 million unsold units as the primary reason for a revenue shortfall of around $100 million.”

            Ouch! So it wasn’t the performance of THQ’s game catalogue after all…it was some tablet-like drawing peripheral that nobody has ever even heard of. Now its up to THQ’s game devs to bail big daddy out and produce outstanding games (which im sure they will, THQ has amazing devs)

        • Corrupt_Tiki says:

          Actually for all the bashing THQ are getting for homefront, you should probably look into the story a bit more.

          There was a great in depth article that was linked to on one of the Sunday Papers a while back, and it was a long read, but very good, and gave great insight into why Homefront was such a disaster.

          Basically the studio, which had made some good games in the past, let their project managers go, and promoted senior designers onto this huge game, when they had no prior experience, coupled with insane/ridiculous ideas, and various re-iterations, it was doomed from the start.

          The THQ guy/s responsible for liasing with the studios were actually the ones that made sure it got finished at all, and provided feedback/created some of the more memorable scenes.

          • SkittleDiddler says:

            “The THQ guy/s responsible for liasing with the studios were actually the ones that made sure it got finished at all, and provided feedback/created some of the more memorable scenes.”

            They were also the ones that prohibited the devs from communicating with players at the forums, in addition to eventually censuring the community manager and replacing him with a THQ spokeperson/lackey. They also forced the devs to release paid DLC and trivial content updates in lieu of actually fixing the game after release, and the article you refer to makes it clear the THQ guys intervened in areas where they had absolutely no business intervening.

            Laying all the blame at the feet of Homefront’s devs for the final state of the game is a little disingenuous.

          • Bhazor says:

            The fact all that was going on and they were still paying the team and still dumped tens of millions into advertising isn’t any better.

            I’m sure theres talented people in THQ and other publishers. But everyone at the top in these companies seems to be a frackin idiot,

          • RobF says:

            “The THQ guy/s responsible for liasing with the studios were actually the ones that made sure it got finished at all, and provided feedback/created some of the more memorable scenes”

            That’s an interesting reading of the story. It’s not-not true but it’s certainly half a tale that glosses over the tone of that part of the story and umm, possibly where a number of other issues had their root. There. That’s tactful.

            That many of the problems with Homefront -as a game- rather than as a concept manifest themselves in other THQ releases from the same period also is interesting!

      • Ruffian says:

        You really think Homefront’s sold more over all? I mean I know it had better marketing, but Metro has gotten better reviews than it most places I’ve seen and it’s been on steam sale quite a few times. I’d definitely be curious to see what the actual numbers are up until now, and if they’re close or not.

        I’m just kind of in a state of disbelief I guess, having played and thoroughly hated pretty much everything about Homefront, while loving Metro a ton. The heavy soviet/russian atmosphere was just so amazingly foreign and interesting to my westernized brain. Also the monologues and philosophical/religious discussions with Khan were pretty sweet. More than made up for the sometimes wonky feeling shooting, IMO. It’s hella beautiful maxed out, as well.

        • Premium User Badge darkChozo says:

          If Google’s to be believed, Metro sold 1.5 million copies in a bit over 2 years of being released, while Homefront had sold 2.6 million copies in about 3 months. Game quality aside, Homefront is clearly the winner when it comes to revenue (though given the troubled development, who knows about profit).

    • jacobvandy says:

      I’d say Company of Heroes or Warhammer are higher up than Homefront… Not hard to imagine why he’d say that, though.

    • Dave L. says:

      Homefront and Saints Row are the most important because they’re the two biggest IPs that THQ owns entirely that they’re still developing. Metro, WH40k, and WWE are all licensed.

      Company of Heroes is a big deal, but after CoH2 they’re not going to be doing any full games in the franchise, either because they’ll be bankrupt or the RTS market won’t sustain very many franchises any more.

  10. SirKicksalot says:

    The game director of Crysis 3 was the game director of Hitman: Blood Money. I bet the guy knows a thing or two about sandboxes, player options and stealth.

    Homefront is a brilliant concept that fell victim to a half-assed execution. I hope the Crysis team has some input on the sequel, because I don’t trust Free Radical to deliver a good game. I think I heard something about the Frankfurt team cracking down on them really hard after they fucked up the Crysis 2 multiplayer…

    Finally, I can’t wait for Warface to be released in the West. It’s a solid game and has more then 5 million Russian accounts. So many people can’t be wrong about its quality.

    • Brun says:

      So many people can’t be wrong about its quality.

      Russian accounts

      Erm…nothing against the Russians but they don’t exactly have the best reputation when it comes to quality.

    • Bhazor says:

      How many registered Farmville players are there again?

    • Shooop says:

      There’s several ways to describe Warface, and “solid” isn’t one of them.

      The maps are absolutely tiny, there’s only about 6 of them, and unlocking equipment is purposely made tedious and nearly impossible without buying a XP booster.

    • Ruffian says:

      I’m not trying to be a dick asking this, but what was brilliant about the concept of Homefront? It’s Red Dawn made into a video game. Did I miss something gameplay – wise? or did the story end up getting amazingly intriguing later on or something? are you just referring to the potential that a game about being in a regular civilian place as it is invaded could have?

  11. kevmscotland says:

    Crysis 1 was not future proof.
    Last i checked, I still couldnt run it on my 64bit machine (sadly :( )

  12. Crosmando says:

    Companies that make generic FPS in financial troubles? Allow me to dredge some tears from giveafuck bay.

    • Premium User Badge darkChozo says:

      The article doesn’t mention anything Crytek being in financial trouble. (unless you meant THQ? They’ve released a total of 2 FPSes in the last three years, and Metro 2033 was not at all generic)

      • Brun says:

        Metro was the opposite of generic – I would argue that it is THQ’s best franchise (quality-wise), and it’s a shame that it’s probably the worst sales-wise.

    • Davie says:

      Shit, I wish someone would have told me that Darksiders, Dawn of War, Company of Heroes, Saints Row and Titan Quest were generic FPSs. Would’ve saved me a lot of time.

    • Shooop says:

      The tragic thing is they’ve done much more than that and are going under while people who are doing exactly that and nothing else are still here.

      The game industry hates a rebel!

    • Rian Snuff says:

      Herp derpin’ to the max.

  13. Spider Jerusalem says:

    if thq’s turnaround depends on homefront, i suppose we can start pouring out 40s now.

  14. mr.ioes says:

    Can someone confirm that I’m not the only one that ran Crysis with a 4850 (my whole rig was mid-tier) perfectly on highest dx9 settings? I never bought that bs that crysis was a very ressource-hungry game. It was incredibly well coded, I had steady 60 fps and the load times where next to no existend.

    To me this is the biggest (admittedly not a very significant one, but still) gameing related myth.

    At least people kind of stopped trashing Crysis 1 for lack of good story (which also was bs).

    • DK says:

      Yeah the “Crysis 1 only runs on insane 1000 dollar machines” was an urban legend that was reported by the games media as a “fact”. If anyone is to blame for Cryteks downfall as a developer after Crysis, it’s those irresponsible so-called “journalists”. I could have built a 500 dollar machine that could run Crysis at the time of release, and a 700 dollar machine that could run it on mixed high/very high graphics flawlessly.

      • subedii says:

        Yeah I remember when Gametrailers did their “best graphics” award video that year. They literally the video a few seconds in and said “We will not include Crysis”. Apparently because they spent a whole week trying to “configure” their PC to run it well and they couldn’t. It’s not that the award itself matters (Graphics is always subjective), but it’s just one of the things that cemented its reputation.

        It wasn’t that Crysis was too heavy, it was quite simply that they had terrible hardware. At a time when all their other reviews were in HD, they even did their Supreme Commander review in SD to try and hide the fact that they were running it at the lowest possible resolution, and it was still jerky.

        That just irked me. I bought my PC maybe a year before Crysis came out, and could still run it with most settings on high.

    • Vandelay says:

      I ran it mostly fine on the 4850 on DX10 at 1680×1050, but it wasn’t great. The last level in particular was shockingly bad performance wise (and in pretty much every other regard.) One minute it would be running absolutely fine then it would drop to only about 20-odd frames for no reason.

      I still think that the issue was bad optimisation. It was definitely a great looking game and is still one of the best looking games, but it should have performed better on hardware that was released long after the game. The DX10 mode in particular was giving poor performance when it should have been running better then DX9. That is probably why you had no issues.

    • Xocrates says:

      I got a 4850 on a Desktop that was mid-high tier when Crysis came out, and frankly I never got any of Crysis games to work properly, much less at a consistent framerate, and certainly not on maximum.

      And yes, I had the latest drivers.

      • mr.ioes says:

        I do not understand that.
        Maybe you tried to play on dx10?

        • Xocrates says:

          For Crysis I believe I might have, though I know I had to change it at one point because the game kept crashing.

          Pretty sure I didn’t for warhead, though, and that one wasn’t running any better.

          • Goodtwist says:

            It was the last boss fight you’re referring to. I ran Crisis 1 with my overclocked ATI 5770 quite decently on 1920×1200 and DX10. Up until that dreaded last boss fight. I switched to DX9 and I was back in the game.

    • Dervish says:

      Crysis is still a tough game to completely max at 60 fps and high resolutions in some areas. When Crysis 2 and the console Crysis ports were coming out, Crytek themselves said something about optimization along the lines of “there were cases where we just assumed raw horsepower would solve it” for Crysis 1. Of course I can’t find the article though.

    • Ruffian says:

      It definitely wasn’t as crazy hard to run as people made it sound, I don’t even remember what the card was, but my friend and I played through the campaign on a mid-tier machine with most of the settings on high.

      • Subject 706 says:

        Not the flyer levels surely? Those were horrible on the framerate…

  15. int says:

    If Crysis was more like CoD, Cevat would release the games yerli.

  16. dangermouse76 says:

    Quote ” So people don’t have to think, ‘Oh, do I really want to pay $50 for that game?’ I don’t want that question to be asked. I just want them to be able to give it a try. And then they can make their choices about spending money. That’s honestly why I’m most excited about free-to-play ”

    My question is then going by this model do you wish to make the type of money you are now, more, or is it that you think this model will yield less money on a per day basis but more over all ?

    Because I don’t believe it when you claim it’s all about the players and the game and choice.Cynic that I am. This sounds a lot like marketing.

    How choice drives the creative decision process is a big one, and free to play looks good but is ( for me ) not the whole answer. But I suppose there’s room for all sorts of models here.

    I might be wrong but it sounds more like a man justifying an inevitable move to the future that he does not necessarily believe in, rather than another possible model to work by.

    • LintMan says:

      It’s all just marketing BS.

      F2P and regular retail purchasing cannot coexist well for the same game:

      - F2P makes the bulk of its money from the small percentage of players who are “whales” (big $$$ spenders) who spend hundreds on add-ons and boosts and crap. That balances out for all the man many players who pay nothing. On the other hand, regular retail purchasers expect to get most everything in the game as part of their purchase. But if you can get everything for $60, that means your whales will just cap out at $60. Or after the first year, at $30 or $40. That mixed model seems to average out to a lot less money than either model on its own.

      - F2P frequently uses a lot of pay-for-convenience type mechanisms to reduce the grind/waiting in the game, like temporary one-shot XP boosters. That grind stuff sucks, which is why people are willing to pay to avoid it, but in the F2P model “mo’ grind = mo’ money”. So what happens with the retail version – do those players get a special grind-free version? Unlikely. Do they get all the free boosters they want? I highly doubt it. Instead, I bet they’d get a few one-time use boosters and then be invited to buy more. Which in other words means that you’ve just paid $60 for a booster pack for a F2P game.

      Honestly, Mr Yerli’s quote about “You’re paying to save time” is a slap in the face. If your game is good I should enjoy playing it and not need to “save time”. If I do feel like a game is wasting my time, I certainly don’t want to pay for the priveledge of avoiding it – especially when they’re designing their profit model around this sort of bullshit. No thanks.

      • PopeRatzo says:

        I don’t know. I still haven’t found a “free-to-play” game that has engaged me for more than one or two sessions.

        And I’ve never spent a dollar in-game.

        On the other hand, I’ve bought lots of DLC.

        Why do I get the feeling that the people who are piloting the big game companies really don’t have a clue? Maybe the best we can hope for is indie game creators who start making really great games. Not great as in “worth $5″ but as in “worth $75″. Because if the game was really really good, I’d pay more than $60. Hell, if the Criterion made a real sequel to Burnout Paradise with up-to-date tech, I’d pay $100. But for that it has to be worth spending many hours of my time. As in hundreds.

        • LintMan says:

          A lot of people would do the same to see updates of their favorite old games … and that’s a big part of why there’s so many successful old school PC game projects on Kickstarter.

    • PopeRatzo says:

      He wants people to be able to “give it a try”.

      So why not make a freakin’ demo for chrissake> instead of this insulting “free-to-play”?

  17. Zogtee says:

    “We have hopes that THQ is going to turn around, and Homefront 2 is a very big part of that turnaround…”

    Well, they’re fucked then.

  18. Hyomoto says:

    Mr. Yerli clearly already lives in another dimension. If his version of gaming comes true, I believe the ‘core’ base they always talk about is going to disappear. We’ll finally all just go outside and take up snowboarding and inventing. Luckily Indie games continue to thrive and its my hope they will start killing all these antiquated publishers/developers and their IPs.

    • Brun says:

      I keep hearing people say things like this but the thing you have to realize is that to them (and most publishers) “core” means “casual.” As in sales core, not devoted fan core.

    • Treymoney says:

      People would stop playing games and start inventing and playing outside? What a nightmare scenario.

  19. subedii says:

    So, for instance, Crysis 2 was perceived as too narrow and linear, because of the inherent consequence of going urban. Urban environments have to put buildings in front of you. Their structures aren’t as vast and expansive.

    I have to disagree here. I was hopeful for Crysis 2, I really was, and that was largely because of the prospect of non-linear levels on the scale of the original game. I was thinking it would be awesome, freely and non-linearly traversing whole city blocks, neighbourhoods, making use of that “verticality” they were so keen to emphasis in the run up to the game. Maybe stealing the odd vehicle and bypassing a lot of the trouble like I did in the first game.

    You see, even a forest or nature environment can be tailored to be linear. And heck, there were even bits like that in the first game. It’s not the fact that the second game was urban that made things more linear than the first game. They did that on their own with their level design.

    So when he says “this time we’ll split it 70/30 nature and urban”, well, that doesn’t really mean anything except from an aesthetic viewpoint.

    I feel like he keeps misinterpreting what exactly people’s complaints were. “Oh they complained because it didn’t melt your computer”. No, the complaint was that you released it with just three, completely obtuse graphics settings. And then when people found a way to alter graphics settings via the in-game terminal, you literally patched the game to lock out the terminal. And only reneged after much angst on your forums.

    Although to be fair, Temporal AA? Yeah, that was bad, and I sincerely hope they don’t use this amazingly processor-cost free method for the sequel. And the motion blur was definitely better in Crysis 1 (much as people might hate that effect, I felt it actually worked to smooth things out quite nicely in the first game. In the second it just turned things into more of a fuzzy mess).

    • The Random One says:

      Yeah, it’s a strange answer, since the ur-sandbox game is GTA, which are at their core games about a city.

    • Subject 706 says:

      So much this. I can’t help but think his answers are just PR-speak to cover their real reasons for changing things the way they did.

  20. SelfEsteemFund says:

    Didn’t enjoy the interview because crap answers, however the comments so far have been (mostly) glorious.

  21. Real Horrorshow says:

    I’m hoping they make a F2P version of Power Struggle from Crysis to compete with Planetside 2. Epic game mode but it never took off because the multiplayer in Crysis was so poorly supported and, frankly, a lot of people did simply pirate it, so the populations were always low.

    Crytek, unlike the developers of PS2, have art guys who know how to make future tech look cool. The art design (not the graphics, mind you) in PS2 is so mediocre it’s painful, it takes a lot of the fun out of it for me.

  22. PopeRatzo says:

    “…because the future is free-to-play”

    Jesus wept.

    • Shooop says:

      …Tears of joy because they’d quickly learn the hard way?

    • gibb3h says:

      My thoughts exactly, why does ANYONE think F2P is a good thing?

      • Subject 706 says:

        Because they have lack of vision and are surrounded by suits who whisper the insidious word “monetization”, to them repeatedly.

  23. PopeRatzo says:

    They keep wanting to push “gaming with friends”, and I don’t get it.

    So now, a competent computer and $60 isn’t enough. I’ve got to have friends if I want to play a computer game.

    What’s next? “You have to have a hot girlfriend and telekinetic powers to be able to play the next AAA title”? How high they gonna raise the bar?

    • Rian Snuff says:

      Dude…. WHAT? LOLOL!! Oh wow.. You’re nuts dude.

    • SelfEsteemFund says:

      It’s because any game is fun with friends, the worst game to ever exist can instantly be made ‘fun’ if it’s playable with friends! Why would publishers waste time & money developing a deep, innovative single-player experience when they can build a basic point & click fps with co-op/mp & the gaming public will eat it up regardless and will probably enjoy it far more (because friends), not to mention come back for seconds (dlc) or thirds (yearly releases). The proof is in the sales.

  24. Rian Snuff says:

    Holy crap a lot of you guys bitch. I’m a life-long PC gamer and thoroughly enjoyed Crysis 1 and 2. I don’t get how people call 2 consolized. Yes it could of been more but even on it’s lowest settings it looks more beautiful than any other shooter out there. The game wasn’t open world AS MUCH but I thought the story be it a bit average was really enjoyable and engaging. I had a lot of fun playing it and multiplayer is still really, really hard-fucking-core. No mercy for noobs in that game, seriously.
    I think offering their engine for free use was amazing and I love the new engine and most of the games that have been developed on it. I’m also very excited for their new F2P platform, it looks really, really well done if you go check out the page. All kinds of different games that we know will look BEAUTIFUL and run really well. They are making the next Crysis 3 make your PC cry again, which is great really. Stop being such fucking Negative Nancie’s and be happy FFS, lol. Seriously, you make me laugh.

    I will agree on one thing, if THQ thinks homefront is their savior, that’s terrifying.
    Metro is their savior. Get real please… I love THQ so very very much. : (
    Let homefront die, so that THQ may survive. Lol.

    • SelfEsteemFund says:

      >I don’t get how people call 2 consolized
      >it looks more beautiful than any other shooter out there
      I’m assuming you’re either getting paid to post here or you’re incredibly young.

    • StingingVelvet says:

      I liked Crysis 2 a lot too. It was reigned in a bit from the first but still great.

      And I too get tired of hearing my fellow PC gamers complain all the time.

      • subedii says:

        Well what else am I supposed to say? I was hopeful for Crysis 2, and I was disappointed with the direction they took for it. I felt that instead of playing to the strengths of the first game (and fixing its weaknesses), they went in the other direction. Which is fine in theory, but we’ve got a hundred million other FPS’s swimming that way.

        In a sense it’s more a statement in how high a regard I hold the original game, I felt it was one of the best FPS’s I have played over the past 5 years. And there hasn’t really been anything quite like it since. So yeah, Crytek themselves going towards more linear game and gameplay design was just disappointing.

        • Premium User Badge darkChozo says:

          One thing that doesn’t help is the tendency towards hyperbole. People may think “this game is disappointing”, but they post “this is the worst game ever and Crytek is dead to me”, probably including something about consolization in there somewhere.

    • Commissar says:

      Crysis 2 was FEAR 2: Now with squids: The Game and it was a consolised piece of trash

  25. InternetBatman says:

    Homefront has fans?

    • brulleks says:

      Exactly what I was about to post. I’m stunned. Never played it, admittedly, but it sounded awful, and I have yet to see any positive comments about it.

      Apart from Mr. Yerli’s, of course.

    • StingingVelvet says:

      It sold a good amount and is a well known branding. That is what he means I would guess.

  26. StingingVelvet says:

    His answer on the budgets thing was a little out there in my opinion. People are not turning away from core games, they just don’t want to spend $60 on the same damn thing every week and there’s not enough of them to cover these insane 100+ million dollar budgets.

    The alternative is not just mobile and social, the alternative is reigning in spending and budgets, focusing on innovative gameplay and selling to your base.

  27. Iskariot says:

    “Crysis 2 was perceived as too narrow and linear, because of the inherent consequence of going urban. Urban environments have to put buildings in front of you.”
    -
    This is total BS.
    Unlike some I liked Crysis 2 quite a lot, but I indeed would have liked it to be more open. Going urban does not mean that your levels have to be as linear as those of Crysis 2. You can build perfectly open environments within a city context. We all can name a few famous games who achieved this. So this statement is nonsense.
    -
    I think Cevat Yerli does not know what ‘open’ in a gaming context means. This is very worrying. Of course ‘Open’ does not mean that there can be no buildings.

    • IvegotanAtariST says:

      –quote–
      ‘Crysis 2 was perceived as too narrow and linear, because of the inherent consequence of going urban. Urban environments have to put buildings in front of you.’
      -
      This is total BS.
      –/quote–

      Indeed it is. What Mr Yerli is trying to say here is that you can’t fit Crysis 1′s highly detailed and relatively expansive environments within a console’s hateful little half gig of RAM. Everybody’s fed up of hearing this horrifically tiresome old chestnut however and we certainly can’t use the word ‘consolitis’ any more so infuriatingly false PR speak will have to do.

      Of course when the next gen consoles turn up proudly sporting their 8GB RAM capacities the new golden age will dawn and ‘proper’ open world FPSes will once again stride gloriously across the land.

      CHORTLEFACE

  28. voidburn says:

    Ok, the slideshow in home page mentioned “Crytek talks Crysis 4 and HOMEWORLD 2″. I shat my pants, then had to clean up when I realized it was Homefront 2.

    Someone fix that typo before others stroke over it.

    P.S. DO WANT A NEW HOMEWORLD GAME. (which would be hw3)

  29. Lev Astov says:

    Q: Who would pirate a free game? A: People who cannot always be on the internet to play it.

  30. matrices says:

    Serious question: English is not the first language for this guy, right? I sincerely wonder how fluent he is in English because his responses always seem more than a little “off.” It’s as though he doesn’t fully grasp the meaning of the words that are pivotal to the questions he’s answering.

    Especially this nonsense about urban being “inherently” more corridor-like, thus making Crysis 2 more limiting. Nonsense: the level design was just disappointingly linear and, frankly, devoid of creativity in Crysis 2. The feeling of exploration and wonderment was absent because you just trudged from one checkpoint to the next, occasionally finding a battle area where there were two or three ways to kill AI standing around in a box-like area. And worst of all, that breathless talk of ‘verticality’ remained just that – talk.

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