Crytek On Unpaid Staff: “Some people were very impatient”

By Graham Smith on August 8th, 2014 at 5:00 pm.

Stop being so emotional, GUY.

In June this year, rumours began to circulate that developer and publisher Crytek were in trouble. Anonymous sources told Kotaku and GameStar [article behind paywall] stories of wages being late, staff going two months without pay, and a lack of communication from the company’s management. Crytek initially denied everything. Then last week Crytek made staff redundant at their Austin office, and sold their UK office and the Homefront IP to Koch Media.

Which brings us to today, upon which Eurogamer have run an interview with Crytek co-founder Cevat Yerli. The interview is long and wide-ranging, and covers the current financial situation at the company, why wage payments got “delayed”, and where the company is now headed.

The most pertinent question is, of course, about staff payments. In fairness, I’ll quote Yerli’s answer in full:

First off, why did staff go unpaid?

Cevat Yerli: You have two choices, right? Either you delay payments – again delay… it’s not that they didn’t get paid, they got delayed – delay payments and salvage the company. Or, you push your cash flow directly to the studios and you file for insolvency. Both options are really bad. So you have to make the better of the two bad decisions.

However, like we had promised to everybody – and we said the company is not at a big risk, not a danger, it just needs more time to salvage it and that’s what we did. Now, everybody got paid plus inconvenience payments additionally to that, like we promised everybody.

Some people were very impatient and got angry at the smallest delay. Also, there was a critique of us not being proactive in communication, which we don’t understand, because we had been frequently in the UK as well as every other studio, talking about potentially rough times. And we had even shared with people how they should maybe work with different banks at a personal level to prepare. Or, if not, they could make a choice to resign and look for other jobs.

But our priority was to not downsize the company. Our priority was to not let anybody lose their jobs at that point. Because if a company gets into a difficult situation and you know the outcome is going to be bad, you have the choice to downsize everything. But we haven’t done that because we wanted to keep everybody tied together as a team.

I was surprised and upset a little bit that the intention of us keeping together everybody upset a few of them. But I understand that situation. Some people live in very tight financial planning. That’s their own privacy. They can do whatever they want. Those guys, when they get under pressure it can become emotional. We tried to individually help out. Like if somebody gets in trouble they can talk to us directly so they don’t get under pressure. We tried whatever we could do. But you can’t make it right for everybody.

On the one hand, it is very easy misspeak or express thoughts poorly in conversation. On the other hand, this answer suggests a lack of understanding for why people get “very impatient” and “angry” when wages don’t arrive on schedule. It also frames jobs as a gift given from on high rather than a mutually beneficial exchange of services for money, and the “intention of us keeping together everybody” as a noble act for which those who have chosen (“they can do whatever they want”) to live “in very tight financial planning” should be grateful. I wonder how patient the company would be should staff decide not to work for the eleven days or two months that wages were reported to have gone unpaid.

The rest of the interview is similarly careful with its rhetoric, framing the whole situation as a somehow inevitable consequence of the “transformation” or “transition” of Crytek from a creator of retail games to a creator of free-to-play games or of a “game service”. Yerli paints a picture of an industry in flux, with retail in decline and Crytek taking the only natural course of action for a company buffeted by forces beyond its control.

Retail certainly is in decline, but it’s a strange picture to paint: the decline in retail is matched by the rise of digital distibution; singleplayer or cinematic experiences of the sort Crytek try to make are thriving on digital distribution services; and we’re not seeing every other similar company shed staff in a rush towards free-to-play business models.

It is fine to want to change the type of products or services your company provides and to do so in pursuit of greater profits. Running a large, multi-national company is also, I imagine, extremely difficult, and human beings at all levels of life will make mistakes in their jobs.

But it’s not OK to sweep away those mistakes, frame decisions as unavoidable, and dismiss the concerns of those affected as unnecessarily “emotional”. If I’m doomed to live in this world where game companies are followed, worshiped, villainised and picked over with the same tribal fervor as sports teams, then let’s at least arm ourselves with the tools to know what’s being shoveled.

The full interview over at Eurogamer is worth reading, and the follow-up questions to the one quoted above are further illuminating. Not asked: why they’re so fond of creating impeccably-rendered gurns.

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193 Comments »

  1. rpsKman says:

    I’m surprised this double-talking catastrophic leader still gets a free pass from gamers and the press.

    • Heavenfall says:

      They won’t from me, for sure. Two months is not “the smallest” delay. To have the balls to call his own employees “impatient” when the company is clearly at fault. Doesn’t matter how much sense it made in his own head.

      • scatterbrainless says:

        I like how the employees’ inability to live without one-sixth of their annual pay is their “privacy” and the result of “tight financial planning”, whilst the company’s inability to pay it’s employees is just inevitable, not a result of choices they’ve made to transition their company without adequate financial management.

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      Bradamantium says:

      Where is he getting a free pass? Right above us is a write-up thoroughly calling him out, Eurogamer could’ve played hardball a bit harder but they were hardly soft, and most gamers I’ve seen talking about this are either sighing in exasperation at yet another game exec telling us how much we want f2p or outright mocking Crytek’s complete ineptitude.

    • LifeSuport says:

      Yes people live outside of their means so he has a point there.

      BUT when you run an institution that primarily hires people with degrees, you are hiring people that generally take on massive debt to get the piece of paper to get the job at the place the rich CEO runs; you’ve got to expect they might need money on time.

      Mr. Yerli, is financial planning now a Crytek company benefit? After all the soul searching and this apparent sudden surprise that people might live paycheck to paycheck a normal person might expect this to be addressed, you know so those few loud voices with bad money management skills can, in the future, work without pay during “potentially rough times.”

      • Snargelfargen says:

        It doesn’t necessarily have to have anything to do with living paycheck to paycheck though. An employer that is unable to do something as critical as pay it’s employees’ salaries is in no position to make promises about the future. Departing for another job or even job searching full-time makes perfect sense in those circumstances. I think it’s funny that Crytek’s employees were being accused if being overly emotional when staying there out of loyalty is the least rational choice possible.

        • socrate says:

          believing people stay out of loyalty to a company is ridiculous,people stay because the market is saturated with people going into that domain and know very little about gaming or are casual gamer at best which is why triple A title have been crap for years now…most people that want better go and make their own game…people with no talent,ambition and idea stick with big company that can assure them a constant stable paycheck…but time are rough it doesn’t mean a big publisher or company will not have trouble.

          In big company a 1$ loss on a product can mean a massive loss in the big picture…i love that the majority of people think they can run a business in this world and have no idea,which shows that the majority of people are and will always be follower that whine and know nothing about what they whine or vote about.

          • Snargelfargen says:

            Well yeah, I’m assuming most people who stayed didn’t have any better options. Doesn’t necessarily mean they weren’t talented though!

            Sort of unrelated, but I doubt being a true “gamer” is a priority in the industry since relatively few jobs involve actual game design.

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            jezcentral says:

            It doesn’t necessarily have to be an employee. It didn’t matter how much I worshipped my company or its leader, the day I go home and tell the wife my paycheck is “delayed” is the day you see a mushroom cloud of anger over Hertfordshire, and the wrath of God descend via the internet.

          • CdrJameson says:

            It’s tricky in the UK.

            I’ve a horrible feeling that if your employer is going bust and you leave before it implodes then your lost wages are not protected (up to a point) as an employee’s would be in the event of insolvency, and you go to the back of the queue for getting your money back. If you stay on you’re guaranteed to get some of it fairly quickly from the Insolvency Service until the mess gets sorted out (they claim it back from the company).

            As a game developer you have to know about employment and insolvency law. It’ll come in handy, possibly many, many times.

        • LifeSuport says:

          Correct, I was just picking out the most vulnerable workforce, those living paycheck to paycheck, to emphasize that if personal money management is the issue as Yerli claims why didn’t Crytek do anything about it… oh wait, they were too busy not balancing their own books.

          Gotta love the back peddling these guys are doing by saying they weren’t in financial troubles and they just choose to put a bunch of people out of work whom were working on projects good enough to sale for profit, which kept the company open. A failing, behind schedule team I could understand, but selling the IP and studio to another publisher and then claiming you didn’t need the money… its a ballzkrieg of a move.

  2. Premium User Badge

    deadfolk says:

    Bottom line is, mate, the banks are “impatient” about their mortgage payments. Or are you wealthy enough that you cannot relate to this?

    • khomotso says:

      Look, tell that bank to stop being so emotional.

    • rabbit says:

      agree. this is absolutely shocking- i’m amazed that this is the best he could muster up as damage control. to hint, as he does, that it’s the employees’ faults if they can’t stay afloat for two months without pay, is insulting… disgusting, even. i’ll keep an eye on this one but right now i’m thinking that i don’t ever want to give this man my money again.

    • Rich says:

      Banks, landlords, grocers, they’re just so damn impatient!

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      RobF says:

      Oh come on, to be fair he covers this in the interview. They should move to a different bank.

      • LifeSuport says:

        Yerli’s Bank Co. I hear offers great interest rates if your last name ends with Yerli.

      • Sgt_Big_Bubbaloola says:

        …………………… *not sure if RobF is being serious* O_o

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          RobF says:

          “And we had even shared with people how they should maybe work with different banks at a personal level to prepare”

          Depressingly, I’m being serious.

          • LifeSuport says:

            “Yea, so we can’t pay you, but maybe you should contact a bank to help manage that money you don’t have.” It is like step 3 in the 4 step get rich process.

  3. Smoky_the_Bear says:

    When they are turning up to work in Ferraris and staff are worrying about where their next rent payment comes from you are damn fucking right people will get “impatient” and “angry”.

  4. SIDD says:

    “it’s not that they didn’t get paid, they got delayed –”

    Wow….What an absolute douchebag …. I’m sure his salary was paid prompt and on time.

    And you got to love this: “Only a few people were like this. The majority of the UK team did a great job and they were loyal. ” …. so not wanting to work for free for some self-righteous twat makes you disloyal?
    Pretty sure the “loyal ones” were the ones who didn’t have any other options than hoping Crytek would get their shit together and pay them.

    • InternetBatman says:

      It said in the interview that he and the other owners didn’t get paid and put their own money in the company during this time. That said, the “disloyal” bit was supremely assholish.

      • Optimaximal says:

        As they should. Crytek is a limited-liability company (or the German equivalent) so they, as it directors, are solely liable for the day-to-day running.

        • DrManhatten says:

          Nope that is exactly not what limited in limited company means. You better read that up again!

          • AngoraFish says:

            Wait… you mean that “limited liability” means that the owner’s liability to pay their debts is limited (to the capital originally invested)?

            Seriously, who’d have thunk it?

      • LifeSuport says:

        Not taking a paycheck or two worth tens of thousands if not more is hardly valiant when you have hundreds of thousands or millions in the bank. Besides at the end of the day he was responsible for opening all the extra studios and releasing the poor quality games that caused the collapse.

        Don’t act like he is saying. “You know since I’m rich and I managed the company into near bankruptcy, well I’m obviously really, really lucky to even be in this position, so I did the right thing and paid employees with my own money.”

    • Gamboni says:

      “Wow….What an absolute douchebag …”

      Absolutely agree.

      “I’m sure his salary was paid prompt and on time.”

      And just like that, we’re in irrational pitchfork brandishing villager territory. They took our jerbs.

  5. Solidstate89 says:

    Who knew that people don’t like when they don’t get paid on time and end up essentially working for free. What a strange and other-worldly concept that must be to him.

    • Shuck says:

      Especially since, in the game industry, generally if you don’t get paid for two months, most likely you’re not going to get paid – at all. Something also tells me that they really didn’t communicate to employees that they wouldn’t get paid for a few months.

  6. jorygriffis says:

    I never want to buy a Crytek product again, but, like, I kinda do? To help these people get paid?

    Maybe if they finally make a Timesplitters.

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      LTK says:

      Buying their games means they might keep their job in the future. No guarantee though. But whether their games get purchased has no bearing on whether they are paid for services rendered, so if you want to throw money at the people who made the game then technically you can’t do it by simply buying it.

    • rabbit says:

      i’m feeling torn for the same reason. right now, my standpoint is fuck it – i’m not going to be buying their products. yes, there’s the argument that it will ultimately harm the little people, but i don’t want people like this guy to get fat in my name. fuck that.

    • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

      Gather all the bank IDs of those who got delayed, divide 50 euro between them for any Crytek game you pirate!

    • LifeSuport says:

      Buying a Crytek game ensures only Yerli gets richer. Crytek is the NexTHQ, unless Yerli is being pushed out they will release a few rushed games and the run out of money again and be sold off, probably to deep silver.

    • Cooper says:

      None of the money you spend on a game will make it into Crytek staff pockets, that’s not how big studios and their publishers work.

      The money for the developers wages has already been spent as far as the studio and publisher are concerned. Any money made from the sale of games will go towards recouping that cost and, after that, into profit.

      None of this profit is automatically shared with the staff who have been screwed over with wages. Staff do not get anything like ‘royalties’. It is possible that the profit made will be put towards funding Crytek to make another game, thus into the pay packets of staff in the future, but this is not a given.

      If this were an indie endeavour, then the logic of ‘buying a game to get money into their pockets’ makes sense. This is not the case for large studios and their publishers.

      • MellowKrogoth says:

        Actually, big studios such as (for instance) Ubisoft tend to have bonuses for employees when the game they participated in sells well.

  7. bleeters says:

    Turns out IOUs don’t pay your bills.

  8. Flappybat says:

    My friend is interviewing at a developer but there’s no real motivation for him to work in the games industry. The pay is a third less than normal software development, there’s no such thing as overtime and unpaid hours are expected. The industry needs a shakeup in it’s treatment of developers outside of the few successful studios that can pay well and offer good benefits.

    • Armitage says:

      This is because more developers would rather make video games rather than write more typical software. Because the laws of supply and demand dictate this situation, the industry is not going to change out of a concern of fairness to developers. Indie developers are changing this, if and when they become profitable, because they understand how shitty that environment is. But the typical AAA developer has zero incentive to change.

      • InternetBatman says:

        Unions, especially for a game well under production that the publisher couldn’t let slip, could very well make the difference. Unlike old manufacturing jobs, it takes a lot of time to train new workers on the specifics of a certain game (especially if there’s poor documentation, which seems to be almost the norm in game development).

        • Sgt_Big_Bubbaloola says:

          Devs will NEVER unionise and the Pubs will certainly never let them.

          • Asdfreak says:

            Crytek is a german company, so if they surpass a certain threshold of employees, the employees can decide to fund a union and the company can’t do shit about it. They can elect someone to be their representative and the company has to pay that representative, if they want or not. You seem to forget that Crytek is not a US company, but a German one and german laws and society are very union friendly. Sounds like a good idea to me. I don’t know how many employees you have to have for that though.

          • Baines says:

            Forming a union could price them out of their jobs.

            Publishers are already mismanaged badly enough that some can barely stay in business, and developer studios can get shut down before their games even really fail. That already happens with the bosses treating the employees like garbage. Imagine what a union calling for fair work hours, proper overtime, and the like would do to both bills and production schedules?

            You don’t even have to go into the eventual union corruption and abuse that will eventually happen, as even a perfect world rose-colored glasses union could bring down developer studios and badly damage publishers.

      • Shuck says:

        Indie developers aren’t really going to help the situation. Indie devs are putting their own money on the line with their games, and since many (most) games don’t make a profit, it puts indies in a bad enough financial situation that it makes exploitative studios look good in comparison.

      • MacTheGeek says:

        I think it has far more to do with the failure of management to control the progress of game development. It seems like most project managers don’t act until a release date slips; and even then, they just decide, “well, I guess we can just crunch for a couple months to fix everything”.

        Management needs to do a much better job of getting the technical ducks in a row at the beginning of the development cycle, and then locking the game down to prevent feature creep, engine changes, or costly redesigns.

        I wonder how much the industry would change if managers’ bonuses were inversely tied to crunch time. As in, the more your team crunches, the less bonus you earn.

        • LifeSuport says:

          I agree. If you run a hierarchical company then the buck stops at the top. The problem is that upper managers don’t literally work. It only takes one upper manager that has “friends” to block a company of great people doing great things. And people who get to the top aren’t generally people to create anything, they socialize, the are great liars, and horrible managers. George Washington the USA greatest leader by are accounts had one trait nearly ALL mangers don’t. He didn’t want to be a leader or a president he wanted to see the creation of an idea come true an no one else stepped up that could do it, or was still alive anyway.

          It is rare that a person comes along with all the charisma that people get so wet for who doesn’t have psychopathic traits.

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            jezcentral says:

            Wow, that whole comment is one big block of Citation Needed.

        • Baines says:

          Crunch time would be hidden. Employees would find themselves working (more) undocumented hours. There are all sorts of ways that such stuff is already thrust on employees (and not just game developers.)

          Games could also be released in even more of an unfinished state than they already see. If it were an industry-wide overnight policy change, then you’d see companies embracing “Early Access” and such at a faster pace, as you can use such descriptions to get away with releasing unfinished products. You might see more of a push towards always-online, as consumers pretty much expect such games to be broken at launch and to see game content rolling out gradually post release (including content that was originally promised to be available at release.) There might also be more of a push towards sacrificing release content in favor of paid DLC content, as publishers aren’t going to cut back on paid DLC so they’ll cut back on the base game itself.

  9. Premium User Badge

    Gap Gen says:

    Sounds like a prick. Resigning is all well and good but a) paying people is a contractual obligation, not a shits-n-giggles bonus, and b) if you’re going to let people go, you need to pay severance. Not paying people in the hope that they’ll quit without you paying redundancy fees sounds pretty illegal.

    Some people live in very tight financial planning. That’s their own privacy. They can do whatever they want. Those guys, when they get under pressure it can become emotional.

    Fuck you, guy.

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      RaveTurned says:

      Not paying people in the hope that they’ll quit without you paying redundancy fees sounds pretty illegal.

      It is, at least in the UK. If a person is forced to leave their job against their will because of their employer’s conduct (such as their employer not paying them), that’s called constructive dismissal.

      • Sgt_Big_Bubbaloola says:

        And that’s why the UK studio were ‘happy’ (pffft!) about the situation. In reality, because our UK labour laws are pretty damned strong, they probably were paid if the truth were known so this jerk-off could avoid legal action. It’s the poor schmoes elsewhere that suffered.

      • solidsquid says:

        Only applies if you’ve been there at least 2 years and can prove that they were refusing to pay to try and force you to quit, rather than them not having the money. It’s surprisingly difficult to get employment tribunals to agree with claims of constructive dismissal

    • rabbit says:

      i’m glad you reacted to that quote as i did – fucking disgusting.

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        Gap Gen says:

        I bet he tells homeless people to get a job.

        • rabbit says:

          i bet he goes seal clubbing.

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            Gap Gen says:

            I bet he supports austerity as a macroeconomic policy.

          • InternetBatman says:

            He’s German, so it’s statistically likely.

          • JFS says:

            Our government is not us. In fact, our government seems to do the opposite of what the people want just in spite.

          • WrenBoy says:

            Ahh.

            Democracy.

          • Bull0 says:

            “It’s going to be great – every decision will be made on the basis of what lay people find palatable, and not on what makes sense. People will suffer enormously and unnecessarily and society will crumble. Hahahahhaa”

            - Satan, when he invented democracy

    • Asdfreak says:

      He is lucky the german staff didn’t sue him. If they do not uphold their contractual obligations to pay, they can be sued. Also, he couldn’t fire anyone who sued him. It is ridiculously hard to fire anybody in germany or to just quit on the other hand. You have to employ someone for the same pay for two more month if they really want, and you have to pay. His only way to lay off people was to claim monetary hardship, and then he would have to prove that they really really really can’t pay them anymore, that there is absolutely no money left to pay them, and that would not send the message he is trying to spread and would not look good on his resume.

  10. NarcoSleepy says:

    I am sure that each the employee’s creditors are very understanding that they are going to delay paying any of their bills.

  11. ArtyFishal says:

    I hope Crytek can pull out of this. I’ve really liked all their games. I understand what Yerli is saying, but he’s communication skills are shite, and I do believe poor communication and probably a murky and poorly understood plan are the causes of their current predicament. I want Crytek to be a solvent and innovative aaa developer.

    • rabbit says:

      fuck that, i want this guy flipping burgers.

    • LifeSuport says:

      ArtyFishal –

      I’m not a great speaker myself but if you are a CEO of a large company, well that NEVER is a trait since you get there by bullshitting people to invest. I say speaker because surely he can dictate to his EA or even type it up and then have the PR department or HR department, read it over as obvious they have had nothing to do for the past several months. Maybe someone needs to write a CEO plugin for Word called “Do I sound like a pretentious, psychopathic, elitist Checker.” you could make DLC “Words humble people say after fucking up Inserter”

  12. derbefrier says:

    I would hate to be put in the position. To have to decide things like this but This is why you should always save money. Even if its only 10 or 20 bucks out of every paycheck. It adds up quickly and can help deal with shit like this. I had to learn this the hard way myself but if you don’t have enough money saved up to live a few months in case of disastor you need to rethink your priorities, like skipping that night out at the pub or what ever frivilous things yo waste money on and if you can’t afforf to do even that little bit you should be looking for a new job.

    • Shuck says:

      The problem with this situation is even if the employees did have a couple months reserves saved up, they didn’t know for sure if they’d be paid the third month, etc. or if they’d end up unemployed, at which point they might have needed that money. The combination of uncertainty with not being paid for an extended period of time is bad for anyone. Well, anyone who isn’t wealthy, that is.

      • derbefrier says:

        Like i said if you have a few months worth of living expenses saved up and you cant rely on your job then its time to find another job. I have been through this before. A company I used to work for suddenly and without warning closed its doors. no one except the higher ups had a clue untill they all called us to a meeting and said today is your last day of work heres your last paycheck. I was screwed. I hadnt saved any money, I wasnt going to have enough money for food, rent or anything. I ended up having to move back in with my parents. Like i said i learned the hard way. DOnt take this as me placing blame on the workers here. Its definitely not their fault they didnt get paid but there are easy steps everyone can take to ease the burden of sudden unforseen crap like this. Its the responsible thing to do. I mean if your car broke down on the way home from work do you have enough money in the bank to get it fixed? preparing for simple things like this will save your ass somewhere down the road as we all face challenges like this at some point in our lives. I am not placing blame here just trying to pass on some good advice based own my own experience.

        • Shuck says:

          My point was just that in the game industry, it’s far too common for companies to hit “rough patches,” for employees to find out because the paychecks have already dried up, and employees will stick with the company without pay for a few months (because they have savings and can afford to do so) only to then get laid off. In situations like the 38 Studios debacle, the employees also found out they had extra debts that they didn’t even know about because the company had stopped making various payments without telling anyone (such as health insurance that had already run out, mortgage payments on houses that the company had supposedly sold as part of relocation benefits, etc.).

    • SkittleDiddler says:

      Sometimes reality takes precedence over “priorities”, you know. Not everyone in this world gets the option of moving on when things get tough.

      • derbefrier says:

        that makes no sense at all you do realize. when i say changing priorities. I mean as for example staying at home for the weekend to save money instead of going out, or cancelling you cable or internet for a few months, or even getting a second part time job for a few months just to have some money in the bank. Whatever it takes. There are always options and there are always ways to supplement your income but only if you are willing. OF course if you dont do that and you get laid off or dont get your paycheck you are screwed. I have been there before I really dont get why people are taking my advice like I am blaming people here. heres some good advice to leave with, the company you work for doesnt give a shit about you, they will not take care of you if they have ti chooes between them or you. They will not help you out so the reasonable thing to do is to help yourself by making sure you can survive not having a job for 6 months even if you think your employer is perfect and you make plenty of money. You never know whats going on behind closed doors.

        • Kaeoschassis says:

          Responding to people’s financial problems with “get another job” is no different from responding to them with “get a job”. It is not always anywhere near that simple.
          Additionally, people are acting like you’re blaming the little guy because that’s basically what you’re doing.

        • P.Funk says:

          You know how hard it is to save even a penny when you have a family these days? The moment you have a “dependent” on your tax return not getting paid for 2 months becomes whatever word you can think up that expresses more outrage than what a single person with no kids would feel.

    • JFS says:

      Just FYI, in Germany there’s such a thing as social security. If you lose your job, the state pays you (2/3 of your last salary at first). Thing is, you’re only eligible when you really don’t have a job, it doesn’t apply in a case like this where you have a contract but don’t get paid.

    • Grygus says:

      You know, what’s funny to me is that you don’t apply that exact same logic to the company. It is the company’s irresponsibility with finances that led to this, not the employees’. But hey, they own a company, right? They’re job creators. It must he the fault of the plebs.

      • LifeSuport says:

        Well, in the great US ‘o A Companies are people too, with religious rights now, only they can’t be charged with murder… yet (fingers crossed on this one) so one could say this is clearly a result of the larger Consumerism State we all live in, only a Flesh Person buys a Crytek game when they shouldn’t and a Stock Person buys a new studio when they shouldn’t.

        I guess I’m saying everyone could learn to stop investing in crap, like Crytek, because when you buy a Crytek game you aren’t saving money for when the Stock Person that owns you goes all Crytek with your job.

        That is the message I’m getting from Yerli anyhow. I for one am going to me more fiscally responsible starting with Crytek.

  13. sandineyes says:

    Is this whole ‘work without pay’ something common? I’ve only ever heard of it in these video game companies, or mom and pop companies run by some sleazebag. The company I work for (the only one since I graduated from university) would never work like that since it is an outsourcing company. Not that it is any better, since if I ever was costing my company money rather than making it for them, I’d be sent home or laid off immediately. But still, I’d never be expected to work without pay.

  14. vlonk says:

    Isn’t the statement “either we pay our debts or we declare insolvency” exactly the same thing by law? If you cannot pay 90% of your debts within 3 weeks you are obliged as a company – by german law and that is applicable here – to declare insolvency. That action is obligatory by law. You have NO choice in this. Did he just admit a criminal action in a public interview?

    • Horg says:

      I think he did that when he admitted to withholding employees pay. The ”inconvenience payments” were very probably a ”please don’t sue” bonus.

      • vlonk says:

        Maybe they made agreements with the employees that said that they do not owe them money today but instead money times 1.1 a month later. That would make them solvent.

      • Premium User Badge

        Gap Gen says:

        One thing that I’ve read is that is a company becomes bankrupt you might be shit out of luck with back pay, even if you sue them in court. But clearly it wasn’t Crytek’s intention to raid it for whatever it was worth and go under as a way of escaping creditors.

        • vlonk says:

          If the company files for insolvency the workers get insolvency-pay in Germany. There is a tax to finance this money. So the company can run on government money for a short while. The unpaid work of the days past just goes into the big pot of unpaid debts… you likely only get a fraction of those paychecks.

    • Premium User Badge

      Bluerps says:

      Yeah, I thought that too – isn’t that Insolvenzverschleppung (the failure to declare bankruptcy when a company knows that it’s unable to pay its debts)?

      • vlonk says:

        There are ways around it because the debts that are measured are only the debts that are due right now. Obviously some employees where not happy about that “offer” which is basically a low gain bet against the company defaulting.

      • Wednesday says:

        Insolvenzverschleppung?

        I’m just checking, but that’s a joke word, right?
        You made that up for lols, correct?

        • Premium User Badge

          Bluerps says:

          No, it’s real. It’s a German legal term. Maybe I should have clarified that.
          (You can even go to jail for Insolvenzverschleppung.)

          • Sgt_Big_Bubbaloola says:

            I do love it how the Germans create brand new words for descriptors. We take a whole sentence to describe something, both those darn efficient Germans just use one (admittedly long) word.

          • vlonk says:

            The Scrabble-meta is insane here.

          • HadToLogin says:

            Germans must have tons of fun when they write Thesis or something similar, where you have to write definitions while remembering you can’t use words you define in it :P

  15. Premium User Badge

    MeatMan says:

    IMPATIENTFACE

    EMOTIONALFACE

  16. TWChristine says:

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen an interview with this guy where he hasn’t come off like a complete ass.

  17. Seafort says:

    Cevat Yerli is an arrogant prick. Always has been, always will be.

    I’m surprised Crytek have survived this long with him as CEO. Their games reflect what he is. All show but no substance.

    Good luck in the near future Crytek. You’re gonna need it.

    • Rich says:

      I’m surprised anyone works for him.

      • Shuck says:

        Sad to say, in the game industry many of the alternatives are worse.

        • LifeSuport says:

          Yup, pretty much running out of good choices for work. Burn 12+ hours a day with massive debt to make a living wage, or work two jobs to make an almost living wage with no debt. I do hope the rich people have their secrete islands all set because I don’t see this continuing for another decade with out some major changes… unless a large war conventionally comes along, or a plague.

          • Sgt_Big_Bubbaloola says:

            Which both appear to be right around the corner what with Iraq again and Ebola, so I think they’re going to be a-ok.

  18. Rich says:

    What an absolute arse.

  19. SIDD says:

    Cevat Yerli just made it 100% morally acceptable for us to download Crytek games without paying for them; we’re merely delaying payment – not stealing!

  20. Premium User Badge

    melnificent says:

    “Delayed wages” – That counts as an illegal deduction in the UK. http://www.adviceguide.org.uk/england/work_e/work_rights_at_work_e/rights_to_pay.htm#h_if_you_dont_get_paid_or_you_are_paid_late

    So they admit to breaking the law and say it was just an emotional reaction.

  21. PC-GAMER-4LIFE says:

    This guy has lied for so long he cannot tell the difference nowadays! Crytek are history its not if its a matter of when. Epic beat them in the middleware market with Unreal Engine 4. All they have left is the Crysis IP that is not worth all that anymore. Reading some of his comments you have to ask how you could work for someone so arrogant.

    This is also the same guy who said making $22m on Crysis1 was not enough as all PC gamers are pirates or words to that effect to mask why whey went multiplatform on Crysis 2 (which I hated BTW).

  22. Shazbut says:

    I’m very glad I don’t work in a situation where attempting to express myself clearly is subject to the greatest critical scrutiny and attacks on my character.

    Flawed as I am, I know that I don’t do this myself and so I don’t tolerate it easily. Have none of you ever had to express anything difficult or been put in a position that can only lead to difficult or unfortunate outcomes?

    Words are imprecise, so we do the best we can. Some people are better with words than others just as some people are better at tennis than others. He uses the word “emotional” and so you all spit at him from the safety of the internet. For shame

    • 12inchPlasticToy says:

      Yeah! And Saddam was really nice to his dog!

    • Diatribe says:

      It doesn’t matter exactly what words he’s using when what he’s doing is placing the blame on his workers for becoming upset when they are not paid what they are owed. That’s what earned him so much criticism.

    • Optimaximal says:

      Plenty of times. The point is, if I clearly fuck up, I admit I fucked up, not call people who are affected by my mistake ‘emotional’ and ‘impatient’.

    • InternetBatman says:

      The reason we have words is to communicate an underlying state of mind. His underlying state of mind was supremely arrogant, and it wasn’t just “emotional.” Here’s the full quote, since some of us can be bothered to read the source article and make independent judgments.

      “I don’t want to blame the UK office as an entirety, because we’re talking about a few people within the UK. The majority of the UK office, as well as any other studio, have been loyal and committed to us. ”

      “I was surprised and upset a little bit that the intention of us keeping together everybody upset a few of them. But I understand that situation. Some people live in very tight financial planning. That’s their own privacy. They can do whatever they want. Those guys, when they get under pressure it can become emotional.”

      So basically, anyone who complained about their employer not paying them was disloyal. And it was the fault of those same workers that they needed to get paid monthly in the first place.

      Shame on you for rushing to the defense of an asshole without doing your homework. Or, if you support blaming people for wanting to get paid for their work, double shame on you for being an asshole.

      • Shazbut says:

        “Shame on you for rushing to the defense of an asshole without doing your homework”

        Talking entirely reasonably, we don’t know if he is an “asshole”. Actually, most likely, none of the people commenting have met him and are making judgements about him as a person based on second hand information about decisions he made of which we know nothing because we weren’t there. This doesn’t amount to a person.

        Based off what we do know, we can make assumptions about his business practices and then use those to form a picture of him, but the picture isn’t real. If you believe it is, then you probably believe the picture you have of yourself is real too.

        Is this important? I say, yes. At least in part because it means there is a general culture where it is deemed ok to be reactionary and jump to conclusions, which stifles debate, clear thinking, relationships in communites and progress.

        You can jump down my neck all you want but only you can admit to yourself that you’re choosing to be angry rather than look at the situation more closely. If you did, empathy would happen automatically. The anger is pointless and just makes everything more difficult

        • DrMcCoy says:

          Talking entirely reasonably, we don’t know if Hitler was an “asshole”. Actually, most likely, none of the people commenting have met him and are making judgements about him as a person based on second hand information about decisions he made of which we know nothing because we weren’t there. This doesn’t amount to a person.

          Based off what we do know, we can make assumptions about his government practices and then use those to form a picture of him, but the picture isn’t real. If you believe it is, then you probably believe the picture you have of yourself is real too.

          Is this important? I say, yes. At least in part because it means there is a general culture where it is deemed ok to be reactionary and jump to conclusions, which stifles debate, clear thinking, relationships in communites and progress.

          You can jump down my neck all you want but only you can admit to yourself that you’re choosing to be angry rather than look at the situation more closely. If you did, empathy would happen automatically. The anger is pointless and just makes everything more difficult

        • silentdan says:

          you’re choosing to be angry rather than look at the situation more closely

          DrMcCoy has already done a good job of holding up a mirror to your absurd rant, but I’d like to point out this one little gem of yours, the one that presumes anger to be universally inappropriate. The smug, towering arrogance in that statement tells me a lot about how you view authority and the value of an individual. You might want to apply your infinitely superior empathy to the people this man exploited, instead of just to the exploiter.

        • Premium User Badge

          Bradamantium says:

          Dammit, man, it’s not a philosophical debate. The man is clearly behaving like an asshole even if he’s “not an asshole.” There’s no empathy to be had here for a person who belittles his employees by calling them emotional and ill-prepared because they got mad at going unpaid.

          Maybe if he’d tried to mitigate the damage this has done by being apologetic, humbling himself to the employees that remained instead of demeaning the ones who left, he might get a bit of understanding for having ended up in a mighty tight bind. But he didn’t, and he doesn’t get any excuses just because we don’t personally know him.

        • InternetBatman says:

          That’s a ridiculous amount of moral relativism and assumption. You’re basically saying we can’t make any judgments unless we know all the actors personally, and if we did know the actors personally our empathy would prevent us from making any moral judgments. A culture where you’re not allowed to have reactions at all for fear of being reactionary would similarly stifle debate and clear thinking.

        • LifeSuport says:

          Shazbut – Is that German for Shill? One can only look at a situation with the information provided. This issue has been a couple months in the making during which Yerli choose not to speak to us little people who buy his crap until AFTER he secured funding and closed the UK studio. Are we forgetting that those people that didn’t get paid also lost their jobs?

          To be fair, MAYBE Yerli is just a paper CEO, just like the girl who took over General Murders (GM) in the USA and continued to parrot the same bullshit the previous CEO did about why they murdered 13 people. BUT even a paper CEO could after the deal is done speak out, which he did only to blame others. I do believe blaming other people for problems you caused is one of the many traits of an asshole, ergo, he is an asshole. The only thing that would make him less an asshole at this point is if he came out and said…

          “Hallo Everyone! Yerli here.

          So business is complex ya. And I, like most people rather not do much work, and luckily I’m rich so I can. So I was out on my boat and I got this call from the guy I left to actually run the company that the company I run is about to go tits up. I made a selfish choice to not pay people so that I could pay debts to other companies. Don’t bust my balls too much guys, you all know that we are slaves to companies, and small companies to large companies, generally banks, so I had to pay those banks otherwise it all goes a way. But that is as far as the excuses go because that is a reality of the world I can’t change.

          I was an asshat. I should have personally talked to my employees and you the paying fans that make this all possible. I fucked up and I’m obviously not qualified to run this company, or you know maybe I am and I hired some friends and they don’t fucking know how to do their job, but they are my friends and that is the way the world works. Anyhow, still my responsibility. I should talked to the team in the UK and provided severance months ago since I knew I was trying to sell the I.P. and they would be out of work. I should have talked to the other teams. Fuck I really shouldn’t have let us get so low on funds that I could pay severance for every single employee, hell there is probably a law to that effect. So since I haven’t been arrested Crytek must have money to pay people so I don’t know what I was doing. Maybe my finance guy was cooking the books to make a potential buyer/investor not run the other way and we did this by not paying anyone.

          I don’t really do anything for the company anyway. I haven’t actually worked on a game in years and since I just got us some money and that is all I’m good for I’m going to step away for a while and collect my thoughts to see if I really want to do Crytek anymore.

          Sorry I was such a dick, I’m going to rehab for rich assholes and if I get clean I hope you’ll all take me back
          Yerli

        • solidsquid says:

          People aren’t calling him an asshole just based on third hand information though, these are his own statements. Calling people who complain about not being paid “impatient” and “emotional”, as well as suggesting they’re somehow disloyal (the eurogamer interview) is a really assholish thing to do, and these are his own words, so thinking him an asshole based on this is pretty reasonable

      • vlonk says:

        It seems he thinks he “won” against his own employees that objected the delays and now he ridicules them in public for their disloyalty. How dare them think of their own well being! Now is the time to stand together with him to cover the responsibility that is… his alone, because he is the owner and leader. Oops. I hear they have a really good business school in Frankfurt, maybe he can take management 101, brush up those ethics classes.

    • Graham Smith says:

      I make this actual point in the post, but it’s worth noting that most CEOs are /excellent/ at speaking. Speaking is what they do: to communicate with investors, to make business deals, to attract staff. If they work for a large company, they also normally have media training.

      I can forgive someone misspeaking, but this doesn’t sound like someone expressing an idea poorly. There’s no single expression of contrition for what happened. Words are selected very carefully throughout. Hell, I can forgive that anyway – I don’t work for Crytek and feel no personal hurt at the actions of a videogame company – but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth thinking about what is being said, how it’s being said, and why that is.

      • YohnTheViking says:

        I don’t have any proper schooling in this, but I know enough to notice when someone is simply mucking up their terminology because they are uncertain about the language. (You see it a lot at scientific conferences.) This is not a man uncertain about his terminology. Granted there could be some cultural language differences between English and German at play, but throughout that entire interview he never once mixes his terminology or use two separate ways of explaining the same concept.

        So yeah, in short it does seem like he knows exactly what he wants to say.

      • ohminus says:

        Nope. That would be most CEOs who became CEOs as a product of their career. But people who found a company and then see it mushrooming can’t be expected to have the same skills as someone who had decades in an industry to hone them.

        • jalf says:

          Wow, you’re really on the defensive for this guy, huh? It’s fascinating watching you go methodically through this thread posting comment after comment explaining how all criticism of this disaster is invalid, and Yerli is the best guy ever.

          It doesn’t matter how he came to be a CEO. If he’s a CEO, he needs to show himself to be a competent CEO. And a competent CEO does not shit on his employees when he’s unable to pay their wages.

          It doesn’t matter how much you love his game, or how many shares you’ve bought in his company, or if he’s married to your aunt or you played with his kids when you were little.

          He’s acting like an utter asshole, showing downright contempt for his employees. That’s all there is to it.

          • ohminus says:

            So you’re entitled to act like an utter asshole, making things up just to attack people who dare to refuse to crawl up yours, but he of course is different.

            Here’s news to you: I never bought a single Crytek game and I have no shares in the company. I simply point out that some information is factually wrong, but it is evident that when facts get in the way of your opinion, you brake for nobody.

            Have fun with your mudslinging, evidently, it’s all you can do with your life, being too lazy to as much as get a coherent argument together without lying.

    • Premium User Badge

      melnificent says:

      “Words are imprecise, so we do the best we can. Some people are better with words than others just as some people are better at tennis than others. He uses the word “emotional” and so you all spit at him from the safety of the internet. For shame” If he wants to come round for a cup of tea, chill and a chat about why asking for wages is not emotional and is in fact a legal request and see why he thinks it’s an emotional issue rather than a requirement under employment law. I’d be a most hospitable host, I’ll even buy some nice biscuits too.

    • Premium User Badge

      ffordesoon says:

      I think people are mad at him because he admitted to not paying his employees for a certain length of time, and then called those employees with the temerity to need the money the company owed them impatient, overemotional, and disloyal.

      I think most people would be willing to spot Yerli some imprecise words if he and his cronies in upper management had paid their employees on time. As he himself admitted, that is not the case. Whether the payments were “delayed” or never delivered at all, he still fucked his employees out of money they were owed. Haven’t you ever heard the expression “actions speak louder than words?”

  23. rocketman71 says:

    And here I was thinking that I couldn’t possibly despise Cevat Yerli more.

    Completely and utterly wrong.

  24. NerfTheSun says:

    Made an account just to say, fuck that guy.

  25. Heliocentric says:

    If I have a mortgage, if I have a house, if my boss makes terrible decisions and gets his company ruined, if my boss is walking away with his bank well stocked, but he’s not paying me on time because he’s trying to get as much profit as possible.

    If I lose my deposit, or get fined or get made homeless, because the stupid boss tried to maximise the money he’ll make from his failing studio he deserves to go to jail. Because his legal responsibilities to his staff do not cease just because he screwed up.

    Edit: Whatever his companies do I just wont buy as a result of this, I’m not even exaggerating, I was a viable customer before who has been buying Crytek’s games , no longer. And if he moves elsewhere, I’ll just boycott whoever he goes to work for. He’s a thief, whether he gave it back later it irrelevant.

    • ohminus says:

      And your evidence that he was doing it to maximize his profit instead of because the company didn’t have the liquid finances is what, precisely?

  26. DrManhatten says:

    The downfall of Crytek is all to blame on the management. Maybe the brothers are brilliant coders but have no clue about business and grew the company way to fast this is usually what happens when you do that.

  27. Premium User Badge

    Mungrul says:

    You know, in a fight between Cevat Yerli and Uwe Boll, I’d be cheering for Uwe.
    That’s how big a twat Yerli is.

  28. Myros says:

    Wow. Well that was a quick trip to the top of my ‘avoid like the plague’ list.

  29. Tuor says:

    What a giant rat-bastard this guy is. Even the slightest twinge of desire to buy something from Crytek has now been well and truly stomped into the mud. No one should support a company run by such an arrogant, contemptuous prick.

  30. Distec says:

    Yeesh, Crytek gets weirder and weirder as time goes on. After Far Cry/Crysis, I couldn’t have envisioned them being where they are today.

    This industry is just turds.

  31. forgetdeny says:

    Owned by Koch brothers = automatic boycott. These guys have less ethics than EA, and a damn-sight more agency.

  32. Lorgath says:

    This is abhorrent. Also seems to me that this is exactly the sort of thing that unions are made to prevent. Does anyone know if there are such things within the industry?

    • teije says:

      Unions for software developers are unheard of in the private sector in most Western countries, regardless of type of dev shop. And unpaid overtime is typical, as I well know from working in software for 25 years. But this guy seems to be in a league of his own as a completely entitled ass. Glad I don’t work for him.

      • Beelzebud says:

        The managers at the tech firms pulled off a pretty amazing trick. They convinced their work force that they were too smart, intelligent, and above having the need for labor unions. As if their IQ would lock them into fair pay, for fair work.

  33. Nibblet says:

    And i thought my boss was a twat when he told me to do a logistics support analysis over the weekend..
    Someting tells me Cevat’s paycheck never failed to arrive on time with the appropriate bonuses.

  34. jasondesante says:

    wouldn’t it be hilarious if Crytek got bought by the makers of World of Tanks hahaha

  35. HisDivineOrder says:

    This is what happens when the Corporations run our lives. They start to think paying us is a gift they give us even though the work we do for them is definitely NOT something we can withhold until we feel like it (unlike payment apparently).

    The sheer entitlement in just that one quoted answer is enough to make me boycott the whole damn studio and any games that run their game engine.

    Bye bye, Star Citizen. FU, Homefront.

    • P.Funk says:

      You ever heard someone talk shit about unions? Its pretty obvious that those people don’t really understand what the world was like for workers before unions. A good clue as to what that world was like can be found in the words of this particular CEO.

  36. revan says:

    People complaining for not being paid on time? Big surprise there. Stuff like utilities, mortgage, student loans, those things wait on no one. It can be especially hard when you are receiving monthly paycheck, practice still used in most European countries.

    I’m also sure that his rather arrogant attitude didn’t help when trying to explain to people why they didn’t get paid on time. I’m always baffled when employers think that they are somehow giving charity to their employees and not providing payment for services rendered.

  37. Jason Moyer says:

    A company with more studios than released products should probably raise a few red flags.

  38. Premium User Badge

    Ham Solo says:

    Some people have to pay rent or feed their kids.

  39. fredc says:

    “we said the company is not at a big risk, not a danger, it just needs more time to salvage it”

    A company that can’t meet its obligations as they fall due (like, paying wages) is inarguably insolvent. How does he figure that the company is “not at a big risk, not a danger”?

    It’s also amusing that he considers the inability of the directors to manage the company so that it remains solvent is not a problem, but its employees not being able to defer payment of their wages for two months is evidence of their poor financial management.

    • Premium User Badge

      drewski says:

      Yep, quite possibly. If they’d gone bust anyway the directors could have been in big trouble for trading whilst insolvent.

      But again…does that mean going bust would have been a good outcome?

  40. Chaoslord AJ says:

    That guy is just a joker. I live in a central european country – worker unions would go made and the public outrage and bad publicity would be a catastrophe. Cooperation partners would leave if a company is known to violate business contracts. But apparently as a gaming company they can pull it off. The public does not care. It’s not like they are a small start-up anyway.
    I work for a middle sized zero-profit organisation with no organized union. Even they don’t pull that off because of the effect on working morale. People would leave at the next moment and noone would want to work there.
    Getting payments out on time is a matter of respect and good company policy. It’s also fairly basic.

  41. yonsito says:

    Employees should not go unpaid. And Mr. Yerli is not always good with words.

    But I cannot help but feel for him. Running a business is hard. And the games industry is not an easy one, the asset-mismatch being the main problem. Many companies have gone under, regardless of how good their games were. I’m still impressed how big his company has become, starting with one successful game.

    If there aren’t sufficient funds to pay the wages, it’s no doubt the fault of the management. But there are always external effects that management has little control over. If a product is delayed or a customer doesn’t pay in time or a deal doesn’t play out and the cash reserves are not big enough, the company will be trouble very quickly. And, as unpleasant as this will sound, a company can expect more compassion from their employees than from their lenders. That is the unpleasant part having your own company.

    • Premium User Badge

      drewski says:

      Yup, bad cashflow happens to the best companies. When it does you either go out of business…or someone doesn’t get paid for a bit.

      Usually in most businesses its trade creditors who get delayed payment rather than employees, but I can’t imagine there are significant numbers of those for a game developer.

  42. Hmm-Hmm. says:

    Nasty, nasty business. I wish all the best to the staff made redundant and everybody subject to such business practices.

  43. Tei says:

    There are two types of people:

    – These that live from a salary (workers)
    – These that own a company and are tryiing to make a profit from it

    Is wrong to ask the first type (the workers) to invest in the company as if they where owners. They will not get anyhing in return, and at the first sign of problems will be fired. While you don’t get fired from owning a company.

    Quitting a company that has stoped from playing, is just smart. And the only thing you can do if the electricity bill send you a ultimatum. The electricity company, the phone company, the water company,…. these just cut the service, their patience is 0.

  44. Premium User Badge

    drewski says:

    He’s right though, he’s just wording it really badly.

    The bottom line is that he claims the only alternative was to *pay off and fire* every single employee. If your company has a choice between going broke and delaying payments to creditors (yes, that’s all employees are) for cashflow reasons – and it doesn’t have a solvency issue – then you do the second if at all possible. Maybe he’s lying. Maybe he’s not.

    Whether or not that was communicated effectively is another thing of course, but people acting like not winding up the company is a bad thing? I honestly have trouble believing that the employees would have been better off fired with 2 months wages paid on time, than in long term jobs. As much as your bank might not be very understanding about you missing mortgage payments, it’s going to be a lot less understanding about you no longer having an income.

    • P.Funk says:

      The problem is in how he’s saying it. He’s calling people angry that they don’t get paid “disloyal” as if loyalty means working regardless of pay, taking it on faith that you’ll get paid. He basically took a shot at people who expressed very rational concerns about their income. As a leader thats just a horrible thing to do because he’s targeting those people and he’s promoting a culture within the company that you’re a problem if you expect what any other industry would take for granted: getting paid on time is an unequivocal right.

      His job is hard, but that doesn’t have anything to do with how he just cut his own people off at the knees. The guy’s either a dick or totally cut off from reality.

      • ohminus says:

        Thing is, German law allows for example for employees to temporarily waive – or be forced to waive – part of their work hours and correlating pay. This is supported by the state financially during recession and was practiced quite massively during the financial crisis. If Crytek indeed had a liquidity problem, it is possible that Yerli was hoping to be able to strike a similar deal, though this short time work is usually meant for when demand is low, not general liquidity problems.
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Short_time

      • Premium User Badge

        drewski says:

        Some people have made that argument, but a lot of people haven’t – they seem to be saying that not paying your workers, even temporarily, is inexcusable.

        I don’t disagree that his communication here is terrible, but I do give him some credit for being honest in the interview and I probably put a little more down to losses in translation/differences in culture than most people.

        But yeah, criticising people for being “emotional” after you didn’t pay them on time – even if that’s not your intention – is a terrible look. But I think Crytek were facing a series of terrible decisions, and I don’t think that’s been acknowledged by most.

    • LifeSuport says:

      drewski -

      I have to disagree and call bullshit on Yerli. Not being able to pay your main debt is bankruptcy (a legal status of a person or other entity that cannot repay the debts it owes to creditors.) As you can see there is room to be a lair by saying, “well, legally we didn’t file for bankruptcy*cough, because we simply didn’t pay employees cough*”

      “EG: How close to going out of business were you? Or going bankrupt?

      Cevat Yerli: Out of business or bankruptcy in my mind was never the case.”

      So there you have it. The CEO of Crytek doesn’t understand debt and bankruptcy. Someone give Yerli some shades because Crytek’s future is bright man! whoo

      • Premium User Badge

        drewski says:

        It’s a little more complicated than that, though.

        I mean, if your can pay your debts but in doing so fire 700 people and just end up developing engines for EA, is that a better outcome? Is selling off all your IP apart from Warface, retaining the engine team and those developers, and firing everyone else (with a full payout) a better outcome?

        I don’t know if those were options under consideration, of course, but we’re not talking about a black and white situation here. What Yerli claims – and believe him or not – is that Crytek couldn’t keep their development/technology teams at their ongoing levels *and* pay all their staff for a couple of months. It doesn’t mean they’re necessarily bankrupt – it just means that they have a lot of tough choices. Maybe they made the wrong one; maybe they made the right choice but communicated it badly; maybe they made the right choice and communicated it well and Yerli’s just not communicating what happened well. Or maybe he interpreted people’s actions unempathetically, and then communicated his lack of understanding terribly.

        There are a vast array of possible actions – I’m not convinced that the vast majority of people a) keeping their jobs; b) getting their full pay and c) getting bonuses is *necessarily* the shocking betrayal of trust it’s being interpreted as. There are a vast array of other possibilities.

  45. sabasNL says:

    Crytek has become a very shady, mediocre company. The only things of note they used to have are Far Cry 1 and the Crysis series, which became worse with every release. Now Ubisoft has made Far Cry better and EA put Crysis to sleep, so there’s nothing of quality left in that company. Just close it down already.

    Maybe a little fun fact: Crytek UK was the only studio in history that worked for EA without getting absorbed into it after some games. But then again, they’re absorbed into Koch Media, which is a million times worse than EA.

  46. Lethys says:

    Crysis should have been the PC’s Halo. Whatever happened from 2007 to now to make that change, I don’t know. What I do know is that Crysis is one of the best games I’ve ever played, and it’s a shame that the studio has been run into the ground by what I can only assume is this guy’s poor decision making. The skill was clearly there to develop what could have been some of the best games ever. To this day the AI in Crysis remains some of the best, and even the graphics are better than some games that get released. That is amazing. This guy seems very unlikable based on what he said up there. Implying a sense of duty and honor in delaying a payment? People have kids and need food. The honorable thing would be to pay your employees. I probably would have been fine delaying if I worked there and really believed in the company, but I’m also without children or a wife. Everyone’s scenario is different.

  47. Actarus says:

    That is no news. Most eastern European and Balkanian companies usually don’t pay or delay the payments until subcontractors cannot afford to exist and in such a way the debt is null for the general contractor. Crytek started as a family business in Turkey and whatever good practice Yerli brought with him from Turkey to UK and then across the pond is a direct consequence of not understanding that this is not the way how business is done in the western world.

    I feel bad for the people working there and the people that will still apply for jobs there. I respect what they have done for the industry, the ideas and technical advancements but in my view they are a mediocre studio overboasting all their titles with technical glitter and not putting any thoughts into what matters most for good games, good design ideas, story, fun and polish.. That is the basis of a good production. Sorry Crytek and Yerli you deserve all the media negativity as you conduct your business in an open industry where underpaid developers have a voice.

    My two cents on the design studios and the developers working in the eastern European space… The capitalist view is to exploit the cheaper workforce and if development in Austin is more expensive that is understandable. But thriving in unregulated countries where governments cannot even manage themselves let alone the fiscal rules and the gaming industry that is a sign of a non mature industry. More should be written and more devs should talk about what is normal and accepted as practice in the development cycle of a game in EE countries.

    • ohminus says:

      Where did you get that nonsense from? Yerli is born in Germany and the company is registered in Germany. You are seriously confused.

  48. Premium User Badge

    Philopoemen says:

    Just curious, but are the employees paid a salary, or are they contract?

    I worked for a well known RPG company that held off paying it’s contract employees for some time due to financial issues, which was deemed completely legal, although that was US-based.

    I’m jut wondering what Crytek’s employees were considered – if they were on contract, then it sucks for them, but it’s not technically breach of contract (depending how it’s worded). If they’re on wages then it’s inexcusable.

  49. fdisk says:

    All I learned from this is that Yerli is so overpaid he can live comfortably and unphased for two months without any new income and can’t understand why the other 99% of the planet can’t. I don’t know a single person that wouldn’t struggle without a paycheck for two months, then again none of my associates are pompous CEOs who make millions off other people’s work and despite their gross mismanagement and incompetence.

  50. Jenks says:

    So the company fended off dire financial straits, everyone got paid what they were owed plus additional “inconvenience payments,” and they were able to save everyone’s job?

    That sounds like a job well done to me.

    Back before my mortgage was paid off, I had a minimum of 6 months (usually more) of payments banked in case I was laid off – and I had (still have) a much, much more reliable job than anyone in the games industry. If you can’t make this months bills, and you’d rather your co-workers be laid off so you can be paid on time, grow up and fuck you.

    • Sleepy Will says:

      Sounds to me like your total mortgage was about what is asked as a deposit these days. Had you tried to save up 6 months mortgage payments in the current climate, on games industry wages, you may have had a big shock.

    • LionsPhil says:

      Back before my mortgage was paid off

      Bully for you, you’re stinking filthy rich. Go back to your penthouse with Cevat and leave us plebs alone.

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