Ironically for a game about reclaiming a homeland, Homefront is now moving on again. After a month of downplaying reports of financial strife, Crytek have confirmed they’re selling the Homefront property and all its assets to Deep Silver. The team working on open-world FPS sequel Homefront: The Revolution–which was only announced in June–at Crytek UK will transfer over to a new Deep Silver studio to finish the game. Crytek had itself bought Homefront, which was created at Kaos Studios, last year in the collapse of THQ.
Crytek’s co-op shooter Hunt: Horrors of the Gilded Age is also moving, going to the Frankfurt headquarters as the Austin studio making it is cut down to offering CryEngine licensee support.
Deep Silver’s new Dambuster Studios is opening in Nottingham, the same city as Crytek UK, so it shouldn’t be too disruptive for people there. You know, after the weeks of fretting about their futures. Reports said many had stopped coming into work after pay was late. I wonder how many have already moved on. It’s the end for the studio formerly known as Free Radical. Crytek do say they’ll invite Austin folks to apply for new jobs in Germany, but who’d move to another continent to work for a company clearly in trouble?
Getting Homefront adds another THQ series to Deep Silver’s mantlepiece, joining the Saints Row, Dead Island, and Metro properties they’d bought in THQ’s clearance auctions.
Crytek are also reviewing an unannounced project their Shanghai and Seoul studios were collaborating on, they say in their official statement brimming with optimism and enthusiasm about a future publishing online games. The company said earlier this week that they’d secured more funding to back that transition. I guess we now know where that came from.
They had been growing awfully fast and opening lots of studios–peaking at nine–without any obvious way to support them in the long term. Crysis is nice but not big enough for that. Crytek’s CryEngine tech has been licensed by a fair few other developers, but not that many. Xbox One-exclusive historical murderfest Ryse: Son of Rome was a flop. Their mobile games didn’t make much of an impact. Their gaming social network Gface is a dead end. They were overambitious. I suspect this isn’t the end of their troubles.
Best of luck to everyone affected by all this.