Rumours emerged this weekend that all isn't happy-times at Crytek. The Crysis developer has been accused of mistreating staff, and sacking employees unlawfully, the accusations appearing on a Tumblr blog. But these are accusations Crytek's co-founder Avni Yerli has rushed to deny, speaking to Develop. Amid suggestions that six-month crunch periods leave employees not knowing if they will still have a job, Yerli insists that Crytek respects and values staff.
So the anonymous Tumblr blog says,
"Crytek still treat staff as disposable pieces of meat to be discarded at will."
While Yerli says,
"One thing that will always be the same is that Crytek respects and values its employees very highly, and equally."
Of course, this all descends into "he said/she said". While the accusations from the Tumblr blog remain anonymous, Yerli clearly has a position of authority in the debate. But then of course whistleblowing is always more complex than simply saying that your company is great, and everything's fine.
Yerli doesn't deny having fired some staff. But he does state that they offered above the legally required severance packages, and the two former employees who sued for better bundles both lost in court. He repeatedly insists that the blog is "misleading", and that while the sixteen mentioned positions were vacated, nine were voluntarily, and with a staff of a few hundred, it's not unusual for a few to go, he says.
Other claims made by the blog Yerli describes as "bullshit". The company is moving offices, as the Tumblr claims, but not to a location with seventy fewer seats. There are more desks, in fact, the boss insists. He also hints that the company may be becoming more than a traditional games developer, but doesn't explain what that means.
As for that six month crunch, Yerli insists that it was at most three months, and that staff could volunteer to work one weekend day at their own discretion, and offered "huge compensation" in return.
If you've worked at Crytek, or still do, and have any comment to make, get in touch.