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Published on June 12th, 2012 | by Jonathan Beck

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Crytek Moving Exclusively to Free-to-play Games

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Crytek looks to be betting the house on free-to-play before even debuting their first free-to-play title. Warface (shown above) is Crytek’s first foray into the increasingly popular free-to-play shooter market, currently dominated by the likes of KBMOD favorites Blacklight: Retribution and Tribes: Ascend. It’s a bold bet, but could be extremely profitable for the company if done correctly.

Crytek plans to finish any remaining contracts for their traditional retail games (this includes Crysis 3), but after that, the company has no plans to produce anymore content that includes an upfront purchase price. In an interview with VideoGamer.com, CEO Cevat Yerli had this to say about his company’s transition to exclusively free-to-play games:

“As we were developing console games we knew, very clearly, that the future is online and free-to-play,” said Yerli.

“Right now we are in the transitional phase of our company, transitioning from packaged goods games into an entirely free-to-play experience.

“What this entails is that our future, all the new games that we’re working on, as well new projects, new platforms and technologies, are designed around free-to-play and online, with the highest quality development.”

It’s a bold move for a company that’s produced several AAA titles and had success in the retail arena. Considering what we’ve seen of Warface, it looks like it could be a successful free-to-play title, but has yet to show us what will truly set it apart from other shooters already out today.

Perhaps most interestingly, Yerli essentially trashed larger outfits like EA and Activision, claiming they are “milking customers to death” with DLC and premium services–a bold claim for a company that has had their titles published by EA in the past. It’s incredibly promising to see a developer of this caliber lamenting the current state of nickel-and-diming we see in AAA gaming and willing to embrace the burgeoning trend of free-to-play.

While already available as a beta in Russia, Warface still has no established timeline for release; all we know so far is that Trion Worlds will be publishing the game as soon as it’s ready to launch here in the U.S. I’m personally excited that more companies want to offer experiences that allow you to pay as much or as little as you want. Let’s hope the bigger developers are paying attention–clearly, free-to-play is here to stay.

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hexidecimal

Jonathan BeckJonathan

I'll drink a beer with you at a party. I know hardware things and enjoy talking about them. I am still your new best friend and most trusted confidant.


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  • This must also mean that Crytek will only be making PC games from now on, unless Microsoft makes F2P viable on the Xbox 720, or Sony with the PS4.

  • Dan

    Notch wasn’t a fan of this on twitter when it was announced and I can’t say I am either. You can’t have everyone jumping in on this thing, but time will tell. Be great to hear jared’s take on this.

  • I’m actually interested in Warface, it looks like another shooter, but it could be fun and that engine is fantastic. Also since a lot of BLR is inside and industrial, I like that it’s in a jungle setting.

  • Splozy

    Forgive me if my post seems out of place, I couldn’t hear any of the info on Warface as my sound was down (it does look visually pleasing). However, I want to talk about F2P games. I don’t like them, it doesn’t seem right. Developers tend to never keep to the promise of comsetic only cash shops or keeping balance. In the end I feel like the games always suffer because from the start a free-to-play game is limited in terms of lifespan. With no mods and no real server control (or god forbid sometimes no user-created servers) the game is only really going to last as long as the developers can keep the illusion of balance with more gear being added. I prefer paying for the product rather than paying for instant gratification within the product in small increments.

    ;_;

    • You should play Tribes or BLR, you can unlock everything in game for the in game experience, or you can choose to pay out of pocket. It takes longer to grind it out, but the default weapons in both games are great and allow you to be competitive. I’ve never put a dime into either game, and do fairly well in both.

  • Akaitenshi

    I don’t like this…
    How are they gonna make the next GPU shattering game when the idea of F2P is that EVERYONE can play it on his grandma’s toaster..
    I guess crytek is changin :(

    • munkyadrian

      they thought of that
      i heard that it only takes 8600k and 1 gb of RAM to run at those settings
      it can almost be played on an ipad

  • Hmm… I like F2P and I’m all for Crytek making F2P games, but I’m a little concerned when they say that’s all they’re going to be doing. Regular-ass pay-your-money-up-front games are still important – what does this mean for single player in Crytek games, for example?

    • Akaitenshi

      it dies, that’s what sucks so bad..

  • uz1_l0v3r

    I hear the criticisms of F2P, but after years of what has seemed to me to be stagnation, the pc games market seems to be picking up. I think F2P and Steam are playing a big part in this rejuvenation. I agree that there are some quite considerable downsides to F2P like the lack of user-created servers etc but perhaps we as pc gamers need to accept some compromises if pc gaming is to prosper.

    Tribes: Ascend, Blacklight: Retribution, Warface and others on the way. All pc exclusives, which is surely a good thing?

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