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Crytek Wants to Transition to be Completely F2P

By - Source: GamesIndustry.biz | B 31 comments

Crytek is going F2P within 5 years. CEO Cevat Yerli explains how.

In recent years, videogame publishers have been experimenting with financial models outside of the traditional retail model in hopes of finding a sustainable model to meet the skyrocketing costs of AAA development. MMOs, for instance, have abandoned monthly subscriptions in favor of the free-to-play model, to varying success. Kickstarter and the crowdfunding model's success in 2012 offers yet another viable alternative to funding for independent developers hoping to push titles that would never be green lighted by publishers.

Crytek, best known for developing the technically impressive Crysis series, is embracing change in the coming years, according to CEO Cevat Yerli. In an interview with Venturebeat, Yerli explained that the developer would probably going completely free-to-play within two to five years. “We decided five or six years ago that we want to marry the quality of triple-A games with the business model of free-to-play,” Yerli said. “And out of that position, Gface and Warface were born. And at that time, we decided some other games, in some of our other studios, would head in this direction. But we kept pushing the quality bar higher on our console business, which is the main dominating business for the Western world, but we are observing, plainly — and we see this already with Warface — that the free-to-play market  is on the rise. I think over the next two to three years, free-to-play is going to rival retail with quality games like Warface.”

Crytek's vision is ambitious. Though the developer's main focus has been in the PC market—it wasn't so long ago Crysis was being used as a benchmark for gaming PCs—Yerli hopes to expand its efforts to consoles: "We're looking at free-to-play as a force that drives our growth and world-domination plans," said Yerli. "So we have quite a few console titles in our pipeline that are [traditional retail games] while we investigate free-to-play on consoles. But our primary goal is to make triple-A free-to-play games for the world market and transition entirely to that."

Gface, which Warface will be launching on, is Crytek's social platform for games and the crux of its F2P transition. Perhaps one of the most impressive things about Gface is that it will be a cloud-based service, offering experiences ranging from simple 2D affairs to AAA games via browser. One of Crytek's goals is to become a service company, something of a similar vein to Valve with Steam, and allow developers to launch their F2P products on Gface. “As a company, [we will] transition from a developer to a service company, and we’re going to offer a platform, with G-Face, to any other [developer that needs it],” Yerli stated. “If we could launch our games on a platform that already exists today, and we could get the same results, then we wouldn’t build our own platform,” said Yerli. “But we’re convinced that our platform does some particularly new things that makes our games behave better. That’s why we plan to offer this service to third parties.” Essentially, Crytek's stake in Gface is to make it the Steam for F2P play.

Yerli reassures gamers that Crytek's transition into a service company doesn't mean it's moving away from game development. "This doesn’t mean our main business will be driven by our platform business,” said Yerli. “We are just going to open it up and see how it works. We are always going to be a games-first company. We will always have our own development because we are all about making games. We provide technology, but technology is not our main driver. We make technology to make great games." Indeed, if Crytek wants to make Gface succeed, it must attract developers through user base, and users through solid titles, much like Valve did with Steam. Now, here's to hoping that Crytek's development cycles won't be impacted too heavily by its new role, lest its titles become the butt of a joke similar to those about Half-Life 3.

 

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  • 20 Hide
    Estix , February 13, 2013 12:31 AM
    Here's the thing - "Free To Play" always implies "No Single Player"

    Crytek's games have, in my opinion, had great single-player and mediocre multiplayer.

    Transitioning to F2P means they won't be investing resources into single-player, and the quality of the games will suffer, I believe.
  • 18 Hide
    volkov956 , February 13, 2013 12:02 AM
    Then u wont have any of my money or time is all i can say
  • 13 Hide
    s3anister , February 13, 2013 12:40 AM
    F2P... Now there's something I'm not looking forward to at all.

    I'd much rather buy my game complete than have to constantly shell out $5-10 for features and add-ons that should have been there in the first place. I literally can not think of anything more annoying than to have to stop pre- or mid-game and use real money to buy weapons or maps to use.
Other Comments
  • 18 Hide
    volkov956 , February 13, 2013 12:02 AM
    Then u wont have any of my money or time is all i can say
  • -8 Hide
    axelb , February 13, 2013 12:12 AM
    I kinda like it, as long as we don't need to spend more money than on a retail game to be geared up enough to compete with everyone, it seems fine! What people tend to forget when they play a Free2Play game is the money developers need, that's why a pay-to-win isn't that bad.
  • 20 Hide
    Estix , February 13, 2013 12:31 AM
    Here's the thing - "Free To Play" always implies "No Single Player"

    Crytek's games have, in my opinion, had great single-player and mediocre multiplayer.

    Transitioning to F2P means they won't be investing resources into single-player, and the quality of the games will suffer, I believe.
  • 13 Hide
    s3anister , February 13, 2013 12:40 AM
    F2P... Now there's something I'm not looking forward to at all.

    I'd much rather buy my game complete than have to constantly shell out $5-10 for features and add-ons that should have been there in the first place. I literally can not think of anything more annoying than to have to stop pre- or mid-game and use real money to buy weapons or maps to use.
  • 8 Hide
    s3anister , February 13, 2013 12:42 AM
    alvasummers20pcwhat Deborah responded I'm taken by surprise that a mom able to profit $6656 in one month on the computer. have you seen this page http://Bing30.com


    Yeah your mom made a profit of $6656 but believe me it wasn't from that kind of website ;) 
  • 3 Hide
    deftonian , February 13, 2013 12:49 AM
    That will actually hurt my wallet more. Thing to remember is that PC games usually go on dirt cheap sales after about a year of release. I usually only pay $5 or more and RARELY buy a game on release. With F2P model, it doesn't matter how old the game is, they will definitely get more than $5 from you by the time you buy certain items within the game just to play on level with everyone else. They win in the long run. It sucks but I'll just have to take it because I wont stop playing video games.

    On the other hand, it will be nice to have a F2P model for those games I just want to try out. This gives me an opportunity to play so many more games and if I dont like it, dont buy any of the items. We win on that front.

    It's a give / take model.
  • -4 Hide
    fkr , February 13, 2013 1:02 AM
    free to play is a good model implemented poorly.

    f2p will stop piracy, this has to be good and if everybody is right it should drive down the price of games.

    and as for implementing f2p they need to set up tiered based servers so the big spenders can play against each other and not have an advantage against others.

    I also like the idea of games where i can pay 3 bucks a month to play, maybe more for the first month or 2 to get some things more quickly but after that a maintenance fee of 3 bucks is fair.

  • 4 Hide
    The-Darkening , February 13, 2013 1:03 AM
    s3anisterYeah your mom made a profit of $6656 but believe me it wasn't from that kind of website


    Don't quote that shit, please.
  • 4 Hide
    Adam7283 , February 13, 2013 1:10 AM
    This has been around for a while. Called demos.
  • 7 Hide
    keyholder , February 13, 2013 1:24 AM
    volkov956Then u wont have any of my money or time is all i can say


    Yup ill second that.. as s3anister said, there will probably be options to upgrade, buy, add ons etc that will end up costing you more.. how else will they support the massive sever demands that will be required to implement this setup...im betting its a major move to stop piracy.

    looks to me its just another crap cloud setup waiting to go wrong.. thanks but no thanks,, il stick to having the games on MY PC. & if the industry is attemping to move towards this then i shall simply sell my pc when the time comes!
  • 6 Hide
    bustapr , February 13, 2013 1:26 AM
    Id rather buy a full game than play against people with an advantage. the only F2P model that really works is the TF2 model and thats because premium costs just any purchase in store and TF2 has a massive economy with keys, and recently the auction house. Also agree with the point about F2P = no singleplayer. Im not interested in a game without a good story. just a personal opinion though.
  • 4 Hide
    DarkSable , February 13, 2013 2:30 AM
    Quote:
    I'd much rather buy my game complete than have to constantly shell out $5-10 for features and add-ons that should have been there in the first place.


    Quote:
    Yup ill second that.. as s3anister said, there will probably be options to upgrade, buy, add ons etc that will end up costing you more.


    The industry already IS doing this in the form of ridiculous DLC - including launch day DLC with content that by all means should be in the game. (I'd rather pay $40 for in-game content, as long as it's worth it, than I would pay $60 and then another $15 to get ALL of the game.)
  • 0 Hide
    Microgoliath , February 13, 2013 2:38 AM
    Some people here need to go check how Guild Wars 2 / tera (both f2p, GW2 after buying the game ofc) in-game shop works. There is no pay2win, any game that has a p2w cash shop done the F2P model wrong.
  • 4 Hide
    wannabepro , February 13, 2013 2:43 AM
    Did anyone read the second half...?

    We really don't need another platform.. Just use Steam already.. Origin and Blizzard.net suck.
  • -4 Hide
    alidan , February 13, 2013 2:49 AM
    EstixHere's the thing - "Free To Play" always implies "No Single Player"Crytek's games have, in my opinion, had great single-player and mediocre multiplayer.Transitioning to F2P means they won't be investing resources into single-player, and the quality of the games will suffer, I believe.

    not really, i hear good things about their f2p game i believe its russia only right now though but is going into beta soon for NA

    s3anisterF2P... Now there's something I'm not looking forward to at all.I'd much rather buy my game complete than have to constantly shell out $5-10 for features and add-ons that should have been there in the first place. I literally can not think of anything more annoying than to have to stop pre- or mid-game and use real money to buy weapons or maps to use.


    play blacklight retrobution

    see the problem with fps right now is they give you so little content for what you pay and than gouge you when you want a little more

    free to play they cant do that, period.

    and if any f2p game is worth playing they dont make it pay to win, but sadly most people dont even understand what pay to win even means anymore and apply it to any time you can buy something to help you.

    the traditional fps model is going to die soon, because its just not profitable enough and few game keep going strong their whole lives.

    what will happen is the multiplayer portion will be f2p and if you buy the game, you get bounous exp or a completely unlocked experience, while the f2p side keeps servers alive.

    deftonianThat will actually hurt my wallet more. Thing to remember is that PC games usually go on dirt cheap sales after about a year of release. I usually only pay $5 or more and RARELY buy a game on release. With F2P model, it doesn't matter how old the game is, they will definitely get more than $5 from you by the time you buy certain items within the game just to play on level with everyone else. They win in the long run. It sucks but I'll just have to take it because I wont stop playing video games.On the other hand, it will be nice to have a F2P model for those games I just want to try out. This gives me an opportunity to play so many more games and if I dont like it, dont buy any of the items. We win on that front.It's a give / take model.


    the thing is a good f2p game you never need to buy anything not cosmetic or a sidegrade.
    no guns are clearly better than eachother, and the most you can get from buying things is an exp boost.

    you also have to take into account that by the time most games hit that 5$ range, the multiplayer is dead. f2p keeps the multiplayer alive indefinitely.

    DarkSableThe industry already IS doing this in the form of ridiculous DLC - including launch day DLC with content that by all means should be in the game. (I'd rather pay $40 for in-game content, as long as it's worth it, than I would pay $60 and then another $15 to get ALL of the game.)


    people are shortsighted and dont see the big picture, and are only looking at very poor f2p games from korea and china and scream "OH GOD I WILL HAVE TO PAY FOR A GUN, WORLD OVER"

    while anyone who thinks can see multiplayer portions of games HAVE to go f2p
  • 7 Hide
    s3anister , February 13, 2013 3:09 AM
    DarkSableThe industry already IS doing this in the form of ridiculous DLC - including launch day DLC with content that by all means should be in the game. (I'd rather pay $40 for in-game content, as long as it's worth it, than I would pay $60 and then another $15 to get ALL of the game.)

    I know and am personally offended with how gamers on all platforms have allowed the publishers to start doing this (yes this is the fault of the consumers, if nobody paid for the DLC it would be free).

    Coming form the era of Unreal Tournament/UT2K4, it still blows my mind when people think that 'Four new maps' is something über exciting and worth paying for when back in the day four maps wouldn't even make up a fifth of one community map pack THAT WAS FREE.
  • -1 Hide
    chimera201 , February 13, 2013 4:53 AM
    The title is wrong. It should be - "Crytek Wants to Transition to be Completely P2W"
    The only real F2P till now is Dota 2(which is not released yet but they have already declared that whatever is happening in beta is the final pricing model)

    MicrogoliathSome people here need to go check how Guild Wars 2 / tera (both f2p, GW2 after buying the game ofc) in-game shop works. There is no pay2win, any game that has a p2w cash shop done the F2P model wrong.

    i dont understand how u say GW2 is F2P and then u say "GW2 after buying the game"
    Tera is not a great game
  • -3 Hide
    alidan , February 13, 2013 7:42 AM
    chimera201The title is wrong. It should be - "Crytek Wants to Transition to be Completely P2W"The only real F2P till now is Dota 2(which is not released yet but they have already declared that whatever is happening in beta is the final pricing model)i dont understand how u say GW2 is F2P and then u say "GW2 after buying the game"Tera is not a great game


    because guild wars 2 is really a free to play game where you are forced to buy the base game to join in...

    freemium is another term i heard it called. but make no mistake, the game is free to play with a price tag up front.

    now watch this comment get down voted because i called guild wars 2 free to play at its core... its like people thing if you dont believe it and make sure no one else sees it its not true but it is...

    now that said, free to play... planet side 2, black light retrobution, really most free to play games arent pay to win, at least the well known ones.

    most of the rpgs i have played and looked into are all cosmedic systems with some boost things
    most shooters i have seen dont make the best guns you must pay money to get,
    sure there are some crap ones, but yea... most arent pay to win
  • 0 Hide
    mactronix , February 13, 2013 8:16 AM
    From a purely gaming pint of view F2P is the death of skill based gaming. I did try a few of these games at one point but it very quickly turns into a money vs skill contest where the money always wins.
    Lets be clear here the idea of these games is to take money from you in what are termed as micro transactions with the promise that a free player can get to the same level with XP points.
    It takes one heck of a long time to get to a $2 upgrade with XP and that's to make you want to pay the money.
    For the company its great, for gaming its very very bad news.
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