Don't fear the next-generation console wave, as Crytek's free-to-play movement should keep things alive on the PC front.
Earlier this month at E3 2012, Crytek CEO Cevat Yerli told CVG that PC gamers shouldn't fear the next wave of consoles -- namely the Xbox 720 and the PlayStation 4 (Wii U is in a class all by itself). The platform will always be in the public's eyes despite the advancements in dedicated hardware. Sure, developers prefer the console sector because of piracy and stability issues, but that doesn't mean the PC platform will be neglected... at least, not if Crytek has anything to do with it.
"The only thing that will happen is that PC gaming is going to change and adopt different business models - and we are trying to change it ourselves with high quality, premium free-to-play titles," he said. "There is absolutely no reason why gamers shouldn't get triple-A games for free. Absolutely no reason. But we're going to bite the bullet and do it. Somebody has to lead the way."
But isn't producing a AAA free-to-play title just a little insane? After all, gamers aren't fronting any money while developers shell out up to $30 million in anticipation that these gamers may actually purchase items -- with no guarantee. Many newer developers may point out that it's just not possible without additional streams of revenue while others may argue over the definition of "AAA."
Still, as Yerli points out, if the free-to-play model works in the East, then surely it will work in the West.
"How can you justify 10-30 million in production going in to a game that people are going to play for free? There is no royalty calculation possible in traditional minds," he said. "What everybody needs to do is look at the Eastern world and how they make their royalty calculations and business plans, and literally bring that to the West, but apply the Western quality standards."
And that's exactly what Crytek did with Warface and the G-Face social platform.
"I went to Korea in 2006 and I was blown away by the way people play games - online, connection and social... that's their lifestyle. There are pro-gamers making more money that some sports guys," he said. "So in 2006 I saw the future. A future with crappy quality at that point, but with games that were creating revenues and business models that were astonishing."
"So when I came back I said, 'I want that kind of business model in the Western world with the quality of a Crysis,'" he added.