Developer Crytek will become a fully-fledged publisher in a matter of weeks.
The company behind Crysis will publish its free-to-play game,Warface. Former NCSoft marketing boss Dirk Metzger was recruited last year to put together a publishing team, which is now complete.
“With Warface there now is a good opportunity to publish the game,” Metzger told MCV. “I have recently been working on setting up internal infrastructure to facilitate that, so customer support, network operations, web, community, marketing etc. I have started to build the teams, defining the strategy, and figuring out what we do first.
“We are looking to go live with Warface as a closed Beta in the next few months. It’s ready for Europe and North America.”
Alongside Warface comes the firm’s free-to-play platform, Gface. The platform will support a number of games, and can utilise Crytek’s high-end CryEngine. The online service wants to attract triple-A free games aimed at a core gaming audience.
“These are not small game experiences. Warface will be the first product and then we hope to build up the portfolio.” added Metzger. “We are not just delivering a game, it is everything surrounding it – it’s customer support, it’s community support, it’s the updates. All of those things are live 24/7. You need to do that to a level that is on par with the product.
"Crytek has a really good reputation as a quality developer, and we want the same reputation as a publisher.”
The firm will reach out to other developers and publishers, but says it wants to prove itself first.
“We have to show it works and be confident we are offering a good level of service before we reach out to other developers,” added Metzger. “You can push a game out and make it live but so many things revolve around how that end user experience is beyond the game. What’s the customer service response time? How many languages do you support? How many billing options do you have?
"With free-to-play, because there’s no down payment, if you don’t offer a good experience they will walk away and do something else.”
But Crytek isn’t giving up on its boxed business. The firm is currently working on Ryse for Xbox One and the company has acquired the rights to Homefront from THQ, which may also be a boxed product.
“We still maintain a traditional developer function, where we work with publishers that ship boxes. These businesses can run in parallel. They are both good models and both sustainable for a long while.”