Crysis developer Crytek foresees a future for the company where none of its titles make it to retail.
That’s because the German developer wants to become the leader in what it believes is the emerging hardcore free-to-play space, with its own Gface platform at the centre of it – much as Steam is the centre of the PC game download universe at the moment.
“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,” Crytek chief executive Cevat Yerli told VentureBeat.
“And out of that position, Gface and [upcoming F2P shooter] 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. 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.”
Yerli goes on to say that the transition will be harder in some markets that others, with territories such as the US more likely to resist any trend away from retail.
The growing focus on Gface, however, should not lead people to worry that Crytek is to abandon its triple-A shooter roots.
“This doesn’t mean our main business will be driven by our platform business,” Yerli added. “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.”