Crytek CEO: ‘We’re not perfect; we paid the price for transformation’

The founder and CEO of Crytek has admitted that the studio has ‘paid the price’ to downsize and cut costs.

The Far Cry, Crysis and Homefront: The Revolution developer was hit by job losses and staff salary payment issues earlier this year, before selling the Homefront IP to publisher Deep Silver in an attempt to combat its financial woes.

Speaking to Eurogamer, Cevat Yerli stated: We have been undergoing a transformation, just like the whole game industry. Part of the transformation was of a financial nature, part of it was of a strategy nature and part of it was of a reorganisation nature. The shift from retail products towards a game service – that’s the one we are undergoing.

As a result of this, we have adjusted our entire strategy across the board for each game. We evaluated the games and looked at which do not fit in this strategy. This required additional investment, which led to temporarily diminished capital resources. But we are today fully prepared to deliver a game service. From a strategy perspective we are financially equipped towards that. And we have restructured the studios so we focus on Frankfurt, Sofia, Kiev, our Asian operations, and Budapest, towards delivering our strategy.”

Yerli also commented on the criticism surrounding Crytek’s unpaid staff, saying: You have two choices, right? Either you delay payments and salvage the company. Or, you push your cash flow directly to the studios and you file for insolvency. Both options are really bad. So you have to make the better of the two bad decisions.

I was surprised and upset a little bit that the intention of us keeping together everybody upset a few of [the Crytek staff]. But I understand that situation. Some people live in very tight financial planning. That’s their own privacy. They can do whatever they want. Those guys, when they get under pressure it can become emotional. We tried to individually help out. Like if somebody gets in trouble they can talk to us directly so they don’t get under pressure. We tried whatever we could do. But you can’t make it right for everybody.”

Yerli suggested that although the company had made some mistakes, it had ultimately had made the right decision to transform.

We’re not saying we are perfect by any means,” he admitted. There is so much room for improvement, but there is also so much learning going on right now. Learning that we are doing that many other companies yet have to do, and pain of growth that won’t come again. We have learned now.

That transformation was painful. We paid the price. Now we come out of it much stronger. I hope people will see through our games these are not just empty words.”

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