Crysis struggles to break even as dev ponders free-to-play switch

It’s one of the biggest triple-A franchises in gaming – so it might surprise you to learn that Crysis is struggling to break even.

I’m not talking about being greedy and we want more sales. But effectively Crysis 1 and 2 and 3 are just about breaking even. If we meet the forecasts – and I can’t reveal the forecasts – then we are going to break even,” Crytek boss Cevat Yerli told Eurogamer.

This is a very important point. The market is much more brutal for developers than people assume. It’s difficult for many reasons. If you want to stay in the triple-A space where you want to tell big stories with big productions, there are a lot of market shifts right now happening to different platforms, from social platforms to mobile and other platforms. People say they do not affect the market, but they do affect the market.

The console sales are down. The PC sales are down for the retail markets. But they’re getting bigger for F2P and online markets. So for a retail game like Crysis 3 it’s going to be a tough one to break out and hit the big numbers.”

All of which leads Yerli to the conclusion that the burgeoning free-to-play sector might prove a more fertile breeding ground for the series post Crysis 3.

There’s a transformation period for the industry. I believe free-to-play is our inevitable future,” he added. I believe there are F2P titles out there that can be story-telling, that can be co-operative with your friends and can be competitive with your friends. It’s all possible.

The business model is independent from the way you design games. It’s a very important thing. People always make these things dependent, but it’s actually completely independent.

But the most important aspect is there is a psychological transformation of the customers and the publishers that has to happen before everything is F2P on every platform. We are promoting these steps with other titles we’re doing right now in our company. Crysis, we do have a plan for a F2P version of Crysis, but how this looks and when this will be done, whether this is the next one or the other next one, is to be decided.

But we have a very clear picture of how this will look and how a transitional period where retail and free-to-play can coexist for one title.”

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