Crytek CEO Cevat Yerli steps down

Co-founders Avni Yerli and Faruk Yerli have been appointed as joint CEOs
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Faruk, Cevat and Avni Yerli

Faruk, Cevat and Avni Yerli

CryEngine creator Crytek has announced a change in leadership as CEO and co-founder Cevat Yerli has stepped down from his role. His brothers, and also co-founders, Avni Yerli and Faruk Yerli have been appointed as joint CEOs.

Cevat Yerli will continue to work at the Frankfurt-based developer though, as strategic shareholder. He commented: “With the company in a strong position, now is the ideal time to recognize the existing leadership’s excellent achievements over these past two years and formally transition executive leadership to Avni and Faruk.

“I have been honored to serve as CEO of the company I founded with my brothers almost 20 years ago and have seen the team accomplish breakthrough things in that time. I look forward to continue helping Crytek as a major shareholder, and I am very excited to see what tomorrow brings. I have every confidence that the company will continue to shine under the guidance of Avni, Faruk, and the rest of the leadership team.”

Crytek has been in a difficult position these past few years, with reports of unpaid staff going as far back as 2014. The developer got in financial trouble again in 2016, with staff claiming they hadn’t been paid for six months. A former Crytek employee event crowdfunded a lawsuit against the firm at the end of 2016, as Crytek was closing all its studios except the Frankfurt HQ, which was scaled down, and its office in Kiev. Sega Europe then acquired Crytek's former Black Sea studio to create Creative Assembly Sofia in early 2017.

More recently, Crytek was under the spotlight again as the company filed a lawsuit against Cloud Imperium Games and Roberts Space Industries, accusing the Star Citizen devs of copyright infringement and breach of contract. The devs denied all charges.

The appointment announcement said that “an investment made in autumn 2017 has fortified Crytek and added the necessary capital for future growth,” hinting at a possible brighter future for the studio.