The studio that somehow always survives is the story of Crytek.
During his 21 years of existence, the business of the Yerli family, Crytek, has come close to failure very many times, but somehow they have always climbed out of trouble.
There were simpler times when we were excited to put a disc supplement for video game magazines on our machines so that while demos, shareware releases and full games were installed, we could enjoy the trailers of the news that had just been announced. This is how many of us first met Far Cry, released in 2004, and we thought it couldn’t come any better, the beauty of the sea and the jungle captivated us. All of this was due to the first release of CryEngine, which was brought together by a German-based team, but also led to the birth of the engine. This is what we are going through now with the release of Crysis Remastered.
A member of the seven-member, Turkish-German Yerli family, Cevat became familiar with programming as early as the early ’90s, and while he did a lot of things over the years, he always knew this was what he really wanted to do. When they connected to the net, they created an online community called Crytech, which brought together roughly 50 people with similar interests. With their help, he made three games and then in 1999 persuaded his brothers, Avni and Faruk, to travel with him to E3. After they were barely admitted to the United States in the absence of a proper visa, or had no hotel rooms, and were severely overdressed compared to the event’s T-shirt-shorts audience, at the end of one day, Cevat said a little irritated to the face stationed at Nvidia’s desk:
“For God’s sake! We came from Germany, you have to watch our demo!”
The plan came in, they were given 15 minutes to present the techdemo called X-Isle: Dinosaur Island, and it just so happened that an army of journalists got to the booth at the time. The engine running under it was able to display visibility that could not be achieved with any other solution in the age. They soon had success among those present: the video card manufacturer asked them to make a benchmark software out of X-Isle, which could then be packaged next to the cards.
Then in September, Crytek was officially formed and the development of the team’s first game began: it was Engalus, a cyberpunk-themed FPS with role-playing elements. Although it was also introduced to participants in the 2000 ECTS and E3, it was eventually mowed down – after which Ubisoft appeared, which liked X-Isle so much that it wanted a full game out of it.
The dinosaurs disappeared, the island remained, and all sorts of ugly monsters entered the picture: the result of the team’s work exploded into the public consciousness as Far Cry in March 2004, and while developing it, CryEngine was honed so that it could be made available to other developers. to do.
The first release was still deployed mainly by Ubisoft Montreal to make various Far Cry spin-offs, but in 2008 NCSoft’s MMO, Aion: The Tower of Eternity, was also released.
Meanwhile, the team had to deal with some inconvenience: in February 2004, as a result of a report from a former trainee, the police appeared in Crytek’s office after being told that the company was using certain software illegally. At first, it could be heard that there were indeed more copies running than the number of licenses the company had, but in the end it was clarified that no charges were brought.
CryEngine has also caught the attention of another publishing giant, Electronic Arts, and Crytek has signed an agreement to launch a brand new franchise. Ubisoft insured itself and bought the rights to Far Cry – as a result of the second part, the games in the series were made in in-house studios and used a modified version of CryEngine, the Dunia Engine, and increasingly advanced versions of it.
In order to prove the engine was capable of more than what Far Cry showed, the team put together the Crysis, which again saw us bite our fists again, the sea, the environment, and practically everything were so beautiful. Both the profession and the fans got a fever from him, the videos were stunning – we just didn’t quite realize that this would require an amazing amount of resources.
The need for the machine was so severe that it became a meme: it didn’t matter how strong a top machine at the time was on paper, but whether Crysis would run on it nicely; it became the benchmark and very few configurations met the criterion, even the top card at the time, the 8800 GT, fought it seriously.
In 2006, the Kiev studio was expanded and Crytek Budapest was opened, working on the spin-off Warhead, which presented the events of the base game from a different perspective. As a result of the success, the company expanded further: the acquired Black Sea Studios became Crytek Black Sea, Free Radical Design became Crytek UK, and a new office was opened in South Korea. CryEngine 2 was already available by then, but this was only used by outside teams for smaller projects on PC.
The CryEngine 3, introduced in 2009, which was already designed to be used on both Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, was a big breakthrough, with more and more people licensing it. With this, it was ported to the first Crysis consoles in 2011, it was also used by Crysis 2 released the same year, but it also drives games like the still-to-be-created Star Citizen, the 2013 State of Decay, or the Crytek. product Warface.
Exciting years followed, and the team began to move in completely different directions. In 2011, they introduced Ryse: Son of Rome, which eventually became one of the opening titles on Xbox One, and took over the Homefront franchise from THQ for a short time after the publisher’s complete collapse. While the sight of the Ryse was outstanding, it became strongly mediocre in all other respects.
In 2013, however, the expansion continued, with one office opened in Istanbul and one in the United States. Meanwhile, Cevat also embarked on the development of a game based on personal experience: once he took care of his niece, he didn’t pay attention for a moment and the girl disappeared. Later, of course, he was inspired, but he inspired a project called Redemption to deliver the panic-like experience he felt then.
It would have been a TPS in which the player’s job was to protect the 10-year-old girl, but because of the mechanics, the testers hated him rather than making an emotional connection with him. The memory of Redemption is guarded by statues in the Crytek office.
The troubles started around 2014. Early in the summer, rumors began to spread that employees at Crytek’s UK and US offices would not receive salaries and bonuses, but the company’s management said they were just undergoing restructuring. It was announced in July that Homefront rights and the entire crew of Crytek UK will be transferred to Koch Media, so the team has already completed Homefront: The Revolution as Deep Silver Dambuster. Crytek USA was mainly involved in engine development, and the project, announced as Hunt: Horrors of the Gilded Age, went to other studios.
For a long time, we didn’t hear anything encouraging from them, and the events after 2016 didn’t promise much good either. The Hungarian, Bulgarian, South Korean and Chinese studios closed at that time, and in 2017 Sega bought the Crytek Black Sea. In February 2018, Cevat Yerli resigned from his position as managing director, replaced by his siblings, and thus managed to stabilize the company’s operations somewhat. Fortunately, CryEngine 4 was also popular in the meantime, and the developers of Evolve, Prey, and Kingdom Come: Deliverance also chose it.
Once the cases were settled, work continued. Crytek winked at VR with The Clim and Robinson: The Journey, and reshaped Hunt to create the hugely successful Hunt: Showdown. The team is apparently not in danger right now, there are still people interested in CryEngine, and after Crysis Remastered, you may wake up to this series while, of course, even dealing with Hunt: Showdown.
With such an unpredictable company, no one can tell what the future will bring, but we hope they will continue to push the boundaries and at the same time learn to make an enjoyable gameplay.