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Crytek USA Collapses, Sells Game IP To Other Developers

timothy posted about 6 months ago | from the making-the-best-of-it dept.

Games 121

MojoKid (1002251) writes Game developer Crytek's problems have been detailed recently from various sources, and it's now clear that it wasn't just the company's UK studios that were affected. Crytek announced today that it has officially moved development of its F2P shooter Hunt: Horrors of the Guilded Age to a German developer, ignoring the fact that the majority of the US team had apparently already quit the company. The problem? Just as in the UK, the US employees weren't getting paid. In a separate announcement, Crytek also declared that development of the Homefront series had passed entirely to developer Deep Silver. The company has stated, "On completion of the proposed acquisition, the Homefront team from Crytek's Nottingham studio would transfer their talents to Koch Media in compliance with English law and continue their hard work on upcoming shooter, Homefront: The Revolution. Both parties hope to finalize and implement a deal soon." It's hard to see this as good news for Crytek. The company can make all the noise it wants about moving from a development studio to a publisher model, but Crytek as a company was always known for two things — the CryEngine itself, adapted for a handful of titles and the Crysis series. Without those factors, what's left?

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Good riddance (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47573505)

You pay your employees. Period.

The world is not any poorer for their loss. They will not be missed.

Re:Good riddance (1)

TWX (665546) | about 6 months ago | (#47574015)

Yup. In my opinion this is a bit of an, "Emperor has no clothes," moment, as the game engine itself has always seemed to need more computing power than one has, and the developers were the only ones to actually make anything of it.

There was a joke a few years ago, "Could God create a video game so demanding that his computer can't play it?" "Yes, it's called 'Crysis'."

What do do now... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47573509)

How about they release Cryengine open-source? That'd be awesome

Re:What do do now... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47573711)

Yeah I'm sure people who have invested in the company and would potentially want to sell the IP rights to the engine love this idea.

If you care that much start a kickstarter to buy the engine from them and open source it yourself.

Re: What do do now... (2)

DigiShaman (671371) | about 6 months ago | (#47573765)

Which one? Star Citizen will be using the latest and is already crowd funded below 49 million so far. This game could the largest PC title next to Eve Online.

Re: What do do now... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47574899)

wont be out for at least another 2 years. Elite Dangerous Open Beta is already live, with launch at the end of this year.
Ill take sandbox over Theme Park any day of the week.

Re: What do do now... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47576015)

wont be out for at least another 2 years. Elite Dangerous Open Beta is already live, with launch at the end of this year.
Ill take sandbox over Theme Park any day of the week.

Ed looks like Minecraft next to SC, and it has SO much room you'll never be near anyone, like Minecraft...good luck with Elite - fighting the boredom.

Re:What do do now... (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about 6 months ago | (#47573799)

Cryengine belongs to Crytek, the German parent company. These are its subsidiary studios.

Re:What do do now... (1)

westlake (615356) | about 6 months ago | (#47576561)

How about they release Cryengine open-source? That'd be awesome.

It's not going to happen without the consent of Crytek's creditors.

Awkward (3, Interesting)

Sockatume (732728) | about 6 months ago | (#47573543)

I was reading last month's Edge, and it had a studio profile with Crytek UK that was written and published just before the word of non-payment started coming out. The angle of the piece was all "Free Radical had an awful experience, David Doak had a nervous breakdown and quit, but things are okay now" which was kind of heartbreaking to read.

Re:Awkward (3, Insightful)

Joe Gillian (3683399) | about 6 months ago | (#47573579)

It's not really surprising (to me, anyway) that Crytek is failing as a publisher. Homefront was the most generic FPS ever made. It didn't sell, and the reviewers barely had anything at all to say about it - though what little did come out essentially boiled down to it being a really mediocre game that was essentially the product of a marketing team (who saw Call of Duty and Battlefield and wanted a piece of that action) rather than people trying to make a good game. The same thing goes for Crysis, which was basically a graphics benchmark in the guise of a game (to this day, I've never heard anyone talk about Crysis outside of using it as a benchmark).

The only people I really feel sorry for are Free Radical - I know they had a Kickstarter up at one point to get a new TimeSplitters out on Steam, and I think it got funded, but I don't know if it's coming out now. If they're still making it I hope they find someone else to publish it or self-publish.

Re:Awkward (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about 6 months ago | (#47573741)

TimeSplitters actually came up in said profile; I forget exactly what they said but it came down to "no, we're not doing it as a major release, and no, we don't think it'll make enough money to work as an F2P or niche title either". Given that was in an interview that was otherwise warily optimistic, I dare say its chances are even poorer now.

Re:Awkward (5, Informative)

RogueyWon (735973) | about 6 months ago | (#47573833)

The first Homefront game was nothing to do with Crytek. It was developed by Kaos and published by THQ. Crytek merely bought up the rights to do the sequel. For the record, I bought and played through Homefront on PC. It was basically a mediocre and generic shooter based on top of some really interesting fiction. In the right hands, it could have been a much better game.

And there are lots of people - self included - who will sing the praises of the original Crysis as a game rather than a tech demo. It's much smarter than the average shooter, with plenty of room for exploration and taking different approaches. There are few other shooters that permit the sheer on-the-fly tactical flexibility that came from Crysis's nanosuit.

The game did make a few mis-steps - the quality notably dives in the final 25% or so of the campaign, once the aliens show up (the floaty section in the alien mothership in particular goes on for far too long). But overall, it is an excellent shooter which has stood the test of time far better than most others in its genre.

Crysis 2, on the other hand, was crap. And Crysis 3 had a few moments where it was pretty good (mostly in the more open sections near the end of the game) but ultimately disappoints.

Re:Awkward (4, Interesting)

Andy Dodd (701) | about 6 months ago | (#47574053)

The single-player campaign in Crysis was great, I loved it.

The multiplayer utterly sucked. Crytek screwed up one of the fundamental tenets of multiplayer gaming - NEVER TRUST THE FUCKING CLIENT.

Crytek did stupid shit like offload physics calculations to clients (which is why some matches were "DX10-only"), and also have clients do damage calculations.

e.g. if the client said "I fired a pistol bullet and it did 99999999 damage before resists" - well, you'd have an instakill pistol. (This could be achieved by editing an XML). Similarly, armor resists were calculated ON THE CLIENT TAKING DAMAGE - so if you had a vehicle with 99% resistance to all damage types, you were effectively invincible.

My multiplayer experience in Crysis was something like:
1 week of playing legitimately - constantly getting my ass kicked by obvious cheaters
1 week of trying to see what level of cheating I could get away with without people accusing me of cheating - it was shocking how far I could go in this regard (50% damage boosts to everything, no assault rifle bullet spread, 1000 horsepower pickup trucks, AA cannons that could depress their turrets by 30 degrees) without getting noticed because of the attention blatant cheaters received. Even with this, it was only a matter of time in every single game before a blatant cheater would instapistol their way to an attack helicopter with 99% resistance to all damage types and amped-up missile damage.
After that I quit.

Re:Awkward (1)

Noah Haders (3621429) | about 6 months ago | (#47574091)

i liked homefront. i thought the narrative was well done and had some great set pieces. like where you fight your way through a walmart onto the roof, but a bomb goes off, so you fight your way back through to the exit but on the way out the walmart is a fiery inferno? that was pretty cool. my biggest complaint was that it ended early. the last level you cross the golden gate bridge into SF, but you never actually beat the enemy. I felt like it was missing the final act.

Re: Awkward (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47574643)

They did same thing with first crysis, decided will never get any if their games again if that is their idea of sequel hook

Re:Awkward (1)

ArhcAngel (247594) | about 6 months ago | (#47574865)

once the aliens show up (the floaty section in the alien mothership in particular goes on for far too long).

Great! I just started playing and you go and ruin the WHOLE thing for me.

Re:Awkward (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47575365)

Boo Fuckin' hoo. If you didn't know aliens were involved in the game by now, then you shouldn't even be playing.

Re:Awkward (1)

Gadget_Guy (627405) | about 6 months ago | (#47573853)

It's not really surprising (to me, anyway) that Crytek is failing as a publisher. Homefront was the most generic FPS ever made.

Homefront was originally published by THQ. Crytek just bought the IP after THQ went under. It can hardly be cited as a symptom of problems at the company (apart from the decision to buy it in the first place rather than just make their own similar game).

to this day, I've never heard anyone talk about Crysis outside of using it as a benchmark

There are plenty of people who liked the original Crysis (at least the first two thirds of it). I'm one of them. It has overwhelmingly positive user ratings on Metacritic [metacritic.com] . The sequels were less well received.

Re:Awkward (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47573905)

(to this day, I've never heard anyone talk about Crysis outside of using it as a benchmark)

Fine, then let me be the first.

Crysis was really fun to play because of the varied methods of dealing with obstacles in your way (patrolling enemies, base camps, etc). My favorite method would be to cloak, use silenced weapons like the sniper and assault rifles and slowly edge my way towards the target area. If I was feeling more ballsy though I could enable strength mode, jump high and literally punch my way into a shack, making it collapse and crush anyone inside (and the engine was sufficiently well designed that this would normally work exactly how that sounds).

It's a damn shame the game was looked at as a tech demo rather than an FPS allowing for multiple approaches using interesting tactics. I guess it got its reputation tarnished and hence subsequent Crysis games went all Call of Duty in their style and lost my interest. But hey, people like you only saw Crysis as a tech demo without thinking any further about it. Perhaps you're part of the problem, fuckhead.

Re:Awkward (1)

Andy Dodd (701) | about 6 months ago | (#47574083)

The piss-poor multiplayer (not in terms of actual game design, but in how easy the engine/protocol design made cheating) was probably what killed Crysis' reputation as anything other than a tech demo.

Single player FPS games just don't sell well these days.

Re:Awkward (1)

vyvepe (809573) | about 6 months ago | (#47573961)

I played only Crysis 3 and I quite liked it.

Re:Awkward (1)

Dishevel (1105119) | about 6 months ago | (#47574925)

I really liked Homefront.

The multiplayer was pretty awesome and the controls felt "like buttah".

Also they had a really neat multiplayer gameplay innovation. As the number of people you killed without dying increased the game gave out more information about your location to more of the enemy team. And gave the enemy that killed you a bonus. Instead of a call of duty appraoch in which as your kills increase you become even more of a problem to get rid of,

Re:Awkward (1)

dyslexicbunny (940925) | about 6 months ago | (#47575599)

I was one of the poor saps who preordered Homefront....

At least I got Metro 2033 for free with it! Hell of a game if you haven't played it.

CryEngine hasn't left the building (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47573557)

I don't understand the last bit.
Crysis and the CryEngine are developped by the Frankfurt studio AFAIK. As long as this studio remains, they remain.

following this to its logical conclusion (4, Funny)

nimbius (983462) | about 6 months ago | (#47573559)

now crytek cant even run crysis.

Poignant memes (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about 6 months ago | (#47573781)

Imagine a Beowulf cluster of those developers, huddled around a makeshift campfire, dreaming of the days when they were masters of their own software universe, and wondering what might have been.

2014 is the year of Linux on the desktop at the bankruptcy auction.

*a black and white photo of some hot grits while a melancholy piano plays*

Not Getting Paid (1)

Galaga88 (148206) | about 6 months ago | (#47573563)

Is it a common thing for employees to stick around when they're not getting paid? I've read a lot of stories of software development houses where the paychecks dried up, but people stayed on holding out hope for a paycheck.

How often do companies recover from a situation where they're unable to pay salaries for a period of time?

Re:Not Getting Paid (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47573585)

i personally salute the dedication of these people to keep working on the product during these difficult times

Re:Not Getting Paid (1)

tiagosousa (1931172) | about 6 months ago | (#47574265)

i personally

You mean anonymously.

Re:Not Getting Paid (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47573619)

If I wasn't getting paid, I'd assume we were all fired and just not notified. "Employment" means work in return for pay (or other consideration - but normally pay). No pay? I guess we aren't employed. Depending on the country, file for unemployment or whatever. Look for a new job, etc.

Re:Not Getting Paid (1)

Lonewolf666 (259450) | about 6 months ago | (#47574103)

Technically (under German law) the employment contract still exists and you could sue them for the unpaid wages. Which may fail if the company is already bankrupt. In that case, you'd be thowing good money after the bad.

But at the same time, AFAIK (IANAL) not paying wages is a bad enough breach of contract that you can get away with immediately terminating said contract. So if you have another job lined up, go for it.

Re:Not Getting Paid (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47575935)

What about non-compete clauses?

Some places with them may even sue if just to get something when failing.

Re:Not Getting Paid (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47573633)

Part Stockholm syndrome and part abusive relationship. I've not had to face that situation so i don't know how I'd deal with it.

Re:Not Getting Paid (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47573673)

The president of the previous company I worked at talked about the good old days when developers stayed on after the pay dried up. What he always neglected to mention was that they were all equal partners in that firm ...

Re:Not Getting Paid (4, Interesting)

ledow (319597) | about 6 months ago | (#47573697)

It was common in the 80's with software houses, looks like people don't learn.

Sure, I'm willing to help out a company I work for that is struggling - that's only sensible self-preservation. But if you miss a single payment, and generally people are paid a month in arrears at least - then it means that I've worked a month "for free" already. If you didn't bother to notify me, I'm out the door straight away and will take you to court for that unpaid month.

If you came and said "We can't pay you this month", I'd want to be privy to the expense accounts and financial arrangements that make it impossible to pay me. If you don't want to share those with me, I'm out of the door - and will assume it's because you've creamed off and are trying to not pay me, so will still sue.

If you share those with me, and I believe that money is coming soon, there's a small possibility - in a firm that I really love and trust - that I might continue for that one month. And then that's it.

Sorry, but you're not asking a personal favour, you're not being a friend, you're not helping me at all by forcibly stopping me paying my household bills for a month. I wouldn't ask that of my closest friend or family. For a company I work for? I'm out of there.

Someone, somewhere, will be a willing scapegoat - no doubt - especially if you promise them shares, an executive title, etc. even if it's only going to last a month before they are up before a court explaining why they're the one holding the hot potato.

A company that cannot pay salary is dead in the water. It will probably never recover. And an employee working for that company is stupid to think otherwise.

Maybe, if it was a family business, and a close member of family ran it, and I was privy to all the information, and I genuinely believed there could be no doubt about the money arriving, and I've been kept in the loop at all points, and it doesn't go on more than one month. Anything else? Bye...

Re:Not Getting Paid (3, Insightful)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 6 months ago | (#47573897)

This, a thousand times over.

Your employer is not, in most cases, your friend. They are an entity that you have contracted with to exchange labor for money, and if they fail to meet their end of the contract, you'd be a moron* for continuing to work for them.

* Yes, there are exceptions, but they are rare.

Re:Not Getting Paid (1)

Noah Haders (3621429) | about 6 months ago | (#47574113)

i would stick around because i'm a loyal employee but I would also be shopping my resume like mad.

Re:Not Getting Paid (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 6 months ago | (#47574721)

i would stick around because i'm a loyal employee.

P.T. Barnum would be mis-attributed as calling you a sucker.

But, to be fair, I have to ask - what makes you loyal to someone who fails to fulfill their contractual obligation to pay you for your work?

Also, do the people you owe money to (utility company, mortgage company, etc) accept loyalty as payment?

Re:Not Getting Paid (1)

Noah Haders (3621429) | about 6 months ago | (#47576709)

If you're looking for a new hob anyway, better to hedge your bets at your current job (even if it suxxx) than sit on your ass athome

Re:Not Getting Paid (1)

spire3661 (1038968) | about 6 months ago | (#47576035)

Loyalty goes both ways. Messing up payroll breaks that bond. If you want me to be here on time and do my best work, you better have my money on time at all times. If you choose to disrespect me by not fulfilling your end of the bargain, there is no honor in staying.

Re:Not Getting Paid (1)

Noah Haders (3621429) | about 6 months ago | (#47576713)

Read the full post

Re:Not Getting Paid (2)

am 2k (217885) | about 6 months ago | (#47574171)

Your employer is not, in most cases, your friend.

Your employer is never your friend. If you have a friend you also do business with, you have to separate those affairs, otherwise it can get very problematic. I know someone who doesn't speak to his own brother any more, because they had a company together that went bad.

Re:Not Getting Paid (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 6 months ago | (#47574737)

Most generalizations are false, including this one.

Which is why I always try and throw a caveat in there.

Re:Not Getting Paid (1)

am 2k (217885) | about 6 months ago | (#47574759)

Only the Sith deal in absolutes!


Re:Not Getting Paid (2)

SuiteSisterMary (123932) | about 6 months ago | (#47575405)

You know, I've always wondered if the fact that 'only a sith deals in absolutes' line was actually intended as an indicator that the Jedi were seriously fucked in the philosophy department, or if the writers (Lucas?) just didn't realize that it was an absolute statement.

Re:Not Getting Paid (1)

am 2k (217885) | about 6 months ago | (#47575483)

Yes, me too. I even found a discussion about this [stackexchange.com] on the web.

I dunno. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47575567)

I have been wondering how there could ever be dozens or hundreds of sith if they were always gay and only worked as pairs until either the master or apprentice killed the other.

Nevermind the Jedi: Hookay, so you live life celibately and only abduct other people's kids with strong force abilities? Wouldn't it be better to just breed an army of force-empowered individuals from amongst your current and well-founded crop?

(And yes I'm aware there is extended universe lore covering this, but since the extended universe has been given the birdie....)

Re:Not Getting Paid (2)

Dutch Gun (899105) | about 6 months ago | (#47574705)

Videogame development houses are not like most places, especially not the smaller, more tightly knit development houses. I suppose nowadays you'd probably call them "indie" shops. Back then, they were just called "very small game studios". Most places you go to work because you want a paycheck. Videogame developers, for the most part, go to work because they want to make cool games, and the paycheck is an important yet ultimately secondary concern. If they were more interested in the paycheck, there are lots of places you can go work a must less stressful 8 to 5 job for more money than in the videogame industry (well, certainly for programmers, at least).

I was with a very small game studio when it lost the next big project it had lined up. We were small enough that we didn't have a backup plan of any sort, unfortunately, and after about half a year or so without any projects being landed, the company inevitably ran low on funds, and employees had to go on half pay. During my time there, I became friends with my fellow employees and got along great with my bosses, who were really good to their employees and genuinely nice people. I stayed on for another couple of months, but I eventually had to look after my own financial needs, and let them know I when started searching for another job. We parted on good terms, and several months later, the company folded.

Game development teams go through a lot together, often working under very stressful conditions on very demanding products, and developers are often loathe to break up a really good team. Additionally, finding a new job is, of course, a very stressful thing. Sometimes it's just developers not wanting to face reality, or hoping things improve. I can only speak for myself, but I stayed as long as I could on half pay because I really loved working at that company. It was really as simple as that. Had we managed to land one of the deals we were desperately trying to get, who knows how things might have turned out. It seemed worth trying at the time, and I don't regret it.

Re:Not Getting Paid (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 6 months ago | (#47574877)

Hence my caveat.

Re:Not Getting Paid (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47574221)

Dude, no one cares what you want. No one has to do anything for you. Beat it.

Business owner here (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47574605)

I own a medium sized business between myself and my business partner. Just wanted to chime in and say the parent is 100% correct about when to leave and when to sue.

For any business of any kind, payroll is #1 priority. If you can't make payroll, you have no business and your business is on the path to bankruptcy. Please, please, please do not let any company stiff you for wages. Anyone telling you that is standard operating procedure is wrong and trying to take advantage of you.

That's really the (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47575521)

If the pay starts drying up you get the president of your branch/company etc to sign a 'I won't get paid until you get paid' contract with the unpaid developers set to recieve an increasing stake in the company until their paychecks return. If they're not willing to, you ditch the place.

I actually went through something similiar a while back in a non-tech field. Only difference was I didn't want the equity stake because then I would've been liable for some of the questionable business practices that were going on there.

Re:Not Getting Paid (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47573719)

Around 2001, during the dot-com bubble, I had been working for a small ISV (~10 people at peak) for almost 2 years. We were down to about 5 people at that point. It started when my paycheque bounced.. the owner assured us it was a banking error. Having worked with him for quite a while, I trusted him, and continued working for another week. After a couple more excuses, and no pay, I stopped going. 3 weeks pay lost. I spent a couple months trying to chase down the money, with promises "we'd be back up soon" but of course that never happened.

Lesson learned: I stop getting paid, I'm out.

Not sure how people go for much longer than that though, unless they are a shareholder maybe.

Re:Not Getting Paid (2)

stjobe (78285) | about 6 months ago | (#47573867)

Is it a common thing for employees to stick around when they're not getting paid?

In countries with stronger employee protection than the US, yes.
The company failing to provide pay is not an implicit termination of the employment contract, leaving or not working is.

How often do companies recover from a situation where they're unable to pay salaries for a period of time?

Quite common where I'm from (EU). The company I'm currently working for had to go through reconstruction four years ago; for three months the government paid our salaries while the company negotiated with their debtors to cancel or reduce their debt. In the end we lost about 25% of our employees (some people left voluntarily, some were let go), but the company survived and have been in the black since. In fact, last year was a record year for us; best financial result in the company's history.

Re:Not Getting Paid (1)

stjobe (78285) | about 6 months ago | (#47573907)

Gah, that's what I get for not proof-reading. The company negotiated with their creditors, of course, to reduce or cancel the company's debts.

Also, I'd like to clarify that the money the government paid for our salaries wasn't a gift; it was a loan and had to be paid back (and has been).

Re:Not Getting Paid (1)

i_ate_god (899684) | about 6 months ago | (#47574047)

by whom? the company or the employees?

Re:Not Getting Paid (1)

stjobe (78285) | about 6 months ago | (#47574065)

by whom? the company or the employees?

The company of course.

Re:Not Getting Paid (0)

Noah Haders (3621429) | about 6 months ago | (#47574123)

lol socialists. i love how you define "employee protections" as employees working for free. america is a right to work place so if you don't like it you can walk.

Re:Not Getting Paid (1)

stjobe (78285) | about 6 months ago | (#47574233)

Now where did I define "employee protection" as "employees working for free"?

Oh, that's right, I didn't. I even gave an example of how strong employee protection made sure I got paid even though my company couldn't pay me.

In the example I gave, the government paid our salaries while the company negotiated with its creditors; the company then had to pay that money back to the government. I never missed a paycheck; the employees were indeed protected.

Had the company failed in its negotiations with their creditors, it would have had to declare bankruptcy and the state would have covered our salaries during the bankruptcy proceedings. After that, we would be on our own.

Luckily for me, the company succeeded in reducing or cancelling their debts and made a full recovery (which was actually the whole point of the example, to answer the question "do companies recover from a situation where they're unable to pay salaries for a period of time" - yes they sometimes do).

Re:Not Getting Paid (1)

Noah Haders (3621429) | about 6 months ago | (#47574329)

Had the company failed in its negotiations with their creditors, it would have had to declare bankruptcy and the state would have covered our salaries during the bankruptcy proceedings.

Taxpayers like me would also have been out a lot of money to prop up a failing co

Re:Not Getting Paid (1)

stjobe (78285) | about 6 months ago | (#47574499)

1. "Taxpayers like me" include you, me, the other employees at said company, and everyone else that pays taxes - the company in question and all other companies as well. The money comes from taxes already paid.
2. The sums involved wouldn't make a noticeable difference to your taxes since it's split several million ways.
3. How is protecting the employees of a failing company "propping up" said company? Either it's bankrupt and is going down, or it can recover and then has to pay back the money the government spent on employee salaries.

On a side note, I find it quite amazing that the McCarthy-era "red scare" still lives and thrives in 21st century America...

Re:Not Getting Paid (1)

Noah Haders (3621429) | about 6 months ago | (#47576687)

It's better to pay unemployment while employees look for a job at a successful company then spend money to prop up a failing company

Re:Not Getting Paid (1)

Jaysyn (203771) | about 6 months ago | (#47574695)

Seeing as Germany is the only country that has come thru this recession smelling like roses, pardon me if I take your opinion with a grain of salt.

Re:Not Getting Paid (1)

Noah Haders (3621429) | about 6 months ago | (#47576697)

US is going gangbusters. Stocks att all time high, crazy GDP growth. Can't complain.

Re:Not Getting Paid (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47574809)

If the company had failed then yes, you would have been out the couple of euros of your tax that went towards it. But in the example given it didn't fail, so the employees benefited, the company benefited, and the government (so by extension the taxpayers) benefited by having less unemployment and presumably making some interest on the loan. Overall it sounds like a win all around.

Of course as you point out the company could have failed. The question is whether on average it will be a net gain, I would expect it is.

Re: Not Getting Paid (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47574855)

Yes. It's much better to bail out banks who actually caused the problems they were facing, and subsidise an auto industry that is so shit that it would make economic sense to just shut it down.

TL,DR; You're a jackass.

Re:Not Getting Paid (1)

moronoxyd (1000371) | about 6 months ago | (#47575135)

Taxpayers like me would also have been out a lot of money to prop up a failing co

Actually: No.

If the government hadn't helped out paying the wages, most of the employees would have been out of work and would be eligible for unemployment pay. So the taxpayers would have payed either way.
But this way the company could find a solution for their immediate problem and their employees still had a job.

This is actually a case where the government giving out money helps everybody.
But yeah, it's social(ism), so it's bad...

Re:Not Getting Paid (1)

spire3661 (1038968) | about 6 months ago | (#47576061)

CITIZENS, not taxpayers. When you pay taxes its not YOUR money, its belongs to the citizenry.

Re:Not Getting Paid (1)

Noah Haders (3621429) | about 6 months ago | (#47576723)

That's funny, often I feel like a walking ATM mire than u do a citizen participating in govt.

Re:Not Getting Paid (1)

Jaysyn (203771) | about 6 months ago | (#47574673)

That has got to be the single worst attempt at a straw-man I've ever seen. Did you even read what he wrote?

Re:Not Getting Paid (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47573933)

not only should they stop going in they should grab equipment and other valuables to hold as collateral against the missed pay is your country/state supports such an action.

Re:Not Getting Paid (2)

Noah Haders (3621429) | about 6 months ago | (#47574133)

you should only do this if you yell out "yoink!"

The 'German Developer' being Crytek (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47573609)

Development is going to continue in Germany, in Crytek's main studio.

StarCitizen? (1)

mseeger (40923) | about 6 months ago | (#47573677)

What does this mean for StarCitizen? AFAIK their complete work is based on the CRYTEK engine...

Re:StarCitizen? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47573805)

There's no effect on them whatsoever.

Re:StarCitizen? (1)

stewsters (1406737) | about 6 months ago | (#47573837)

The main German studio "Crytek" is still working. They are closing subsidiary studios, so I don't think it will immediately cause any problems.

Re:StarCitizen? (1)

Zocalo (252965) | about 6 months ago | (#47574003)

Chris Roberts and other CIG developers clarified this when the rumours about Crytek first started getting discussed on the forums. They have a full license to the CryTek engine source code, so even if Crytek were to completely collapse they still have everything they need to get the game finished. At this point they have already customised the engine so far that it's now pretty much a dedicated SC-specific engine anyway, so the worst case is that they will lose any future development into new core engine features that might have come out of Crytek and have to do all the future development in house. That's almost certainly time and money they didn't expect to need, but at least they are not likely to have too many problems getting hold of ex-Crytek employeess looking for work who can work on it.

The real problem (1)

slashmydots (2189826) | about 6 months ago | (#47573725)

The REAL problem is they spelled Gilded wrong. Who would want to work on that?

Pun perhaps (1)

tepples (727027) | about 6 months ago | (#47575027)

Misspelling or pun on "guild"?

Don't see a problem (1)

smooth wombat (796938) | about 6 months ago | (#47573777)

The problem? Just as in the UK, the US employees weren't getting paid.

Who needs to get paid? Everyone knows software is free and there is no cost associated with creating it.

Silly rabbits, thinking they should get paid for their work.

Another victim of "government incentives"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47573889)

I wonder if this could be another case of an effects/software company chasing various government incentives and wrecking their company in the process? I think it has been a fairly big thing in the movie industry with several big name companies going belly up (Rhythm & Hues Studio comes to mind). According to wiki they were opening/buying studios all over the place (UK, US, SK, Turkey, etc), I can appreciate a studio wanting a few satellite offices but 7 in about 4 years?

It's really a shame (1)

illumined (3666963) | about 6 months ago | (#47573939)

For so long Crytek looked like they were doing so well. What went wrong?

it's about gameplay not graphics (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47574155)

Developers pushing the graphics boundaries but leaving behind the gameplay and that's the problem. Once in a while if I have time I play the old consoles(emulators); nes, master system, genesis, turbografx16, snes, psx, n64, ps2, gamecube, mame. These are just fun. Graphics don't make a game good just look how the nes put the sega master system and turbografx16 to shame.

schadenfreude (4, Informative)

Schnapple (262314) | about 6 months ago | (#47574291)

As much as I like the Crysis games and Crytek's work in general, I've got a little schadenfreude going on because they were kinda pretentious dicks a few years back when they switched to console development.

For a recap: they came out with Crysis (the first one) in 2007, and it didn't sell as much as they wanted it to. They blamed piracy. I'm sure the game was pirated, probably a lot, but I don't think that's why it wasn't selling like they wanted it to. It wasn't selling like they wanted it to because it was released at a time when PC's weren't powerful enough to run it. By which I mean, in 2007 when it launched it was literally impossible to run it at the best settings. Like, it was impossible to build a PC that could run it at max settings at a high resolution at a high framerate.

And people knew this because they released a demo. You got a first hand look at how this game was going to turn your PC into a slideshow. So people didn't buy the game because they knew they didn't have the pipe to smoke it. Releasing a demo probably hurt Crysis' initial sales.

And this wasn't unforeseen - in the runup to the game's release people expressed surprise that EA, who had been all about cross platform development or cutting off the PC, here they were releasing a game just for the PC which a lot of people couldn't run.

So, the game didn't sell either because of system requirements or piracy or both. And again, I'm not saying the game wasn't pirated, I'm just saying that Crytek claimed this was the only reason it wasn't selling, and in no possible way could it be linked to the fact that they released a game which just told every PC owner on earth their system wasn't good enough.

That's not the real dick part to me though. The real dick part was when the CEO said their "proof" of piracy was that the patch for the game was downloaded more times than the copies of the games that had been sold.

OK, think way back to 2007. Hard as it is to believe, Crysis wasn't on Steam. Back then it wasn't a given that your PC game would be on Steam. Consider Fallout 3 was released in 2008 on disc-only, no digital services at all, and had GFWL baked in. Two years after that Fallout: New Vegas launches as a Steamworks title on Steam on day one, no GFWL in sight. The switch was quick but in 2007 it hadn't happened yet.

So by that logic when Crytek released a patch for Crysis, people had to go manually download it. So I can see a shred of logic to the idea that if more people are downloading the patch than buying the game then some number of pirated copies are getting patched.

The thing is, the statement doesn't make sense. How many more times are we talking here? I know back then I personally downloaded the patches a few times, usually after I would format and reinstall the game (this being before Steam made that sort of unneccessary). If the patch was downloaded 10x as much then you might have a point. But how do you even know how many times it was downloaded? The file was mirrored everywhere (I think FilePlanet still existed, etc.) did you add up all the downloads? Do all those services even give download numbers? Why are you not providing more evidence for your case?

Crytek's CEO also lamented how the Call Of Duty games were selling more copies. At the time, Crysis had sold less than a million copies whereas the CoD game of the year had sold ten million. The CoD games which had the advantage of being on consoles as well. Disregarding the fact that Crysis would hit the 1M mark soon (and according to Wikipedia has sold over 3M overall as of 2010), the CoD game sold better due to better marketing and just generally being a better game.

To be fair this was that dark era in PC gaming of the console games selling 9-10x their PC counterparts, to the point where some developers wanted to drop the PC entirely. However, if Cryek wanted to get into console gaming just do it, don't give us some sort of "you're all horrible software pirates" argument on your way out the door.

So they released Crysis 2 on PC, 360 and PS3. How did that go? They sold about three million copies, and less than the original game has sold on PC alone. Crysis 3's sales figures have not been fully revealed.

THIS is the problem I have with the "piracy is the problem" argument. Yes piracy is a problem but there's so much more to it and going to console development didn't fix their issues. Their real issue seems to be that they can't run a company worth a damn.

Re:schadenfreude (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47574723)

The runner of Crytek have been loudmouths all the time. They thought they were the best, but they could do nice graphics.

Far Cry was good, but had serious issues as a game (especially the last part). That loudmouthing worked very well as long as Crytek was a relatively small company (mind you, they were one of the largest computer game makers germany has!), but when they tried to become a publisher, to roll over the multiplayer shooter market, to have three or five games at once cooking... it started to fail.

They got big by their big ego, but that is also now what makes them fall. This is a classic case of "Greed makes you big, but at one time, you simply overtake your own abilities"

I just hope they recover and keep on doing what made them big: being a normal game studio that cranks out very good game engines. Else we're down to the Unreal Engine alone (you cannot count on Valve getting on with Source) and whatever big publishers develop in house for their studios. On the open market we only have UE and CryEngine competing and I'd like to keep that going on (not even speaking of the jobs Crytek did create while they were content and happy somewhere in the middle league).

Re:schadenfreude (2)

Sockatume (732728) | about 6 months ago | (#47574997)

Unfortunately the people you don't like aren't the ones getting laid off.

Re:schadenfreude (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47575327)

The reason it didn't sell was because it was a glorified tech demo. Sure, it looked pretty, but the gameplay and plot were monotone and poorly done.

Re:schadenfreude (1)

Archimonde (668883) | about 6 months ago | (#47576143)

This is the biggest point. You could lower down the graphic settings and all, but the gameplay was still shitty and that was the biggest downfall in my opinion. Yeah they were just tech demos you had to pay for and nobody could actually run it. No wonder they didn't sold anything.

Re:schadenfreude (1)

JustNiz (692889) | about 6 months ago | (#47575353)

>> in 2007 when it launched it was literally impossible to run it at the best settings.

Sorry but completely not true.
Admittedly my PC had a high-end video card and CPU for its time, but Crysis definately ran fine with best settings on my rig.

As I recall, the larger negative issue about Crysis was that it was VERY buggy on release, and to make matters worse, the game was pretty much already old news and in the discount bins by the time Crytek finally started releasing patches for it.

It seemed that Crysis/Crytek was just one of the many victims of a bunch of clueless MBA beancounters that seemed to be taking over every tech company back then. it seemed that many tech companies were suddenly switching culture from being very aware of the importance of shipping quality products, to incorrectly thinking they could get away with shipping any old broken crap as long as they met some arbitrary internal deadline.

Re:schadenfreude (1)

Zenth (3592427) | about 6 months ago | (#47575643)

I think you're getting mixed up on when the release date was or what people mean by maxed out. The best graphics cards at the time were the Geforce 8800s and these definitely could not max the game out. You could go as far as high settings, but you'd still have areas of extreme slowdown and high was definitely not Max.

Re:schadenfreude (1)

Schnapple (262314) | about 6 months ago | (#47576049)

Well and I say maxed out but there's other factors like screen resolution. If you were willing to ratchet down to 1024x768 you could probably beef up a rig of the era to handle max settings. Plus this may have been before widescreen had really taken off so there was only 4:3 to worry with.

Also, define "ran fine" - ran at max settings at 60fps with no stuttering or framerate drops? It definitely ran acceptable in some configurations on release but no one could max it out at a high resolution on day one.
But yeah that was a new idea at the time - the idea of a game being so graphically advanced that it outstripped the hardware of the era. It was always a thing that so long as you had the beefiest system then any game on the market could run perfectly. Games like Quake 3 just gracefully added features like curved surfaces when it was possible to do so. Crysis and ports like GTA4 were the first to say "no your shit still can't run the max".

To some degree it was about the messaging (had the mode been labeled "extreme" instead of "high" it might not have bothered the high end people so much) but really I think the initial issue was that the demo they released proved to everyone that it ate shit on their system. I had a 7800GT (I think) and even at the lowest settings it was crap.

Re:schadenfreude (1)

Tharkkun (2605613) | about 6 months ago | (#47576269)

I got a nice email from Comcast through Crytek for downloading Crysis 2. I had actually bought it by the time they contacted me so I could do the multiplayer. Without that download I wouldn't have went back and bought Crysis 1 either. Dicks.

Haze (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47574357)

I know it's nothing to do with this, but I still blame Haze.

They shouldn't have bought Free Radical.

Fuck all those games (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47574599)

The only thing I could give a damn about is this: what is going to happen to Timesplitters Rewind now?!

Homefront, Crysis and every other one of those god-awful games can go to fuck, Free Radical is (was?) the only good part of that company.

I liked crysis... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47574871)

I actually did like the game, I was excited to play it and build a new PC to handle it. Starting the game and sneaking around with invisibility or super speed was a ton of fun. I felt outnumbered but I had a super powered suit to even the odds. I'm a simple guy with simple tastes. BUT, my problem with the game was the Securom DRM. I couldn't create an ISO and run it without my cd drive constantly running. I also hated that it was a PC game but then with Crysis 2 they went to console and gave the PC a stupid port. No quick saves, just checkpoints. I always liked being able to play a PC shooter like a PC shooter. If I want to play using checkpoints, give me that option but don't take away quick saves. Also, why not have cheat codes available or god mode versions? It's not hard to have those options unlock once you beat the game. But whatever. I feel like Crytek was just hostile to customers and I never bought Crysis 3. Crytek paid too much attention to the business bean counters and not enough to what the customers want in a game. Just my 2 cents.

ea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47574931)

so i need origin to play C3? thank you, but no thank you.

Is this the thread (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#47575177)

where everybody forgets CryTek created the Far Cry series? They didn't start with Crysis, no matter what you guys want to believe :)

Happens a lot with German gaming/tech companies (1)

Chas (5144) | about 6 months ago | (#47576279)

Not sure why that is. But they seem to be really REALLY bad at getting foreign employees paid.

Maybe if they didn't raid their subsidiary companies like they were a personal expense account...

I'm truly sorry to all the people who got screwed by this.

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