Crytek surprised everyone earlier this year when they announced they would be shutting down the non-F2P portions of the studio. Since then, fans have been left wondering at what point Crytek will actually make good on that statement.
Crytek already has one F2P FPS out in Russia, Warface, with plans for the FPS to come stateside soon. In a fairly lengthy interview with RockPaperShotgun, Crytek’s CEO Cevat Yerli gave his opinion on the future of the F2P industry and whether B2P games can or will co-exist in the future.
When asked whether the next Crysis game (Crysis 4 or whatever they choose to call it) will be F2P Yerli responded that “It’s too early to say,” he added:
“I don’t think F2P’s a mutually exclusive way of looking at things. I mean, the future is definitely free-to-play, but likewise, retail can co-exist with it. Premium games can be free-to-play. When I said free-to-play’s gonna be our future, I meant that and I hold to it. But I didn’t mean it for tomorrow. When I say there will inevitably be only free-to-play games, I mean that there might be ones where you can just download them with a free-to-play business model, or you can go to the store and buy it for $60. So that’s what I meant: there’s gonna be free-to-play available, which brings the entry level down to zero from a price perspective.”
Crytek apparently had already considered making a portion of Crysis 2 F2P:
“We even considered a standalone free-to-play version for Crysis 2, to be honest,” he explained. “Launching the single-player as a packaged good and then making multiplayer free-to-play-only. For various reasons, it didn’t happen. We also considered that for Crysis 3, and it didn’t happen again. but there are definitely considerations like that.”
Rest assured Crytek still has plans to transition to an all F2P business model in the future but whether any other large studios follow-suit remains to be seen. We have already begun to see big AAA studios dip their toes into the F2P market with varied success, but most still seem to be firmly committed to providing AAA B2P content first.