Crytek's ongoing transition from a game developer to an online publisher is resulting in the effective shutdown of two internal studios, Crytek UK and Crytek USA, the company announced today.
Earlier today, Deep Silver parent company Koch Media announced that it is acquiring the Homefront intellectual property from Crytek. The next game in the franchise, Homefront: The Revolution, was originally being developed by Nottingham, U.K.-based Crytek UK. Deep Silver is founding a new studio in Nottingham called Deep Silver Dambuster Studios, which will handle the development of the Homefront series going forward.
Once the Homefront acquisition is complete, the members of the Homefront: The Revolution development team will "transfer their talents" to Dambuster Studios and continue working on the game, Crytek announced today. According to a statement from Crytek, the company is still working with Deep Silver on the terms of the deal regarding the Homefront team.
Crytek also said today that it is moving development of Hunt: Horrors of the Gilded Age, an original intellectual property that the company announced last month before E3, from Crytek USA to Crytek Frankfurt — the company's headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany. As part of that transition, Crytek will scale back the team at Austin, Texas-based Crytek USA to a small group of "several staff members" who will handle support for North American licensees of the company's CryEngine technology. All other Crytek USA employees will be "invited to apply for new positions at Crytek in Germany," according to the statement.
"As we look to cement Crytek's future, this strategic deal with Koch Media would allow us to continue with our ambitious goals to become an online publisher. With Warface, Arena of Fate and Hunt, we believe we have the perfect portfolio and teams to make that happen," said Cevat Yerli, CEO of Crytek.
Four of Crytek's existing studios — the ones in Budapest, Hungary; Istanbul, Turkey; Kiev, Ukraine; and Sofia, Bulgaria — "will continue to operate as usual," according to the statement. Crytek is looking into implementing "a closer collaboration" between its two Asian studios, Crytek Shanghai and Crytek Seoul.
"We would like to thank all our staff — past and present — in both Nottingham and Austin for their contributions to the company, and we wish all the very best to anyone who may no longer be under the Crytek banner moving forward," said Yerli.
Earlier this week, Crytek announced that it had secured funding to support its shift from developer to online publisher, and would soon be sharing details of its new plan. The statement followed numerous media reports that Crytek and Crytek UK were in financial trouble, with rumors of paychecks being withheld and employees walking out.
Crytek opened Crytek USA in Austin, Texas, in January 2013 with a team consisting of former employees of Vigil Games. Vigil had developed two Darksiders games for its parent company, THQ, and shut down after the publisher filed for bankruptcy in December 2012 and failed to attract a buyer for the studio. At the time, Crytek said that the Austin studio would focus on AAA games as well as online titles. Hunt, which was to be the first game from Crytek USA, is a free-to-play online title.