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Crytek employees say they’re not being paid, again

Complaints recall crisis publisher faced in 2014

Owen S. Good is a longtime veteran of video games writing, well known for his coverage of sports and racing games.

Crytek is once again facing complaints that it isn't paying its workers, with some alleging they have not seen a paycheck in more than a month.

The complaints have appeared on social media and have spread through Reddit, all alleging delays and irregularities in meeting payroll over the past six months. In some cases, workers say they currently have not been paid in more than a month.

A person saying he is a current full-time employee contacted Polygon to say that Crytek employees have not been paid for two months, and in the preceding five, pay had been regularly delayed by two to four weeks.

Polygon has reached out to a U.S.-based representative of Crytek, which is headquartered in Germany, for a statement about the allegations.

In 2014, Crytek tottered at the edge of insolvency, requiring a dramatic reorganization, the sale of assets and studios, and the delay of paychecks to workers. Cevat Yerli, the Crytek CEO, acknowledged that the company missed making its payroll; Crytek had done so to keep itself out of bankruptcy, he said.

Yet Crytek still lopped off about 200 jobs from its workforce of 700 and unloaded both Homefront: The Revolution and the U.K. studio making it to Deep Silver. The studio renamed itself Dambuster Studios, an oblique reference to British air strikes on Germany during World War II.

The current complaints come from Crytek's main studio in Frankfurt. "Salaries not arriving on time since last 6 months with no heads-up from the management nor the owners," reads one at Glassdoor, a portal for people seeking work and employers looking to hire. "Every time is the 'last time.' No apologies or explanations were offered."

That employee says that "the founding brothers, [Cevat, Avni and Faruk Yerli] finally decided to address this issue on a company meeting, but dodged all the specific questions and promised that 'the situation' is now resolved once and for all." The complaint was dated Oct. 9.

The most recent complaint on the site, coming from a programmer in Frankfurt, is dated Nov. 28 and alleges that "Money for October will not be paid until sometime early December."

A message posted as an image to Imgur said the pay crisis affects all of Crytek's studios, not just the Frankfurt HQ. Crytek has six other subsidiaries. This report, citing unnamed sources, said Crytek is looking to sell its Bulgarian studio, Crytek Black Sea, the makers of the free-to-play MOBA Arena of Fate.

Once known for making traditional console games sold at retail, Crytek announced plans in 2013 to transition fully to publishing free-to-play games. It recently published two virtual reality games, The Climb (pictured above) for Oculus Rift and Robinson: The Journey for PlayStation VR.

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