A CEO with a big personality? A game with a high-profile delay? Disgruntled employees? You'd think we were talking about LA Noire and soon-to-be-defunct studio Team Bondi - or, uh, Red Dead Redemption, now that we think about it – but you'd be wrong! Nope, this time it's German developer Crytek in the crosshairs of an anonymous Tumblr account alleging a whole host of unsavory management practices.
The standard advisory for this kind of thing applies – these are anonymous accusations with little concrete detail, and there are no names named. What we do have is a greatest hits of employee complaints during high-profile game development cycles: extended crunch periods (where employees are "allowed" – see: expected – to work much longer hours and weekend days), senior staff "made redundant" by cheaper junior employees, "unlawful" firings, and a "bullying mentality" attributed to Crytek CEO Cevat Yerli.
Co-founder (and co-brother!) Avni Yerli spoke with Develop about the alleged practices, calling them "completely misleading accusations." Yerli continued, stating "It is very distressing for us to think that an individual thinks we have been treating them unfairly. It's very disappointing."
This isn't the first bit of studio drama to befall Crytek this year. Crytek Budapest was rumored to have seen major staff reductions and a move to mobile development after the Kinect-oriented Ryse (formerly Codename: Kingdoms) was moved to Crytek's main arm in Frankfurt.
The full Develop interview is worth a read, as Yerli addresses the employee issues fairly directly. However, the Hire and Fire Tumblr account quickly responded to Yerli's comments as well. In other words, this isn't going away any time soon. We've reached out to Crytek asking for comment, but haven't received a response at this time.