Crytek's plan to transition to free-to-play games includes expanding the studio's role as a service provider, building upon the GFace gaming platform, CEO Cevat Yerli tells Venture Beat. Crytek should be fully free-to-play within five years, he says.
"We decided five or six years ago that we want to marry the quality of triple-A games with the business model of free-to-play," Yerli says. "And at that time, we decided some other games, in some of our other studios, would head in this direction. But we kept pushing the quality bar higher on our console business, which is the main dominating business for the Western world, but we are observing, plainly - and we see this already with Warface
- that the free-to-play market is on the rise. I think over the next two to three years, free-to-play is going to rival retail with quality games like Warface
Crytek as a business will "transition from a developer to a service company" and will offer GFace to any developer that needs it, Yerli says.
"If we could launch our games on a platform that already exists today, and we could get the same results, then we wouldn't build our own platform," he says. "But we're convinced that our platform does some particularly new things that makes our games behave better. That's why we plan to offer this service to third parties."
In 2012, Yerli laid down plans
to transition to free-to-play, though he didn't provide a timeline or any service goals at the time. Still, GFace won't become the new focus at Crytek, Yerli says:
"This doesn't mean our main business will be driven by our platform business. We are just going to open it up and see how it works. We are always going to be a games-first company. We will always have our own development because we are all about making games. We provide technology, but technology is not our main driver. We make technology to make great games."