We already knew about Crytek's bold plan to quit retail games and go entirely free-to-play. What we didn't know was when the firm expected to complete that transition. Well, now we do.
The folks at VentureBeat recently interviewed Crytek CEO Cevat Yerli, and according to them, Yerli believes free-to-play is "the only business model his company will use for its games in two to five years."
Things are already in motion. The public beta for Warface, the first game in Crytek's free-to-play onslaught, opened up about two weeks ago. Yerli tells VentureBeat he expects the free-to-play market to deliver similar titles that "rival retail" in two to three years. And believe it or not, Yerli wants those games to use G-Face, Crytek's homebrewed, browser-based digital distribution and social gaming platform:
"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," said Yerli. "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."
Interesting. I don't know if Crytek has enough traction to draw in other studios, but the prospect of a free-to-play renaissance with triple-A-quality games is an intriguing one. Whichever way it shakes out, I just hope we see a little more variety than in today's retail shooters.