Interviews

Crytek's Cevat Yerli talks free-to-play, TimeSplitters and more

'There's no reason gamers shouldn't get triple-A for free... and we're going to do it'

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What does the console transition mean for PC gaming?

I think PC gaming should never fear new consoles. PC gaming is always going to be on your eyes. The only thing that will happen is that PC gaming is going to change and adopt different business models - and we are trying to change it ourselves with high quality, premium free-to-play titles.

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There is absolutely no reason why gamers shouldn't get triple-A games for free. Absolutely no reason. But we're going to bite the bullet and do it. Somebody has to lead the way.

It's a typical industry problem; how can you justify $10-30 million in production going in to a game that people are going to play for free? There is no royalty calculation possible in traditional minds. What everybody needs to do is look at the Eastern world and how they make their royalty calculations and business plans, and literally bring that to the West, but apply the Western quality standards.

That's what we did; I went to Korea in 2006 and I was blown away by the way people play games - online, connection and social... that's their lifestyle. People are happy and proud to be gamers. There are pro-gamers making more money that some sports guys.

So in 2006 I saw the future. A future with crappy quality at that point, but with games that were creating revenues and business models that were astonishing. So when I cam back I said, 'I want that kind of business model in the Western world with the quality of a Crysis.' That was the foundation of Warface.

Further to that, I said, 'why can't there be a platform that also does that?' That was a platform we dubbed G-Face, and that's becoming our social entertainment platform where those guys who meet for real in internet cafes - and unfortunately we don't have that concept in the west - can meet virtually a decide which games to play.

And it's done in a very delightful, easy, intuitive, flowing way, unlike other social networks or other hardware platforms. So G-Face is this new type of social entertainment platform that sits on an iOS and Android browser and will hopefully change the face of gaming.

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Is Crysis 3 an Origin exclusive?

That is yet to be determined. It's all in motion and I can't talk about it.

Of course there is one piece of new hardware set to release this year in Wii U. Just how capable is Nintendo's hardware?

My opinion of the Wii U is very high, it's just that we didn't have a business case unfortunately that justifies us making a game for it. It doesn't mean that CryEngine 3 doesn't run on Wii U - it actually runs beautifully. In fact, there actually is a game in development from a respected developer that we will be announcing. I've seen the game running and it looks really great.

I think the Wii U platform is minimum on par with the current generation. From my perspective I do not understand the public's concerns that the Wii U is weaker than PS3 and 360. That I cannot see. From my perspective the Wii U is minimum as powerful as 360.

You're working on Homefront 2 for THQ. How much affect has their current restructuring effort had on development?

Pretty much zero. There's been no tangible change what-so-ever.

There have been a few meetings and the introduction of people and those meetings are always very transparent. To be fair, the way we're developing Homefront 2 is very isolated anyway. We're treating it as our own new IP and at the same time THQ is respecting us and saying, 'you guys know what you're doing' and telling us the story they'd like to have, which we're collaborating creatively on.

The other title that's hiding in the background is Ryse, which Microsoft have assured is still coming on strong despite being absent from this year's E3. Can you give us an update?

The same update that Microsoft said. It's still coming strong but we couldn't show it yet.

So fans shouldn't be concerned?

No, absolutely not. Ryse is one of my personal darlings so it's going to be rock-solid and strong.

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