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Crytek cancelled Ryse 2 amid missed staff payments, report claims

Follow-up to the Xbox One exclusive was one of a number of abandoned projects; Crytek head of PR denies reports are true

Crytek, the developer known for its first-person shooter series Crysis, has cancelled work on multiple projects and failed to pay some staff, according to claims published in a new report.

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Speaking to Kotaku, purported sources familiar with the situation claimed that the studio has been steadily losing staff since March.

The unnamed sources have also claimed that one of the projects cancelled due to the alleged downscaling is the sequel to Ryse: Son of Rome, an Xbox One exclusive published by Microsoft.

On the subject of the Ryse sequel, the site reports that work ended on the project in February as a result of a conflict between Crytek and Microsoft over who would own rights to the franchise.

Microsoft said it has "nothing to announce about the future of the franchise at this time" when approached for comment.

Apparent Crytek UK employees have alleged that they were only given about a third of their wages following the cancellation of Ryse 2, while others report not having paid "in months". Crytek has not responded to these claims in particular, but it has already denied it is on the verge of bankruptcy.

Kotaku notes that employees have had different experiences, with some being paid properly in April and May, and others not. These suggestions have not been proven.

Crytek's offices have been described by purported employees as having a "tense, unstable environment, plagued by poor communication and a number of high-level staff departures at the company's biggest studios in Germany and Britain". Staff at the studios have reportedly been openly discussing leaving or seeking new jobs.

It has been suggested that over 100 people have left Crytek already in the past three months and, speaking anonymously, employees have said the firm is "frequently missing payments and regularly assuring employees that everything will be fixed in the future, only to continue sending out checks late". These claims have not been verified.

"Trying to confine the problem rather than tackling it is not the way to go about this any more; it's too big now," said a purported Crytek employee, opting to discuss the issue in the hope that it would be remedied.

"Honest communication, inclusion, and a work environment based on trust could have gone a long way, and may have stopped people from leaving."

Crytek's head of PR, Jens Schäfer, has stated that "the information [Kotaku] got is not correct."

The report follows earlier rumours that the Frankfurt based company is on the verge of bankruptcy, which were addressed in an official statement:

"Regardless of what some media are reporting... the information in those reports and in the GameStar article itself are rumors which Crytek deny," said a spokesperson.

"We continue to focus on the development and publishing of our upcoming titles Homefront: The Revolution, Hunt: Horrors of the Gilded Age, Arena of Fate, and Warface, as well as providing ongoing support for our CryEngine and its licensees.

"We have received a lot of positive feedback during and after E3 from both gaming press and gamers, and would like to thank our loyal employees, fans and business partners for their continuous support."

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