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Blockbuster shooter studio moving towards free-to-play

tech reviews Updated: Jun 09, 2012 14:36 IST

German video game developer Crytek is moving steadily towards its aim of becoming a company specializing in big-budget action games that are free-to-play.

Conversations between company CEO Cevat Yerli and the staff of Gamasutra and Videogamer highlighted Crytek's desire to capitalize on free first-person shooter Warface and nascent social network tech GFACE.

Crytek has the first FarCry and two Crysis shooters on its resumé, with the third due in February 2013 and Homefront 2 to follow. PC game Warface has been available in Russia since early May and is currently undergoing testing in China.

Asian developers have already found success with titles such as WarRock, Alliance of Valiant Arms, and Combat Arms.

"As we were developing console games we knew, very clearly, that the future is online and free-to-play," Yerli told Videogamer.

"Our approach is to ensure the best quality, console game quality. That implies budgets of between $10m to $30m -- so no compromise there -- but at the price-point of $0 entry."

But creating a game for a worldwide audience requires a sensitivity to cultural differences.

"It was a big learning curve for us, and we struggled at first," confessed Yerli to Gamasutra.

"In China, it's okay to charge for the right to not be muted. Someone can pay so that everyone has to listen to them. In the West, I can't imagine that." added Crytek's general manager Nick Button-Brown.

"We had to make a lot of decisions about what we wanted; the key to us is that it's not pay-to-win. In North America and Europe, you can't do pay-to-win. Also, some regions like lottery mechanics -- paying for a 10% chance to get an epic item, for example. We're going to experiment with that."