Crytek is on its way to becoming a very formidable competitor in the free-to-play market. Crytek is best known for the Crysis franchise, its creation of the CryEngine and its recent purchase of the Homefront license. Right now, Crytek is merely a successful video game developer. However, it has big plans to move beyond development of retail games. Crytek doesn’t just want to sell you games. It wants to become the platform from which high-quality free-to-play games flow.
Crytek CEO Cevat Yerli recently spoke to VentureBeat about his company’s intention to transition to free-to-play games within five years. Crytek already dabbles in the free-to-play market with Warface, a FPS game that’s currently in closed beta. When it’s released to the public, Warface will be accessible through a social gaming network called GFACE. GFACE is backed by Crytek and will feature the most casual 2D games and triple-A quality 3D games. GFACE also streams its games to web browsers just like OnLive and Gaikai.
What makes this situation particularly unique is Crytek’s willingness to open its GFACE platform to other developers. This will make the company one of the only independent video game developers that also operates its own cloud-based streaming gaming service. Think about it. Crytek can have other developers licensing its CryEngine 3 technology and pushing their games through its platform. In a way, it sounds as though Crytek is looking to become more like Steam.
As we wait for this great free-to-play transition, we can still count on Crytek to release traditional retail games. Just be prepared for all that to come to an end eventually.