[Update] Staff At Homefront Developer Crytek UK Not Reporting To Work
Update: Reports are saying that, after not having been paid full wages, the staff at Crytek UK has filed grievance letters and left work.
Kotaku, citing multiple sources, is reporting that over 100 Crytek UK employees have left and are not reporting, after repeated problems with not receiving paychecks or receiving partial paychecks. According to the report, Deep Silver, which was slated to publish Crytek UK's Homefront: The Revolution, is trying to rectify the situation.
Reports have surfaced recently of late paychecks issued to employees, as well as the exodus of managerial staff for Crytek's UK branch.
Crytek UK, which is currently working on building Homefront: The Revolution, has reportedly been experiencing financial problems that call into question the future of the branch, as well as the release of the new Homefront.
Eurogamer, Kotaku, as well as German magazine Gamestar are all reporting similar stories regarding the financial stability of the developer. Tips from employees say that many on the staff have not received their regular paychecks without explanation or compensation for the delay, leading the employees to only speculate on what could be happening.
According to Eurogamer, more than 30 employees have left recently as a result of the issues and Crytek UK managing director Karl Hilton has changed his role within the company, telling Kotaku, "With new titles such as Warface and Arena of Fate, Crytek is moving in to self publishing and new business models. After 5 years as [managing director] for Crytek UK I am also looking to develop my role and responsibilities in line with these new opportunities at Crytek and I am currently looking at this with the company."
Crytek UK also offered the following statement to Eurogamer, calling out the reports as purely rumor:
Regardless of what some media are reporting, mostly based on a recent article published by GameStar, the information in those reports and in the GameStar article itself are rumors which Crytek deny. 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.
Crytek acquired the Homefront intellectual property from THQ for $500,000 during the latter's bankruptcy proceedings. For more on Homefront: Revolution, head here. We've reached out to representatives from Deep Silver, the publisher for Homefront: The Revolution, for comment and will make sure to update our story when we learn more details.
The rumors and reports seem fairly substantiated regarding the difficulties at Crytek UK, which is disappointing considering the general excitement related to a new Homefront title. Crytek recently announced its subscription service for developers to take advantage of its engine, which also excited many considering its highly reasonable price-point. If the rumors are true, I hope Crytek is able to correct course for its UK branch, and Homefront: The Revolution is unaffected, but that may not be in the developer's future, unfortunately.