[Update] Deep Silver Buys Homefront, UK Staff To Transfer To New Dambuster Studio, Crytek USA Scaled Back
Update #3: Reports are surfacing that Crytek USA employees started walking off the job as early as June, after weeks of not being paid. Kotaku reports that leadership was among those that have departed already. We were able to confirm a number of employee departures in June and July, with placements at Red Fly Studios, id Software, Battlecry Studios, and Retro Studios. We've reached out to Crytek for comment.
Update #2: We're starting to see indication of staff preparing for a move from Crytek UK to Deep Silver Dambuster. The first is Graeme Norgate, composer at Crytek UK who has indicated via Twitter he'll be joining Deep Silver.
Good bye Crytanic, hello Deep Silver Dambuster Studios !— Graeme Norgate (@Norgans) July 30, 2014
Update #1: Crytek has issued a statement detailing further changes to its operations following the divestment of the Homefront IP. The developer also says that, in accordance with UK law, all staff from Crytek UK will transfer to Deep Silver to continue work. This indicates that Crytek will no longer have a UK presence.
This also has impact on Crytek USA's Hunt: Horrors of the Guilded Age. Development will transfer from the Austin, Texas studio to Crytek in Frankfurt. The United States presence will be scaled back to include only support for North American CryEngine licenses. Employees not on the support team will be eligible to apply for positions in Frankfurt, Germany.
"We would like to thank all our staff – past and present – in both Nottingham and Austin for their contributions to the company, and we wish all the very best to anyone who may no longer be under the Crytek banner moving forward," said Crytek CEO Cervat Yerli in a statement sent via email. Crytek studios in Budapest, Istanbul, Kiev, and Sofia will continue operating as usual. Locations in Shanghai and Seoul are now under review for "closer collaboration."
We've reached out to Deep Silver for clarification on staffing arrangements for the new Dambuster Studios.
Deep Silver has announced that it has acquired the entire Homefront IP from ailing developer Crytek. The publisher has also tasked its new, in-house development team, Dambuster Studios, based in Nottingham, UK.
This includes the recently announced Homefront: The Revolution. Crytek acquired the Homefront IP from the first round of THQ auctions for $500,000.
Crytek has been experiencing financial problems that came to light over the past month. According to reports, the company had not been paying employees, and some had walked off the job. Most recently, the publisher issued a statement saying it had “laid the foundations for securing Crytek’s future.” We now know that is a future without Homefront.
This is the best solution for the Homefront brand, and Deep Silver now needs to make sure this game is worthy of the new investment in IP and personnel. It also hints at problems so large at Crytek that the company had no choice but to deaccession valuable intellectual property. Whether this is all of Crytek’s plan for securing the future or just a part remains to be seen, but we’re cautious about the company right now.
With so many people having left Crytek UK, I'm interested to see who Deep Silver manages to hire for Dambuster. With any luck, the talent will be in place in a new, stable home.