Crytek's Cevat Yerli: Unpaid Employees Were 'Impatient' And 'Emotional'
In an interview, Crytek head Cevat Yerli addresses the company's recent struggles, new funding, and said that some staff had expectations that were "unrealistic."
Speaking with Eurogamer, Yerli addressed the company's recent struggles and its decision to sell the Homefront franchise to Deep Silver: "We're observing where the industry is going. We knew free-to-play or games as a service - online services in general - will become the future of gaming. We've known this for a while. But we were finishing up our retail games or still had them in development, with Homefront for example."
He also had some surprisingly strong words for the former and current employees who had complained about not receiving paychecks.
"Some people were very impatient and got angry at the smallest delay," said Yerli. "Also, there was a critique of us not being proactive in communication, which we don't understand, because we had been frequently in the UK as well as every other studio, talking about potentially rough times. And we had even shared with people how they should maybe work with different banks at a personal level to prepare."
He continued, "I was surprised and upset a little bit that the intention of us keeping together everybody upset a few of them. But I understand that situation. Some people live in very tight financial planning. That's their own privacy. They can do whatever they want. Those guys, when they get under pressure it can become emotional."
Yerli claims that he and other executives were also not paid during this period, and that the company's only intent was to avoid conducting layoffs and avoiding insolvency. He also said, "We tried to individually help out. Like if somebody gets in trouble they can talk to us directly so they don't get under pressure. We tried whatever we could do. But you can't make it right for everybody."
He also says that the company has received a new infusion of revenue from an unnamed third party, and that employees are now receiving back pay in addition to inconvenience payouts. He does not foresee Crytek closing any studios.
Yerli has always been outspoken, but saying that people who were working and not being paid were being too "emotional" and blaming their own personal money management is a pretty...bold stance, to say the least. This is also not the first time Yerli has clashed with former employees about the conditions at Crytek.