PS3 News: Crytek: "Clearly, The Future Is Online And Free-To-Play" - PS3 News

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Crytek: "Clearly, The Future Is Online And Free-To-Play"

If you're unfamiliar with the "F2P" abbreviation, you're a little behind the times.

Gamers aren't the only ones who often have a problem with downloadable content and premium services. Industry insiders and executives, such as Crytek CEO Cevat Yerli, don't like 'em, either.

In speaking to Videogamer, Yerli revealed that his team would only create AAA free-to-play (there's that F2P) games after they've finished their current projects. Crytek Kiev's multiplayer FPS, Warface, will be the first example of this shift, and it will be supported by the team's new social gaming platform, GFACE.

Said Yerli:

"As we were developing console games we knew, very clearly, that the future is online and free-to-play. Right now we are in the transitional phase of our company, transitioning from packaged goods games into an entirely free-to-play experience.

What this entails is that our future, all the new games that we're working on, as well new projects, new platforms and technologies, are designed around free-to-play and online, with the highest quality development."

Yerli went on to say they want to "ensure the best quality, console game quality," so there will be no compromises in terms of effort and resources (budgets remaining between $10 million and $30 million). But at the same time, they want a "price-point of $0 entry." He believes it's the "most gamer-friendly business model" and sees gaming becoming services rather than standard products.

Lastly, in regards to DLC and premium services, Yerli doesn't think they're doing consumers any favors:

"If you look at what kind of games are done in the packaged goods market, with DLCs and premium services and whatnot, it's literally milking the customers to death."

Crysis 3 is set to launch next spring. After that, it's all "F2P" for Crytek.

Tags: crytek, crysis 3, free to play, warface, gface

6/12/2012 9:15:51 AM Ben Dutka

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Comments (28 posts)

jaybiv
Tuesday, June 12, 2012 @ 9:41:06 AM
Reply

What a hypocrite. He claims customers are being nickeled and dimed, yet he plans to go F2P, which is worse for nickel and diming gamers. Give me the full game with a complete SP campaign for a fee. I don't have to buy the DLC to finish the game.

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Beamboom
Tuesday, June 12, 2012 @ 10:04:46 AM

That all depends on the pricing model, doesn't it? If you can buy *only* the full campaign and can opt out the multiplayer mode (for example) if that's not of your cup of tea, and if that saves you a tenner or two, wouldn't that be a better deal?

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Highlander
Tuesday, June 12, 2012 @ 12:11:56 PM

It doesn;t depend on the pricing model Beamboom. A game like Dust might be well suited to this model because you can provide the skeleton and enable all the content piece by piece as players pay for weapons, armor and other gear or functions. But how could that micro-transactional model work on something like Heavy Rain? It's simply non-sense. Free to play can work for MMOs because of the nature of the game. It works for those click-tastic facebook time stealers that people get hooked on too because they are designed around only allowing progression by purchasing things. And of course the purchases are micro-transactions so each individual purchase is little more than a flea bite, but they do add up over time. That's about it though, MMOs and Facebook time-stealers, the single players games will never work this way.

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Beamboom
Tuesday, June 12, 2012 @ 1:53:18 PM

I don't see why single player games can't work in a f2p model?

There was a thriller game on PSN a while back where you bought episodes. Imagine that same idea, paying for additional episodes played in a framework that is "free to play".

Like LA Noire, only you paid for new crime cases, or gadgets that you could use to solve the crimes... Or a game like Kingdoms Of Amalur, where you paid to unlock new dungeons, new classes, new options for character design... New hairstyles, for that matter. I mean, I really don't see the problem at all. It's all up to the creativity of the developers!


Last edited by Beamboom on 6/12/2012 1:57:45 PM

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ZettaiSeigi
Tuesday, June 12, 2012 @ 5:34:45 PM

Sorry Beamboom, but no. Why do I have to pay for episodes of a story? Or pay to unlock items that are crucial to completing a game? Doesn't that NOT make it free to play? However creative devs try to get, this model is hardly ideal for single-player games.

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Beamboom
Wednesday, June 13, 2012 @ 2:48:08 AM

Zetta, the episodes for a story thing is already done? There is a game on PSN, I can't remember it's name now, that is exactly that; You bought new episodes as they were released.

I agree it's not an ideal model, heck I don't like the f2p model one tiny bit myself, but is it thinkable, and therefore doable? I say most definitely yes.
It would solve a lot of the "headaches" they've got with the used games market "issues" too. It's just too obvious a solution for them to ignore.

So please note, I am not *defending* anything here, I am merely being logical. This is doable, and might be one plausible alternative towards the goal of full digital + beat used games market.

Think of the f2p model as an advanced form of demo, cause that's really what it is.


Last edited by Beamboom on 6/13/2012 3:00:40 AM

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Axe99
Wednesday, June 13, 2012 @ 6:58:36 AM

It is doable for some games, but the issue is if the model was applied to every game. To ensure effective monetization, F2P games are restricted to the types of gameplay progression they can employ (and still make money). They'll always be up-front games made, and there'll be a strong demand for it.

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Temjin001
Tuesday, June 12, 2012 @ 10:12:57 AM
Reply

I don't know what to think. But I don't like how I feel about this news.

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Beamboom
Tuesday, June 12, 2012 @ 10:30:55 AM

It's most definitely one step closer to a full digital distribution.

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Highlander
Tuesday, June 12, 2012 @ 12:03:11 PM
Reply

This is the most asinine set of comments from a developer I have seen in a long time. He says; "If you look at what kind of games are done in the packaged goods market, with DLCs and premium services and whatnot, it's literally milking the customers to death." and his answer is the free to play BS? I'm sorry, what now?

The typical video business model has you deliver a game worth buying (in theory). Then extra content is delivered by paid DLC, which has a relatively limited financial commitment from player since they already have the game, everything else is an optional extra.

Yet with the free to play model, the game delivered is little more than a skeleton and almost everything required to actually play the game and advance is sold through micro-transactions. Players have no choice but to embark on a gravy train (for the developer) or micro-transactions to do anything in the game. That is how free to play works. You provide nothing more than a skeleton for free. Maps, items, character options, even additional functionality are sold as DLC through a micro-transaction model that *truly* is nickle and diming gamers.

What a hypocrite! He rails against nickle and diming gamers, and yet that is absolutely the future of Crytek based on this comment; "As we were developing console games we knew, very clearly, that the future is online and free-to-play. Right now we are in the transitional phase of our company, transitioning from packaged goods games into an entirely free-to-play experience."

Let's just call this what it is, double talk and BS coming from a hypocrite.

I'd go as far as to say that free to play will be instrumental in the death of solo gaming, story heavy games and the retail game market. I say this because free to play games have to be geared to drive the continual drip feed of micro-transactions.

A story heavy game would have to be delivered as a series of very short chapters, each of which is paid for through micro-transactions. The developer won't even complete the story when the game framework is launched because that represents a high investment up front. Free to play games offer developers a way to limit their exposure to risk by spreading the development cost of a game over the life of the game. So that as players pay for new elements the next group of new elements are under development. This is completely incompatible with the kinds of story and character heavy solo gaming experiences most of us enjoy. Heavy Rain could never be delivered in this manner. It might be possible to delivery Heavy Rain or something like it in an episodic manner. but it's hardly going to be a free to play micro-transaction driven experience.

If Gamestop want to get pissed about people possibly going all digital or restricting used games. They should be utterly apoplectic over the industry shifting to a free to play model since it's entirely digital, has no physical goods at all, and establishes the relationship directly between the gamer and the developer - cutting out the retail middle man entirely.

Last edited by Highlander on 6/12/2012 12:07:42 PM

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kraygen
Tuesday, June 12, 2012 @ 12:36:23 PM
Reply

While I agree that a lot of companies dlc and premium services are indeed "milking the customers" I don't think f2p is really the answer.

Imagine a fps where the game is free, but you start with only a couple of weapons and each additional weapon must be purchased with real money, or paying real money for grenades, to upgrade your character, or who knows what else.

The problem I have with this is that while f2p can allow you to play cheaply I personally don't want to make 80 purchases for every game I play.

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CH1N00K
Tuesday, June 12, 2012 @ 12:47:07 PM
Reply

The future of gaming may very well be an all digital distribution format, but I don't think I like the idea of F2P. As others have pointed out, it really isn't free is it? I very rarely now buy DLC content unless the original game was very good and I want to continue that experience, I won't be buying DLC if a game sucks and if I want to make it better I have to buy a bunch of stupid little add-ons.

I go into Home every now and then(which the initial download was free), but I can't bring myself to purchase any little extras. I know that's a bit of a stretch as to what F2P could be, but it is generally the same business model.

F2P would kill my online gaming days. If every time I wanted to go online with friends, I had to download a new map pack or quest, that would take away from the time where I could be playing a game. At least now, even if all players don't have any of the DLC expansions, you still have the main game that you paid for up front that you can fall back on.

Now that Dust 514 may be going this route, I have a feeling that will be a game I will miss out on. There are too many good games out and being made to invest all my time and energy trying to stay up to date and current on just one...

Crytek can go F2P if they want, there's other game companies out there that aren't going to be ready to make that leap yet, who I will gladly give my money to.

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AcHiLLiA
Tuesday, June 12, 2012 @ 12:50:51 PM
Reply

Blu-ray holds 50gigs, why can't devs just put all the content on the disc without consumers paying more. There is a lot of games that I have that I wish I had the xtra content before but didn't want to pay xtra since their is other games in my interest.

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Qubex
Wednesday, June 13, 2012 @ 3:52:47 AM

...then more developers would probably go bust quicker. For what its worth DLC does work for some developers and has kept an additional stream of income coming in...

Remember, ultimately companies want to make as much money as possible for their shareholders.

Greed, it is as simple as that...

Q!

"play.experience.enjoy"

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WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, June 12, 2012 @ 1:50:39 PM
Reply

This is too extreme, as much as I appreciate the free to play model it is really only for a very small selection of games. If all or most games went this way we wouldn't have the wide variety of genres that we have now. There would be no single player.

Devoting their entire set of studios to this model will probably kill them. If your game isn't very popular then it makes no money at all.

He's right about DLC and stuff though.

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Beamboom
Tuesday, June 12, 2012 @ 2:32:16 PM

Please, explain this to me: Why can't there be any single player games under this model? Highlander claims the same further up here.
Either I am not seeing something blatantly obvious here, or you guys need an injection of creativity into yer old bodies! :)


Last edited by Beamboom on 6/12/2012 2:33:40 PM

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Highlander
Tuesday, June 12, 2012 @ 2:41:34 PM

A story heavy game would have to be delivered as a series of very short chapters, each of which is paid for through micro-transactions. The developer won't even complete the story when the game framework is launched because that represents a high investment up front. Free to play games offer developers a way to limit their exposure to risk by spreading the development cost of a game over the life of the game. So that as players pay for new elements the next group of new elements are under development. This is completely incompatible with the kinds of story and character heavy solo gaming experiences most of us enjoy. Heavy Rain could never be delivered in this manner. It might be possible to delivery Heavy Rain or something like it in an episodic manner. but it's hardly going to be a free to play micro-transaction driven experience.

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Beamboom
Tuesday, June 12, 2012 @ 3:03:21 PM

It's easier to imagine how a f2p model can be used in open world style games like Skyrim, GTA, Burnout Paradise, Assassins Creed or Kingdoms Of Amalur than more cinematic focused games like Uncharted or Heavy Rain with a more definitive beginning and end. That is true. Still, I believe they will find a way. this does *not* mean the end of single player experiences.

But lets store this conversation of ours in our memories and wait a couple of years after the next gen consoles are launched. Then we'll brush the dust off this discussion here and see if they found a way or not.
I feel confident. ;)


Last edited by Beamboom on 6/12/2012 3:11:49 PM

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WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, June 12, 2012 @ 5:24:38 PM

To put it plainly, people don't like an incomplete product even when it's free. Say you get your wish and God of War IV is a free to play game, how much are you going to enjoy it when you have to pay for every weapon upgrade, each new level, extra ways to kill things, and every new combo unlock? That's the only way it would work.

People don't like to pay for what should be in the game, especially the ending. That's how single player would die under this model.

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Beamboom
Wednesday, June 13, 2012 @ 12:39:10 AM

Whoa - wait a second there good sir: I get my *WISH*? Nowhere do I say anything about what I *wish* for. I only say what I *think*. And I do believe the industry is able to find a way.

There was a time some of us thought online passes would never come to single player games either. Back then some said it was impossible, unthinkable. I even believe Ben wrote an article like that.
I said it was granted it would come for single player games too, just wait and see. That didn't mean I *wanted* it. I don't like online passes one bit. But it's there regardless.

As for my *wish*, I want full games paid upfront. Just like in MMOs, I don't like the f2p model there either. I want access to the entire experience, paid and be done with it.
But that's not the point here.
Do I believe they will find a way to implement the f2p model on single player games? Yes I Do. And I believe they will find a way that single player gamers will accept, eventually. Like it or not.


Last edited by Beamboom on 6/13/2012 12:49:43 AM

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ethird1
Tuesday, June 12, 2012 @ 2:31:41 PM
Reply

Check out Planetside 2 by Sony Online. This has to be the most impressive Free fps I have ever seen. THEY BETTER BRING THIS OUT FOR THE PS3!!!

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Laguna
Tuesday, June 12, 2012 @ 3:12:33 PM
Reply

My god.

What a terrible waste of a great developer.

Such a waste.

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Qubex
Wednesday, June 13, 2012 @ 3:54:55 AM

Lol! Well I will buy Crysis 3 and then leave it at that if they want to bring on their F2P model. Shame on them...

Our lives are a service... pay and pay... nothing good comes out of obtuse greed and the thrashing of your customers...

Q!

"play.experience.enjoy"

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Beamboom
Wednesday, June 13, 2012 @ 5:57:46 AM

Ok so let me admit right away that I am biased here, since Crytek is the maker of my #1 FPS ever. Just so that is said.

however, let's at least see what the model means in practise, shall we? Like the discussion about the DLCs: Many of the DLC deals are really bad. However there *are* exceptions. The Borderlands DLC are *great*, same goes with the Fallout DLCs. That's DLC the way they should be.

Surely the same theory must be valid for the f2p model: There gotta be good and bad deals also within that framework.


Last edited by Beamboom on 6/13/2012 5:59:12 AM

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Advent Child
Tuesday, June 12, 2012 @ 4:43:31 PM
Reply

I'm sorry but unless they release boxed copies in store with a case and a disc I guess Crysis 3 will be my last Crytek game. The only system I will do free to play on is my PC. I want game boxes for my console collections.

Last edited by Advent Child on 6/12/2012 4:44:58 PM

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homura
Tuesday, June 12, 2012 @ 9:43:32 PM
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Free to play games suffers a slow death, look at south korea, they are once leading the way in online f2p games, now they struggle, free to play is not the future, it will only results in underdevelop, low quality games. Crytek is heading to their own demise. C'mon just take look at the game companies in south korea. People have enough MMO. Freetoplay games, and still i will buy a 60 dollar high quality, good story big budget games. And i did play MMORPG like Ragnarok Online and i paid for my game time, and when there's a diminishing online population they turned it into a free to play. And yes some people comeback, but now only 1 server is left, slow death...

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___________
Wednesday, June 13, 2012 @ 5:58:22 AM
Reply

i cant see how there going to implement this into their games.
crysis for instance if that went free to play which parts would be free and which would you pay for?
paying per mission would just be silly, and so would paying per weapon or ability.
you play the game so you should have access to everything the game was intended to be used!
only thing i could see this working with is if campaign was free to play and the MP was paid.
but than what about the thousands of people which will just play the campaign, not really fair for the developers.
this is just a stupid idea!
only thing that needs to change on how games are delivered is the pricing on them!
we need a campaign only model or MP only model.
its just stupid people paying full price and only using half the game.
me for instance why should i pay 110 bucks for BF3 when i only play the campaign.
why should i pay as much as other people who play the campaign, co-op and MP?
publishers really need to start splitting up the modes and release them seperatley!
that way those who only want the campaign only pay for the campaign, instead of paying for things there never going to use!

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Axe99
Wednesday, June 13, 2012 @ 6:59:43 AM
Reply

Wouldn't go listening to Crytek too closely - they've got a long history of mouthing off without thinking, and not ending up being accurate. Best of luck to them with F2P, but while it will take off in some genres, many games will remain charged for up-front.

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