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Koch Media acquires Homefront from Crytek as developer restructures

updated 06:20 pm EDT, Sun August 3, 2014

Deep Silver to develop Homefront: The Revolution, Crytek closes UK, Austin studios

Crytek, the developer of Crysis series of games, seems to have found at least some relief from its financial troubles recently. The company commented for the first time about its monetary troubles last week, stating that it has a plan for the future. Releasing a statement that indicates it was in a transition from being a developer to a publisher, Crytek acknowledges that it wasn't as transparent with its employees as it should have been. As a result, the company entered conversations with the co-publisher of Homefront: The Revolution, which saw the franchise sold to Koch Media.

Trouble began in earlier in the year, when news surfaced that the company was having problems paying its employees. In July, a large number of employees walked out of the Crytek UK office after the company was late to pay them. While not an unheard-of occurrence, this time as many as 100 employees filed grievances and left, with some departures suggested to be permanent separations.

As part of the long-term planning for Crytek, the company released a statement to PC Gamer stating that it had secured capital to continue funding the company as it transitioned from developer to online publisher. Crytek still didn't comment on the specifics of its monetary problems, but stated that with everything it now has, the company can look toward the future.

It then issued another release that talked about some of the future plans, including the sale of the Homefront franchise to Deep Silver's parent company. Crytek stated that on top of the assets and intellectual property, the team working on Homefront in Nottingham would transition to Koch Media.

Koch Media, the parent company of publisher Deep Silver, announced on the same day that it acquired the Homefront franchise and all assets involved with the recently announced Homefront: The Revolution. Development for Homefront: The Revolution, will continue at a new studio in Nottingham the company founder called Deep Silver Dambuster Studios.

"We are thrilled to see another great IP joining the Deep Silver universe," said Koch Media CEO Dr. Klemens Kundratitz. "We strongly believe in the potential of Homefront: The Revolution and trust in the new team to continue the path they have been walking in the last years."

Crytek also revealed that it would be restructuring its studio within the company, including laying off the majority of the company's employees in Austin. Several members would remain in the American office to support CryEngine, but remaining employees are being asked to reapply for new positions in Germany. The game that Crytek Austin was working on, Hunt: Horrors of the Gilded Age, is being transferred to Crytek Frankfurt. The company added that it would be looking at "closer collaboration" between its studios in Shanghai and Seoul.

Kotaku reports that the majority of the studio in Austin had quit before the news came that Crytek would be doing the layoffs and shifting the development of Hunt to another studio. Team members left over a week ago because of payment issues. It's said that the studio was made up mostly of team members from Vigil, a defunct studio that was under THQ. Members of the studio began leaving after June 20, a date that Crytek CEO Cevat Yerli said would see an injection of cash into the company because of a bank deal.

"As we look to cement Crytek's future, this strategic deal with Koch Media would allow us to continue with our ambitious goals to become an online publisher," said Crytek CEO Cevat Yerli. "With Warface, Arena of Fate and Hunt, we believe we have the perfect portfolio and teams to make that happen. 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."

by MacNN Staff



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