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'Far Cry' developer Crytek sheds five studios in the wake of financial hardship

On Tuesday, German video game developer Crytek announced it will significantly scale back its operations, closing five of its external studios as part of a major corporate restructuring.

The company also outlined its future plans, announcing that it intends to “refocus on its core strengths of developing innovative games and game-development technology.”

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This week marks the closure of Crytek’s studios in Bulgaria, Hungary, South Korea, China, and Turkey. Crytek will shift its future development efforts toward its remaining core studios in Frankfurt, Germany and Kiev, Ukraine.

Crytek’s restructuring follows up on recent rumors indicating the company fell behind on payments due to multiple studio employees and contractors throughout 2016. In 2012, Crytek announced plans to “fully transition” to developing free-to-play games exclusively — an approach that has apparently failed.

Crytek emerged as a major industry player following the launch of Far Cry in 2004 and its visually impressive follow-up Crysis served as a benchmark for PC graphics hardware for many years after its 2007 debut. Though Crytek’s release schedule has slowed significantly in the years since, the company maintains a steady revenue stream by licensing its CryEngine development framework.

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While many industry veterans will lose their jobs as part of Crytek’s multi-studio closure, the company assures that it has “put plans into action to secure jobs and to ensure a smooth transition and stable future” for its former employees.

“Undergoing such transitions is far from easy, and we’d like to sincerely thank each and every staff member — past and present — for their hard work and commitment to Crytek,” studio co-founder Avni Yerli said in a statement. “These changes are part of the essential steps we are taking to ensure Crytek is a healthy and sustainable business moving forward that can continue to attract and nurture our industry’s top talent.”

Yerli continued: “The reasons for this have been communicated internally along the way. Our focus now lies entirely on the core strengths that have always defined Crytek — world-class developers, state-of-the-art technology and innovative game development, and we believe that going through this challenging process will make us a more agile, viable, and attractive studio, primed for future success.”