Far Cry and Crysis developer Crytek will transition to a free-to-play centric business model within the next five years, GamesBeat reports.
Crytek’s first undertaking in the free-to-play market is Warface, which entered closed beta testing in January. A class-based military shooter set in the not-too-distant future, Warface seeks to combine the quality experience of a game like Battlefield 3 with the accessibility of something your mom might play on Facebook. For now it has only been announced on PC, but Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions are possible:
“So we have quite a few console titles in our pipeline that are [traditional retail games] while we investigate free-to-play on consoles,” explains Crytek CEO Cevat Yerli. “But our primary goal is to make triple-A free-to-play games for the world market, and transition entirely to that.”
It’s not difficult to see the appeal of the free-to-play model. It is one that is much more widespread outside western markets, but big-name titles such as Team Fortress 2 and Star Wars: The Old Republic have made the transition within the last few years.
“If you look at it historically, the U.S. has primarily been about retail. That’s shifting a lot. There’s a lot more free-to-play coming from the U.S. but this has been mainly Facebook games.”
In addition to Warface, Crytek will be launching a service they are calling Gface, that will connect PC gamers worldwide to experience high-quality free gaming selections. The service will support Crytek’s future library, but it will also be open to other developers.
Moving forward, it is Crytek’s goal to craft the landscape of free-to-play for hardcore gamers. They still want to make great games.
Crytek’s latest project, Crysis 3, will launch on February 19.