Deep Silver buys Homefront IP, Crytek UK staff transferring to new studio, and Crytek USA staff nearly all laid off

Homefront Revolution

Deep Silver, the Europe-based video game publisher famous for the Dead Island and Saints Row series, has announced today that it has acquired the rights to the “Homefront” IP from Crytek.  Along with this sale, Deep Silver will take over the development of the upcoming entry in the Homefront franchise “Homefront: The Revolution” at it’s new Dambuster Studios.  Crytek UK, the team originally tasked with completing Homefront: The Revolution, will all transfer to this new Deep Silver owned studio in Nottingham, England.  Former employees of Crytek UK seem happy about the news, with composer Graeme Norgate saying “Good bye Crytanic, hello Deep Silver Dambuster Studios!” in a tweet.

Koch Media, Deep Silver’s parent company, released a statement on the acquisition today, with Dr. Klemens Kundratitz, CEO of Koch Media Group, saying  “We are thrilled to see another great IP joining the Deep Silver universe.  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.”

Hunt-Horrors-of-the-Gilded-Age

Development on Hunt: Horrors of the Gilded Age will be completed by Crytek’s Frankfurt studio

Crytek founder and CEO, Cevat Yerli, spoke about the new in a statement on Crytek’s website. “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. 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.”

The news Yeril is referring to about Crytek USA is that the Austin-based studio would be shrank to include only support for the US based licensing of the CryEngine.  Crytek USA was currently developing Hunt: Horrors of the Guilded Age, but that game’s development will be finished by Crytek’s main Frankfurt studio.  The development staff from Crytek USA is apparently allowed to apply for jobs at the German studio, though no guarantees would be made for their hiring.  For those who don’t know, Crytek USA was formed from many of the employees of Vigil Games, the developers of the Darksiders franchise, who’s studio went under during the THQ bankruptcy auction.

Kotaku is reporting many of those involved with the Crytek USA studio actually quit last week.  30-35 of the employees, the bulk of the studio, left because they were not being paid by Crytek, echoing rumors and reports from the last month about Crytek UK.  These mass departures are what caused Crytek to shift the development of Hunt to it’s Frankfurt office. According to a Kotaku source, Crytek boss Cevat Yerli visited the Austin, Texas-based Crytek USA in May to inform them that they were planning to put together a bank deal by June 20.  The employees had not been paid in several weeks at that time, but Yerli assured them they would be paid soon.  When June 20th came around, and they found no such cash injection, many employees simply stopped coming to work.  Gameinformer confirmed these reports, saying many of the employees ended up in studios like Red Fly Studios, id Software, Battlecry Studios, and Retro Studios.

by, Bobby Marquardt

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