Crytek UK

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Crytek UK
Former type Subsidiary of Crytek
Industry Video game industry
Interactive entertainment
Founded 1999 (as Free Radical Design)
2009 (as Crytek UK)
Defunct 2014[1]
Headquarters Nottingham, England, UK
Owners Independent (1999-2009)
Crytek (2009-2014)[2]
Employees 175
Parent Crytek
Website www.crytek.com

Crytek UK (formerly Free Radical Design) was a British video game developer based in Nottingham, United Kingdom, probably best known for the TimeSplitters series and Second Sight.[3] After going into financial administration, it was announced on 4 February 2009 that the studio had been acquired by German video game developer Crytek and would be renamed Crytek UK.[4] Crytek UK has a good relationship with the city of Nottingham due in part to its sponsorship of the Gamecity festival and its recruitment drives with Nottingham Trent University.[5]

History[edit]

The company's original logo (1998-2006)
The company's second logo (2006-2009)

Initially, most of Free Radical Design's employees previously worked for the game developer Rare. While at Rare, they (David Doak, Steve Ellis, Karl Hilton, Graeme Norgate and Lee Ray) worked on the Nintendo 64 first-person shooters GoldenEye 007 and Perfect Dark. From late 1998 to early 1999, this team left Rare to form Free Radical Design, which was established in April 1999, their first release being TimeSplitters for the PlayStation 2 in 2000. It was known for its very fast-paced gameplay and its particular emphasis on multiplayer rather than story.[3] TimeSplitters attracted attention at the time because of the former Rare employees' work on the critically acclaimed GoldenEye 007. Its sequel TimeSplitters 2 became the highest-ranked first-person shooter on the PlayStation 2.[6]

Free Radical design was working on Star Wars Battlefront III from 2006 to 2008, but it became cancelled when it was 99 percent complete.[7] This game and Haze made Free Radical Design to go into administration.[8] On 18 December 2008, it was reported that the studio had shut down,[9] though it was later confirmed that the company had gone into administration,[10] leaving 40 of the original 185 staff still employed.[11] On 3 February 2009, Haze scriptwriter Rob Yescombe announced that Free Radical Design had been purchased by German games developer Crytek[12] which was then confirmed by Crytek themselves the following day.[4] In 2010, Crytek UK moved from Sandiacre to brand new offices in the new central Nottingham Southreef development. The £50 million investment will allow Crytek UK to "grow over the next few months".[5][13]

2014 financial difficulties and layoffs[edit]

In June 2014, reports surfaced that Crytek had missed wage payments and withheld bonuses for Crytek UK employees, and that as a result, a number of employees had filed grievances and refused to report to work, and at least 30 employees had left Crytek UK since 2011 alone due to a decreasing morale at the studio. After denying that there were issues, Crytek later admitted on 25 July 2014 that the company was in a "transitional phase" as it secured capital for future projects, with a particular emphasis on online gaming.[14][15]

On 30 July 2014, Crytek announced that due to an internal restructuring, it would sell the intellectual property of Homefront (a game of which the studio was currently in development of a sequel Homefront: The Revolution), to Koch Media, parent company of video game publisher Deep Silver, and lay off much of Crytek UK's staff. Crytek left it unclear whether Crytek UK had been shut down entirely, however all staff were transferred to the new Deep Silver Dambuster Studios being established in Nottingham in accordance with British law[16] and will continue to work on Homefront: The Revolution.[17][18][19]

Games[edit]

As Free Radical Design
Year Game Publisher Genre Platform(s)
PS2 Xbox GCN Win PS3
2000 TimeSplitters Eidos Interactive First-person shooter Yes No No No No
2002 TimeSplitters 2 Eidos Interactive First-person shooter Yes Yes Yes No No
2004 Second Sight Codemasters Action-adventure, stealth Yes Yes Yes Yes No
2005 TimeSplitters: Future Perfect Electronic Arts First-person shooter Yes Yes Yes No No
2008 Haze Ubisoft First-person shooter No No No No Yes
As Crytek UK
Year Game Genre Notes Platform(s)
PS3 X360 Win PS4 XBO
2011 Crysis 2 First-person shooter Development of the multiplayer only Yes Yes Yes No No
2013 Crysis 3 First-person shooter Collaborated development with Crytek Frankfurt Yes Yes Yes No No

References[edit]

  1. ^ Sarkar, Samit (30 July 2014). "Homefront: The Revolution devs to move to Deep Silver as Crytek scales back two studios". Polygon. Vox Media. Retrieved 30 July 2014. 
  2. ^ McWhertor, Michael. "Crytek Buys Free Radical". Kotaku. 
  3. ^ a b Hwang, Kaiser (June 2007), "Free Radical: The Face That Launched A Thousand Games", PSM: 18–19 
  4. ^ a b crytek.com
  5. ^ a b Gaming firm Crytek to be first tenant at Nottingham's Southreef
  6. ^ gamerankings.com
  7. ^ [1]
  8. ^ [2]
  9. ^ Graft, Kris (18 December 2008). "Source: Free Radical Locked Up". Edge-online.com. Edge. Retrieved 18 December 2008. 
  10. ^ "185 jobs at risk at computer games company". This is Nottingham. 
  11. ^ Robert Purchese. "Admin confirms Free Radical demise". Eurogamer. 
  12. ^ Emma Boyes. "Crytek Purchases Free Radical, Says Company Scriptwriter". 1up. 
  13. ^ Crytek Contact Page
  14. ^ "[Update] Staff At Homefront Developer Crytek UK Not Reporting To Work". Game Informer. Retrieved 30 July 2014. 
  15. ^ "Report: 30+ Staff Have Left Crytek UK Since 2011, Morale is "Low"". GameSpot. Retrieved 30 July 2014. 
  16. ^ "Deep Silver Buys Homefront, UK Staff To Transfer To New Dambuster Studio, Crytek USA Scaled Back". GameInformer. Retrieved 30 July 2014. 
  17. ^ "Deep Silver buys Homefront from Crytek, moves Homefront: The Revolution to new studio". Polygon. Retrieved 30 July 2014. 
  18. ^ "Crytek Lays Off Staff After Selling Homefront; Crytek UK May Be Shut Down". GameSpot. Retrieved 30 July 2014. 
  19. ^ "Crytek No Longer Developing Homefront, Sells Rights to Publisher Deep Silver". GameSpot. Retrieved 30 July 2014. 

External links[edit]