In an interview with GamesBeat, Crytek CEO Cevat Yerli says that his company will completely move to a free-to-play format for all of its games within two to five years. Several games (outside of Facebook) have found success with the FTP model, including MLG's heavy-hitter League of Legends, Planetside 2, and Crytek's own Warface, a FPS MMO. With numerous MMOs starting that way or becoming that way to encourage a larger audience, it may not be too surprising to see big developers like Crytek make this stand, and we'll probably see several others make similar moves in the near future.
“We decided five or six years ago that we want to marry the quality of triple-A games with the business model of free-to-play,” Yerli said. “And out of that position, Gface and Warface were born. And at that time, we decided some other games, in some of our other studios, would head in this direction. But we kept pushing the quality bar higher on our console business, which is the main dominating business for the Western world, but we are observing, plainly—and we see this already with Warface—that the free-to-play market is on the rise. I think over the next two to three years, free-to-play is going to rival retail with quality games like Warface.”
Both Warface and Gface (Crytek's social platform to connect gamers while they play) are being developed for the PC only, but Yerli said that they plan to implement the FTP model with consoles too.
“So we have quite a few console titles in our pipeline that are [traditional retail games] while we investigate free-to-play on consoles,” Yerli explained. “But our primary goal is to make triple-A free-to-play games for the world market, and transition entirely to that.”
With the US already used to paying $60 just to play a game online with their friends, it will be interesting to see how they would embrace a FTP model for similar games. What if a FTP FPS toppled Call of Duty on consoles within the next five years?