Crysis developer Crytek is looking towards the future of free-to-play gaming.

The free-to-play sector of video gaming is growing larger with each passing month.  As paid games continue to see declining revenues, more and more developers are turning to free-to-play games to make money through microtransactions.  This has resulted in free-to-play games having bigger budgets and resembling AAA console releases more and more.  Free-to-play games like Tribes:  Ascend are almost indistinguishable from $60 shooters, except that there’s no money required to play them.  The popularity of free-to-play games has attracted many developers and publishers, with Crysis developer Crytek being the latest.

After Crytek ships Crysis 3 and Homefront 2, all Crytek-developed games from then on will be “online and free-to-play,” Crytek CEO Cevat Yerli told Videogamer.  “Right now we are in the transitional phase of our company, transitioning from packaged goods games into an entirely free-to-play experience.”   Mr. Yerli explained that the reasoning behind the company’s shift to free-to-play is that things like DLC and paid subscription services for retail games are “literally milking the customers to death.”

-Nick’s take:  Is this a smart move, or is Crytek making a big mistake?  I’m not sure, but I tend to enjoy paid retail games more than free-to-play games.  Can Crytek continue to push the technological limits of video game hardware if customers aren’t buying their games?

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