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Crytek boss predicts death of consoles; wary of Vita, Wii U and streaming tech

Monday, 4th June 2012 05:13 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Cevat Yerli doesn’t see Crytek expanding onto new hardware frontiers any time soon.

“The console will displace the PC, you hear it again and again. On the contrary: I suspect that the next-generation of home consoles will be the last one,” the CEO told Golem.

The CEO said that the market is changing, making gamers more eager for easy-access, short experiences, and predicted that tablets, smartphones and browser-based games will put “massive pressure” on the next-generation of consoles.

“Of course there are still hardcore gamers who sit for an hour to install and then play for eight hours. But these consumers are becoming the minority,” he said.

“Today’s gamers buy a game for 99 cents, download it and play it for 15 to 20 minutes per day over a period of two months – and then they move on.”

As such, Crytek is pretty leery about consoles in general, with Yerli noting that Crytek has no pland for either the Vita or Wii U.

“For the Wii U, there will be games that run on the CryEngine, but from licensees,” he said.

“The Playstation Vita is currently too uncertain for us as a platform. Technically, I find the Vita very appealing, and have fun with it – no question. From a business perspective it is a bit too late.”

As for streaming games services, Yerli doesn’t believe they’re ready to meet the demands of hardcore PC gamers. Although he applauded those companies who have amde the leap, Yerli said he doesn’t think streaming is viable on current Internet technology.

“Hardcore gamers don’t want [streamed games], but rather the hardware that they like – namely hardcore PC and consoles,” he said.

“They want no compression artefacts, latency and the like. If one is streaming a game like Crysis, it does not look good. It’s like watching Avatar in low-res on YouTube.”

Crytek has a full development slate over the next few years; Crysis 3, free-to-play shooter Warface, Homefront 2 and Kinect-exclusive Ryse.

Thanks, GoNintendo.

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23 Comments

  1. ejams

    He has a few solid points, but that “small” minority of gamers will never go away. Just because it’s the minority doesn’t mean there is becoming less and less of them; it just means that other more open platforms are becoming available, and more and more people are considering themselves “gamers”. It’s sad that he doesn’t have plans for the vita, that would be really awesome.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. Ali Hayas

    OK nice to know ya. Never loved Crysis anyway. Besides who plays CoD online for more than 30 minutes ?

    @1 I don’t think minority is the best word. Hardcore gamers’ scene is pretty intact. Triple A games still sell millions and grant money. Huge gaming sites are one of the largest on the net. The smartphones have never had their appealing to me. They are like, on the way gaming and I prefer them over the Vita but that’s it. I mean who would replace BioShock with Angry Bird ? Besides trollers of course.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. Kabby

    He made some excellent points. He’s usually full of shit. Must have had three Shredded Wheat for breakfast.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. Phoenixblight

    @2

    ” I mean who would replace BioShock with Angry Bird ?”

    Any guy with business sense would want that because it provides so much in return for very little investment cost. Its why Popcap was bought for the amount that they were because those simple games sell more and return more than games like Bioshock.

    Eventually the industry will go with episodic content because the cost to develop and the demand will conflict and the only way publishers and developers will provide is by making games shorter and self contained.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. zeus019

    is he a mad man? COD,GTA,GOW (god n gears),AC,diablo and many more. these games indicate that the industry is growing day by day, as the next part (sequel) gets released they break previous records..so the future is brighter then ever ….. crysis series doesn’t sell because the main reason is game-play, i am not saying it’s bad but it’s not good either.. and story hmmmm :( ….
    sony/MS/nintendo/pc they are the future of real gaming and game from real developers will always sell.. so yes the future of crysis, i’m not so sure unless you improve the game (graphics is awesome no doubt) ….. :)

    #5 2 years ago
  6. Phoenixblight

    @5

    Read the article is not saying that gaming will die but consoles will which he is right. MS and SOny were in the red for half a decade after release of their consoles and they can’t continue that model. That is why they will going on another decade of another console and Yerli is right consoles will be gone after that point because by then we will have more services like Onlive and Gaikai. MS and SOny know this and that is why they have been investing into cloud. Consoles will eventually become more about what they offer as a service and not so much about what is running under the hood.

    #6 2 years ago
  7. Ali Hayas

    @4 I meant from a gamer’s point of view not a business’.

    I think CoD generates more than Angry Bird. Don’t get me wrong, I am a student, I don’t have a lot of money and I don’t have as much free time as I used to, but I can easily find me some time throught the week to play a huge blockbuster.

    The gaming industry has always been linked to the movie industry. Huge blockbuster are still there and there is always a chance to see them fail or succeed. The smartphones model is successful, no doubt about that, but it ain’t moving and it rarely generates more money than a console game. As long as the consoles model generates money, it won’t be abandoned and as far as I can tell, true quality games still make money. Hell even small budgets games still do.

    #7 2 years ago
  8. zeus019

    @6

    if consoles are dead then the a big part of the game industry will die too. don’t get me wrong but pc games has always been there but never on the top spot and pc games (not every game) has been always considered as the last option.

    #8 2 years ago
  9. Phoenixblight

    @7 He is not saying gaming will die but consoles will and he is right. Eventually CLoud gaming will take over because it is what the industry wants. It removes retail, renting, used and piracy along with no spending billions of dollars on research for hardware all in one sweep all that it needs is a server farm and the bandwidth to support it but before we go there it will have to go strictly download.

    @8
    Consoles are not why the industry is here. THey are just a service box that we use to play our games. We would play them on a browser if we could get the same quality as the console or PC. THats where MS and SOny and Nintendo will eventually go they won’t be hardware but services like Netflix.

    #9 2 years ago
  10. chipvideo

    Of course that is what he is going to predict. Its in his best interest to have everyone play on pc’s.

    #10 2 years ago
  11. HauntaVirus

    Consoles will die, just a matter of time. I hope it’s sooner than later, it would give devs the benefit of focusing all their time and effort on perfecting one version of the game. This would greatly reduce costs and shorten dev cycles. Seems like the only logical thing to do really. What dev wants to port a game to 4-6 different platforms…

    #11 2 years ago
  12. zeus019

    @9

    what u say is true… but after 20-30 years.. because u will be needing a fast internet connection, and not every country has a fast net connection …and game developers care about money it doesn’t matter where it’s from (hit games are always good)… so yes Consoles will be there along with pc and social games will also be there for casual gamers..

    oh…. And Cevat Yerli just wants to be in the news by making an absurd statement…

    #12 2 years ago
  13. Phoenixblight

    @12

    Thats why there is one more generation which will go for another 10 years which will allow bandwidth to be increased for everyone.

    #13 2 years ago
  14. loki

    I predict death of Crytek with such boring games

    #14 2 years ago
  15. manamana

    I dunno but gamers who play 99c games can also play core games and vice versa. If anything I would say that gaming as a whole has expanded and some people are satisfied with short games on the go.

    If nintendo wont license their IPs for others, they need to build consoles/hardware for their IPs. Not so shure about MS and Sony though, but I can not see a download/streaming only hardware in just ten years, as a fast broadband connection is limited to a couple of countries but by far not in a high standard across the globe.

    I think first of all Crytek need to adapt to the changes. That also includes iOS: Fibble? Really?

    #15 2 years ago
  16. Gekidami

    If he’s so sure the future is in mini phone games, why isnt his company putting all of their focus into them? Does he think that there’ll be much use for his companies super heavy weight engine in ‘his’ future?

    #16 2 years ago
  17. Telepathic.Geometry

    I don’t think that console gaming will die per se, rather that it will change into something unrecognisable when it evolves. Probably a tablet, which is incidentally the same fate I predict for the mighty PC, in about the same time-frame.

    #17 2 years ago
  18. Da Man

    5 k per week in the bishounen homeland.

    Yeah..

    #18 2 years ago
  19. Gheritt White

    Just because the next console gen is the last, doesn’t mean gaming will return to PC as its mass base. It’ll all be piped through your TV by the 2020s, possibly with Xbox/PlayStation as the service providers.

    #19 2 years ago
  20. Phoenixblight

    @19

    THats exactly what I have been trying to say.

    #20 2 years ago
  21. TheWulf

    @8

    You really ought to think things through before you speak. I say this to so many people, and often it’s because they don’t think things through. A person proud of their mind should be analytical enough to do this.

    Let me fill you in on what you’re missing.

    The PC is always going to be a major platform because of a lack of barriers. There’s no store you need to go through, and that sole fact alone is very attractive to developers, but not only that, there’s been proof time and again that Steam is better at marketing games than all of Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo put together.

    Many indie developers who are in a place where they can boast about successes have noted that via Steam they’ve seen their sales increase a thousandfold versus what they sold on the consoles. Why? Two reasons:

    1.) The consoles have a barrier of entry, so do mobile devices. You have to go through a process of validation which is an incredibly slow and punishing experience. So much so that Bethesda have complained about this, even, and said that their reason for releasing patches for the PC so long before the consoles is because of this long, belaboured process of verification that exists on other platforms. And even the Steam process for patch verification takes about 10% of the time it takes for console/mobile stores. Believe it or not, this shit matters to developers.

    2.) On the consoles, a lot of indie and small house developers will be shunned and designated to a virtual ghetto and not ever advertised alongside the oh so precious triple-A titles that MS and Sony look out for. (Examples: PSminis and XBLIG are both indie ghettos.) Not only this, but to exist in these ghettos, they have to lose a cut of their profits to MS and Sony. By comparison, Valve takes a cut too, but they also market the hell out of indies (hence things selling better on Steam). And the devs have the option to self-promote and advertise, selling their software from their own site.

    And now I’m going to give you the obvious example of what was born of the PC and could never have happened first on the consoles.

    Are you ready?

    Minecraft.

    Minecraft was self-promoted and sold from a developer’s website, it was spread by word of mouth via the Internet. There was no middle-man, and the success of Mojang had a lot to do with that. It allowed Notch to vary the price as he saw fit, increasing it over time so there actually wasn’t a tax on early adoption. Many Internet communities talked up Minecraft, and people tried the freely available demos and found that they liked it.

    This couldn’t have happened on mobiles or consoles because of their closed architecture. It’s the open architecture of the PC, by comparison, that allows for this. And this is why the PC is still valuable to developers big and small. To be honest, with some of the noises Bethesda have made in recent months, I’d almost half-espect them to ragequit the consoles if they didn’t enjoy the extra money it brought in.

    And look at the Steam Workshop and the mods system for Skyrim. Another form of promotion for the game that couldn’t have happened on consoles or mobiles because–all together now–closed architecture.

    In fact, Bethesda has gone out of their way to pretty much say that the PC is their favourite platform. Why do you think they put so much effort into stuff for the PC? The modding toolset? Free. The mod database? Free. Updates to how their engine handles mods? Free. High-resolution texture packs? Free. Do you see their favouritism yet? I do! And it’s because they love the shit out of the PC’s open architecture which actually allows them to do stuff like this. Extras like these are more a labour of love than they are a commercial effort.

    But I’m not done yet.

    Humble Bundle. A fantastic thing that’s helped so many developer get on their feet. Without the PC, this couldn’t have been born. The PC is an absolutely necessary part of the humble bundle process, and aside from the odd Android inclusion (since the Android platform is becoming quite open, but not so much as the PC yet), it’s been quite exclusively PC.

    Developers have ported their shit from the consoles and mobiles to be in bundles because they know how successful they are, they know how much they sell. See: Sword and Sworcery. And they’ve never been disappointed to my knowledge, because these bundles bring in a lot of money.

    This is the boon, the blessing, the brilliance of open architecture.

    There’s a simple fact to an analytical mind like mine: PCs won’t go away until something does open architecture as well as them.

    I had this argument with PhoenixBlight, too, and he said some very silly things. Like “OH, BUT YOU ARE SO WRONNNNG BECAUSE MS IS NOW MAKING A MOBILE OS!” whilst ignoring the truth. Microsoft are trying to broaden their horizons to see if they can make an open architecture mobile platform work for them. But they know it’s an experiment as much as I do, and this is why they concentrated on optimising the PC end of the OS as much as they did. (It is very optimised. Aside from the new, silly start menu thing, which can be turned off, it’s actually looking even better than Windows 7.)

    Now, I don’t have anything against consoles or mobiles. I own consoles, I play on consoles. I own an iPad, I love the hell out of my iPad. But I love my PC too, and as an analytical person who’s familiar with all of these platforms, I have insights that others won’t.

    Plus, I pay attention to what developers are saying. (This is important!)

    So, there you go. Consoles and mobiles are great, but the PC is going to be a more attractive market for as long as it remains to be the best example of open architecture.

    #21 2 years ago
  22. DSB

    @4 You’re leaving out a major part of that story. Rovio developed 51 games before Angry Birds, and the company was close to bankruptcy when they did.

    There’s nothing like a sure thing.

    @21 tl;dr PC is never gonna go away, because it’s the only open platform, EVER.

    #22 2 years ago
  23. ManuOtaku

    I only will say that as soon as a big flare from the sun collapse the internet and other forms of technological comunications, something that is not of a “if it will happen” situation, rather than a “when” one, and see the way they are so fragile to extern factors, they will look for the “close” consoles once again, and at the rate we are expanding the size of games from Megabytes to Gygas, and the not so distant Tera, it will always reach the cealing of the internet download capacity, therefore it will be like a dog chasing its tail situation here, it will never be able to reach it IMHO.

    Also Keep in mind the evolution of consoles like real 3D (holographics), or other technologies that we dont even begin to imagine at this moment,that will keep the consoles as a close box thing relevant for the not so distant future.

    #23 2 years ago

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