Crytek opens US studio, offers “new start” for Vigil staff

Monday, 28 January 2013 21:49 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Crytek has established a new development studio in Austin, Texas, with some former Vigil Games employees finding a new home with the German-owned firm.

Crytek USA will be the company’s ninth studio and its first in the US.

The new office comes as something of a surprise, following so closely behind Crytek Istanbul’s foundation this month, but a couple of comments from Crytek staff suggest the firm didn’t have to look far to find staff.

“We are extremely excited about the work that we will be undertaking from our strategic new location in Austin, with David Adams and his team of 35 experienced developers,” Crytek CEO Cevat Yerli said.

“I’m thrilled to be a part of the newest Crytek studio, which will boast some of the brightest development talent in the industry,” newly-appointed Crytek USA CEO David Adams, co-founder of Vigil Games, added.

Smelling a well-behaved, hygienic and honest rat of the kind you’d be only to happy to welcome into your home, Gamasutra pressed Crytek for details. Representative Jens Schafer “strongly hinted” that Crytek may have snatched up a portion of the shuttered team’s most experienced staff.

Asked whether Crytek had rescued Vigil Games, Schafer said the new studio is “more like a new start for” the developer.

Not all Crytek USA staffers are former Vigil employees; just the 35 mentioned in the press release. In a later interview, Yerli told Gamasutra that the studio wasn’t set up just to snatch up Vigil staff, instead drawing on Austin’s talent pool in general – but Vigil’s dissolution presented an opportunity.

“Austin was high on the list. It was pretty much highest on the list. We saw this as an opportunity. These guys are jobless, we can save their jobs at the same time, we can move Crytek forward in the US, and make steps that are in line with our strategies,” he said.

“It would be pretty much safe to say that this team will be working on online games,” he added.

“Online games and kick-ass triple-A productions. It is going to be quite a significant investment for Crytek over the next five years.”

Vigil developed Darksiders and Darksiders 2 and was not purchased in THQ’s auction. The fate of the Darksiders IP is unknown; it may be part of ongoing auctions for other THQ properties, and Crytek does not hold the rights.