Crytek CEO Cevat Yerli has expressed frustration with platform holders' reluctance to embrace all-digital offerings.
"Why are free-to-play online games not widespread on consoles? You should ask Microsoft and Sony this question," Yerli said in an interview with CVG.
"We see the future of consoles as free-to-play - ideally focussed on free-to-play. That's what I want to see in the future. But unfortunately not everybody shares this vision due to many other reasons.
"Eighteen months ago we talked to Microsoft about doing a free-to-play version of Warface, and then again 12 months ago, and then again six months ago. It was the same with Nintendo and Sony."
Yerli said console manufacturers are reliant on retail partners in a way that companies like Apple are not, and therefore can't pursue an all digital strategy.
"So really the number one issue that needs to be resolved is how companies like Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo become independent from retail so that they can go fully digital," the executive added, noting that the retail question is the biggest problem facing the industry.
Crytek has said it will transition to an entirely free-to-play developer in the wake of Crysis 3; it already has one major free-to-play title, on the go - Warface.
The full interview, available through the link above, includes Yerli's prediction that tablets will supplant consoles, and several other interesting tidbits.