Q&A: The Yerli Brothers

Q&A: The Yerli Brothers
Will Freeman

By Will Freeman

September 30th 2009 at 11:00AM

The Crytek founders on why the developer is Europe's leading UK independent

Ten years have passed since Cevat, Avni and Faruk Yerli founded Crytek. Here, the trio shed light on the company’s progress and their hopes for
its future…

As you draw close to your tenth anniversary, what do you think is your greatest achievement as a company over that period?
Very interesting question. Let’s put it this way: the journey is the reward and we have come a long way. It’s the ‘Crytek way’ that is our biggest achievement. Our games and our technology have gained us the respect of gamers and our industry. We worked very hard to achieve this, and we built that company and the whole Crytek family on the three values: trust, collaboration and respect.

Those values define and guide our everyday work. We trust our vision, our dreams and the talents of our Crytek family, and believe that we’re all heroes in our own right. Collaboration enables our teams to make or break goals. Our heroes strive to contribute in ever more meaningful ways to our gamers, our communities and industry. That, in our eyes, is the biggest achievement of Crytek so far.

Why did you decide to start to license out your internal tech?
To be honest, at the beginning that wasn’t a priority for us. We just wanted to have a proprietary engine for our games projects. The first companies contacted us in 2002, and said they wanted to license CryENGINE. That was a great honour for us and, after a bit of thinking, we started to establish our licensing business and just a short time later had several licensees.

Today, engine licensing is a very important part of our daily business. It continues to show us every day what the CryENGINE is able to do.

Crytek has always been devoted to the cutting edge. Placed as you are in that position, what do you expect to see from the next ‘next-generation’ platforms?

The new generation of consoles will definitely blow our mind. We’ll experience not only all-new graphical fireworks but also a lot of impressive new functionality.

Our CryENGINE 3 is already next-gen ready and allows studios to develop cutting edge games for this generation and the next generation of consoles. It can deliver top-notch quality on all platforms now, and you can have a head start on development for the next generation. We want to be prepared for the future while also delivering for this generation.

What motivated your decision to expand into the UK?

The decision to acquire Free Radical came up at the end of 2008. The combination of our CryENGINE technology and the experienced, skilled team was more than perfect for us and was highly attractive. We think the team fits into our culture and strategy very well, as Free Radical has a proven track record in developing games on consoles and PC. We always planned to enter the console market and open a studio in the UK, and that was part of our strategy even before the acquisition.

What plans do you have for your UK studio?
When we acquired Free Radical, we were really impressed with the development talent they have and their console experience. What we expect is that the team will make kick ass games under the Crytek umbrella.

Are you considering establishing a new presence in any other countries?
Well, I think we currently have a very strong studio network with our studios in Budapest, Frankfurt, Kiev, Nottingham, Sofia and Seoul. We are always looking into all possibilities. But at the moment we are not actively looking for a new presence.

What makes a career at Crytek so special for your employees?
At Crytek we’re always looking for talented and skilled developers who understand that making games is more than just a job. Everybody who joins us here at Crytek joins a highly motivated, talented and experienced team.

What attracts people to work at the company?
We’re convinced that a good and healthy team in a unique culture is the key to succes; it offers a lot to our employees. Besides a competitive salary and bonuses schemes, Crytek offers a very refreshing atmosphere in an multinational English-speaking team.

We also apply the 80/20 rule: our employees are allowed to use up to 20 per cent of their work time to pursue ideas outside their projects. In many cases people from different departments are working together and carrying ideas further. Through this, we’re killing two birds with one stone: we’re holding the creative potential and the entrepreneurial spirit up, and in particular beginners can show their specialities, which helps us support them by specific education.

In addition to that, we also offer flexible work time, good health care benefits and relocation support. All in all, Crytek is a great place to work and we’re always happy to welcome new members to our Crytek family.