According to sources who have approached Let’s Play Video Games, Crytek Black Sea has been unable to pay its employees for three and a half months.
The sources, who have been privately verified by LPVG, say that the Bulgarian studio has not had any wages paid for the last three months. Employees at the studio were told that the problem would be resolved via a German bank loan (Crytek’s headquarters are in Germany) a month and a half ago, however this has not come through yet and there is no timescale as to if or when this will happen.
The delays in payment at Crytek Black Sea seem to be affecting all employees from entry-level all the way to management.
Interestingly, these figures differ from another alleged Crytek employee who has claimed on Reddit that they have not been paid for the past six months. The Reddit poster identifies themselves as working in the German-based studio, and so the Black Sea sources corroborating that information suggests that this problem affecting Crytek as a whole and not any specific branch.
Our sources say that the reasons given for the delay are pretty simple: Crytek hasn’t been making a profit for a long time. It is alleged that there were problems with payment two years ago (so not too long after the launch of Ryse: Son of Rome) that lasted for two months, however up to this current situation payments had been coming in relatively smoothly.
Another reason given previously were delays on payments owed to the company (presumably licensing for the popular CryEngine). Employees received a double salary three months ago to make up for a two-month delay before then, and so overall there have been irregular salary payments for approximately five months now.
It’s also claimed that the studio is up for sale, and is currently in discussions with a “big name company” to be purchased. We do not know which company this is.
Crytek Black Sea has been working on Arena of Fate, a free-to-play Moba that was announced back in 2014. Vesselin Handjev, director of Arena of Fate, left Black Sea in September of this year. Arena of Fate is the first game to be developed by the studio since it was purchased by Crytek in 2008.