Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

There is a big german gamecompany that hasn't paid 300+ employees in 4 months so they are bleeding employees instead of firing them.

I'm amazed people are hanging on after four months without a paycheck.

If I weren't an actual founder of the company, I think I'd be willing to put up with one missed paycheck. Sometimes shit just happens. But if a second was missed, I'd walk out.

crytek has offices in many countries and employees are not guaranteed to have the same rights and expectings in all of them. the truth is also that the managers of crytek spend most of their time coming up with the lies they need to tell to keep people waiting for money and it works because people know they also cannot fight an international battle against a big company.

Well sure, they can't win a fight. But they can leave. Or is that less of an option in games development than in the rest of the industry?

people have left and more are leaving because the situation is seeing no real improvement. the sofiastudio as far as i know got two months delayed money and then got two payments at once and now are not being paid for two months again.

we cannot all go to the star citizen team in the end and some of us are too loyal and maybe too stupid or too comfortable and naive.

You're using a throwaway so why hiding the name of the company? It could save fellow developers.

Is it Wooga/King games?

correct so I will give up


Any proof?

FWIW I've heard the same thing through the grapevine. I'm not in the games industry myself, so appropriate amounts of salt required.

Star Citizen's developer, Cloud Imperium Games, was pretty forward about getting a blazing deal on a bunch of churned out crytek engine devs a few (weeks/months) back; I recall hearing a lot of discussion on their subreddit/forums/chat about the issues at crytek that lead to this migration, so the parents statements certainly don't disagree with other facts that I trust.

Two weeks ago. Here's the comment from Sean Tracy regarding an old procedural city generation demo at Crytek:

> We had plans at Crytek back when Marco and a team of guys worked on this (and now we are looking to hire some guys from that old team ;) "spoiler alert" ).


The CIG Frankfurt office (Foundry 42 Germany) is already staffed by a bunch of former Cryengine devs who left Crytek 2-ish years ago amidst rumblings of people not getting paid.

There's also Amazon Lumberyard, which is effectively Amazon giving away Cryengine (or an offshoot of it) for free with ties to Twitch and their cloud infrastructure. That launch came across as a "we badly need money from someone" partnership on Crytek's part, you won't find their name anywhere on Lumberyard.


no proof that would not make it so that peoples' future is not ruined. they all depend on not pissing off the wrong people in order to get the money they are owed. reality is that no one within crytek trusts the management since they have lied for several months about what is going on.

i heard that a sister studio in bulgaria no longer has management because of the disconnection in the company.

In Germany not paying on time results in a default 40 euro fee being owed. Also any costs incurred because of not being paid on time are also owed.

Further more withholding pay all together is a criminal offence which I believe carries serious jail time.

After months of not getting paid you should lawyer up. The legal system is very much on the side of the employee, if you get fired for getting a lawyer, you'll get even more money and possibly rehired. (I know one person who got their job back after going to a lawyer, it was very much not the outcome they wanted.)

Man, they burnt through that $50M from Amazon pretty fast.

Lots of complaints on Glassdoor[1]

[1] https://www.glassdoor.com/Reviews/Crytek-Reviews-E347451.htm

yes, some of the reviews are referencing the last time we did not get paid which was in 2014. it is however much worse this time and management is not caring at all to fix it.

this review talks about the current situation:


Is there any more info you can provide? I dont want to sound combative, just curious because I have a lot of friends there and I havent heard anything.

Is this happening for all employees? Do you think Crytek is holding on for robinson?

I actually literally just got an offer a few weeks ago, this changes a lot. I know crytek had trouble before, but Im suprised these struggles are translating to the FFM studio.

As soneone who reads just the news and liked their older games:

I really don't understand why Crytek management did so many rather stupid decisions. Everyone told them, they are wrong, multiple times. The had one of the brst games with Far Cry 1 and Crysis 1. Then everything onwards went wrong. The started multiple developer studios. Developed boring console games like Rise. Dumbed down Crysis from an more open world shooter to a narrow map lacklustre Call of Duty clone with Crysis 2. Then they did a little known Crisis 3 and bet big on Free2Play games, everyone warned them, but the still went on and hit the wall big time. Then they lost several studios, were unable to pay devs, lost engine devs to Star Citizen, did the Amazon engine license deal. Then Unreal 4 engine was released "for free"(*), they reacted not optimal to this event. Now with their Free2Play strategy hit the ground, they bet big on VR and their writing is on the wall. Why can't the just focus on Triple-A games like Crysis 1? They have a very good engine, and had two Triple-A games. Really sad, but it doesn't look good reading the other comments.

it applies to everyone and some are worse off than others. we have had emails sent to us from the bosses saying that we should not talk with people from the other studios but of course there is nothing that makes this impossible.

under no circumstance should you take work at crytek. the reason for all of this is that the company as a whole has not had positive books for a long time and they did not look for money early enough. this means that they are now in a panic.

Intresting, Im suprised this hasnt gotten any coverage or attention really. This is the first time Ive heard of it, but it correlates with a recent change in attitute with some of my contacts there. Some outright dont respond to messages, others reply with "Things are fine" etc...

Do you anticipate this getting more coverage in the comming days/weeks? When was the last missed paycheck if I may ask?

Thanks again. Your doing good work informing people.

the reason for the coverage being low is that no one is saying anything and information on glassdoor is being ignored by most people anyway.

full disclosure: i am from the sofia office but i think that this is dangerous to say because we are fewer than the germans. in the sofia office we have not been paid for two months now and before that we had to wait two months for salaries, so it makes a total of 4 months of waiting. i can confirm that the frankfurt office also has not received money but i am not able to say exactly what their situation is. 2 or 3 months.

i dont think this will get coverage because i will not provide any evidence that will make it clear who i am. if someone can tell me how to prove this without being in danger with crytek i will do what i can.

Generally the best way to do this is to post an email regarding NDA, payments, whatever sent to a large group and block out the "To" but keep the sender and as much of the content as possible.

Up to you if you post it publicly, I couldnt see the harm there but alternatively you could email it from a disposable email to a gaming news site. They are very careful with their sources and can help. They have experience breaking stories like this. You should get a reply in less than 2h from most press sites for a story like this.

Sorry you're stuck in a bad situation. I'm a reporter for a US publication. Any interest in chatting off the record? I can give you more details if you get in touch, and guide you through the process of remaining anonymous. You can email me: germanthrowawayquestions@gmail.com

i want to add that some studios in the crytek family seem to have gotten paid in the middle of this period so this means that they are 2 month owed. these are not late payments but payments that never happened at all for 2 months.

Hamburg, I guess... ?

Could be, I know alot of developers here who work for GoodGames and InnoGames. I think GG did a batch of firings semi-recently but I don't recall hearing about anybody not being paid. Then again I'm not German so I miss out on some news.

not gg, not ig


GF already fired ~100 people a few days ago: http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2016-10-25-layoffs-str...



Guidelines | FAQ | Lists | API | Security | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact