Financially troubled game and game engine developer Crytek has sold off its Crytek Black Sea studio to Sega, which is rolling the group into its Creative Assembly team as Creative Assembly Sofia.
Once the darling of the gaming industry thanks to graphically-impressive shooters like Far Cry
, Crytek has struggled in recent years in the face of stiff competition for both the games it releases and the CryEngine game engine on which they are built. In 2014 employees at the company reported going unpaid even as the company denied bankruptcy rumours
, and following the failure of the Ryse franchise
the company's future looked bleak
. In July that year Crytek announced an influx of cash
which it claimed would secure its future, including the sale of its Homefront franchise to Deep Silver
, and in April 2015 Amazon licensed CryEngine for its own Lumberyard project at $50 million
. Sadly, even these two together were not enough to put the company on an even keel: in December last year staff once again reported going unpaid
, and later that month Crytek announced it was to close all but two of its studios
to stem losses.
Now the fate of one of the company's five closed studios - Crytek Black Sea located in Sofia, Bulgaria - has been given a new lease of life courtesy Sega. 'The acquisition of Crytek Black Sea further enhances Sega Europe's development capabilities and strengthens our ability to output diverse and engaging content for our IP,
' claimed Jurgen Post, president and chief operating officer of Sega Europe, of the deal. 'Creative Assembly Sofia will be working exclusively on content for Creative Assembly and will prove an invaluable asset given the multitude of unannounced titles currently in the works. This acquisition represents another step in the right direction for the growth of our global business, underlining our commitment to add value to our existing studios and our continued support for the UK games industry.
'Now in our 30th year of games development, with an army of multi-million selling titles to our name and a history of world-renowned partnerships, Creative Assembly is proof of the UK games industry's potential for global success,
' crowed Creative Assembly studio director Tim Heaton. 'Due to this success, we are further expanding our UK base and developing additional projects overseas, whilst pursuing top talent from across the globe to join us, all in support of our commitment to creating high quality, authentic gaming experiences. Our continued growth allows us to be dynamic with our future projects, constantly seeking new opportunities and reaching a wider audience with our games.
The deal follows considerable expansion at Creative Assembly over the last year, with the studio having increased its headcount 37 percent to more than 500 and the opening of its third UK production facility which includes a 45-camera motion-capture studio and dedicated audio suites. Financial terms of the agreement have not been disclosed.