Chicago (IL) - A report published in a German newspaper today suggests that Electronic Arts (EA) could snuggle up with Crytek closer and beyond the distribution deal for the upcoming Crysis first-person-shooter. The developer of FarCry would be the second German game developer EA would be acquiring within a short period of time.
According to article published in "Die Welt," EA's executive vice president and general manager of international publishing Gerhard Florin described Crytek as a "very, very interesting candidate" for an acquisition. Faruk Yerli, co-founder of the Frankfurt, Germany, based game studio, confirmed related conversations with EA to Die Welt. However, Yerli did not provide any indication of an impending acquisition and mentioned that Crytek is also considering an initial public offering.
Following "FarCry," which has sold more than 2.4 million times, Crytek is currently developing the successor "Crysis" that was demonstrated first at the recent E3 conference. Crysis originally was scheduled to be hitting store shelves later this year, but is now more likely to be become available in early 2007, according to recent reports in the German magazine "Der Spiegel." Crysis has a development budget of about $20 million, which exceeds the cost of most German movie productions.
If Electronic Arts in fact is considering an acquisition of Crytek, it would not only bag a promising shooter, but also the CryEngine2 game engine behind it. The engine would join the Unreal 3 Engine, which EA has licensed from Epic Games for several new of its own games. A deal may also prompt EA's rival Ubisoft to rethink its game strategy: Ubisoft was the original publisher of FarCry and announced earlier this year and it has secured all rights to the FarCry first-person-shooter series.
EA announced last week that it has acquired Phenomic, the Ingelhiem, Germany-based developer of SpellForce 2: Shadow Wars.