A new development team is taking over Warface, a six-year-old free-to-play online FPS. Development of the game, from its first beta to now, has taken place under Crytek – the company known for titles like Ryse: Son of Rome and the Crysis franchise.
Now, the creative director of Warface, Michael Khaimzon, is leaving to create his own company with the rest of the development team, calling it Blackwood Games. All of these members are formerly of Crytek’s Kiev studio. They’re taking Warface with them, including all “previously announced updates.”
In a statement via Crytek, the company commented on this development:
“It has been an incredible journey for all of us – from the first beta-tests to being one of the most popular online shooters of our time. More than 65 million people around the world play Warface, and there are regular esports tournaments and festivals.”
The post goes on, claiming that the Kiev team has grown with the size of the game. This “strategic and structural change” is what’s best for the future of Warface.
According to Polygon, this change was a long time coming. Back in 2016, Crytek went through some reorganization. Only three studios remained afterward. On top of this, Crytek founder Cevat Yerli stepped away from his long-held CEO position. The company went on to sell the rights to the Timesplitters franchise soon afterward.
The Crytek CEO, Avni Yerli, spoke on the changes as well:
“The Warface development team has always inspired us. To go independent to enable a closer partnership with the game’s publisher is a strategic move, and as we all agree, it is in the game’s best interests. At the same time, this reorganization will allow us to focus on our own core IPs and long-term plans.”
It seems that all parties agree this departure was the best for the long-time success of the game and possible franchise. Khaimzon describes that it was “a tough decision” to separate from Crytek – especially after all this time. However, teams are made of people, and people change and grow. Fortunately, everyone is coming within the merger so that those changes will be applied directly to the game.
Warface released in 2013 on PC, before extending to the popular Xbox 360 in 2014. At that time, the game had reached 25 million players. In fact, it went on to include a battle-royale mode in an update towards 2017 before launching on current generation consoles. Finally, it received keyboard and mouse support on Xbox One alongside some other titles.
A Game for the Ages
Within Warface, players can pick from multiple classes. Each one has its own perks and negatives, requiring teams to choose a proper balance of them all. They also have their own weapons and equipment, all of which can be thoroughly customized. Players can fight against one another in arenas or cooperate in PvE environments to level up. Leveling brings different currencies to purchase even more customization.
Like many modern free-to-play games, Warface includes microtransactions. This currency comes in the form of Kredits.
Interestingly, the Warface was published by Nexon in South Korea and Taiwan, while Trion Worlds published it in the U.S., Turkey, Australia, New Zealand, and Europe. The Xbox 360 version of the game went down on February 1st, 2015. Also, Warface received a battle pass in November of last year – a seasonal purchase for players to buy into for extra items and experience. This is the most common way for developers to support themselves while developing free-to-play games.
Warface has always received mixed reviews from critics, but it has formed a dedicated, hardcore fanbase in its wake. It will be exciting to see how Blackwood Games continues development of the franchise on its own.