A sequel to Xbox One launch game Ryse: Son of Rome has been cancelled due to a disagreement between Microsoft and Crytek about ownership rights, according to a Kotaku investigation. Crytek has also, we're told, shuttered an original IP that was on the verge of entering pre-production.
These developments have apparently created a cashflow crisis at the company, which has resulted in delayed or partial wage payments for a number of employees at Crytek's UK and Frankfurt studios, dating back to at least March. A story over at Eurogamer corroborates this.
Naturally, Crytek itself has labelled both reports rumour and speculation. Microsoft, meanwhile, has told Kotaku that it has "nothing to announce about the future of the [Ryse] franchise at this time."
Officially, Crytek is now working on Homefront: The Revolution for Deep Silver and the free-to-play MOBA Arena of Fate. It recently published the Xbox Live and PC shooter Warface, which allegedly hasn't performed very well in any territory other than Russia. According to one of Kotaku's sources, employees are vexed by the company's new free-to-play focus.
"Instead of focusing on the core strengths of the company, which would be the [Crytek] engine and innovative PC titles, we simply jumped at every next big thing in the industry," reads the comment in question. "Except that each time we did, it was a little too late and we were running after our competitors. There's no sense of identity at this point and I think that frustrates both employees and fans."
I'll have more for you as and when there's more to pass on.