Crytek Developer Offers Frightening Account of German Game Crackdown

Tim Partlett (left) is an Enlishman and a game designer. He works for the German developer Crytek, best known for the hit first-person shooter Far Cry. Gamers are also waiting impatiently for Crytek’s next release, Crysis.

In a recent post on the Quarter to Three forums, Partlett described his view of how bad the environment in Germany has gotten for game developers:

When I tell people in Germany what I do for a living, they usually react with a mixture of pity and disgust, like I had admitted to them I was a male prostitute.

For computer games both the press and public are histrionic, and the politicians are keen to tap into every reactionary outrage…

At the time of the (2002 Erfurt school) shooting, we were already in development of… Far Cry… We were just across the state border from Erfurt in northern Bavaria. Tensions in the region were high…

In 2004 the Bavarian authorities sent in the state troopers… When the small tech team appeared to inspect our computers, they were accompanied by over one hundred flak-jacketed riot police, all armed with Heckler and Koch sub-machine guns.

It was a total overreaction… They arrived first thing in the morning, and kicked down our doors. They even raided the nearby private residences…

I was caught just outside the office…  We were all shepherded into our Mo-Cap room, and there we were forced to remain until questioned, prevented from leaving by dozens of armed guards…

(Now,) Dr. Günther Beckstein… Interior Minister for the state of Bavaria, has drafted a new law… (GP: see recent coverage)

It seems that the politicians are largely just reacting to hysteria in the public and press. The general consensus is that the government won’t pass this law, and even if they did, they would find themselves in conflict with local state laws, and overarching EU laws. EU laws are designed to protect free trade between nations… we aren’t packing our bags just yet…

With a majority of Germans thinking you are evil and the press and politicians baying for you to be thrown in jail, it can make life uncomfortable… I love Frankfurt. I love Germany. I think it’s a great country to live in. I really hope they don’t make me leave.

GP: Read all of Partlett’s comment at the Quarter to Three forums. Many thanks to GamePolitics reader Clay Oehlke for alerting us to this amazing story.

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on RedditEmail this to someone

Leave a Reply