Cevat Yerli, CEO and president of Crytek, recently said that after his company finishes up its current projects all future titles from the studio will be free-to-play. In a lengthy interview with Computer & Videogames, Yerli said that free-to-play gaming is the future of the industry and the reason we do not see free-to-play games on consoles is because platform holders have done a good job of not allowing them at the behest of retail partners.
"Why are free-to-play online games not widespread on consoles?," asks Yerli rhetorically. "You should ask Microsoft and Sony this question. We see the future of consoles as free-to-play – ideally focused on free-to-play. That's what I want to see in the future. But unfortunately not everybody shares this vision due to many other reasons."
"Hardware manufacturers are reliant on distribution and retail businesses, and those companies who are not reliant on third-party retail business such as Apple can go 100% digital," he continued. "They don't have the problem of retailers saying, 'I will not sell your hardware if you do not give me boxed games too'. That is the culprit of the problem."
Yerli goes on to say that retailers would be unlikely to sell a console that only sells digital content because that wouldn't make any profit off the hardware. He also says that tablet PC's will soon surpass the technology offered in home consoles – and when that happens – home console sales will diminish.
Whatever happens, Yerli says that his company will be making both casual and hardcore titles for tablets and other platforms in the future.
Ultimately what he's saying is that there could be high quality free-to-play games on consoles if the platform holders allowed it and when most software is sold online things could change. At the end of the day most fans don't care about all this talk about digital distribution, free-to-play, etc. Gamers go where the best games are. Personally, I just want to play a new Timesplitters game and I don't care what platform it's on.
You can read the entire interview here.