Note: Our Original posting on this story was incorrect. It is visible, along with a small point below. We have rewritten this article here to better reflect what has actually happened. We greatly apologize for this error and for any misunderstandings it may have caused
Even before they officially announced the closure of 5 studios, Crytek was suffering from defections for whatever reason it may be. In this case, a couple of members from the Crytek Black Sea studio in Sofia, struck out to go independent with a brand new studio. The founder of it a similar name for the new studio to the one he had once led before it was purchased by Crytek using the base of Black Sea and putting Games in place of Studios for the new venture. They quietly founded Black Sea Games in November 2016, with more information being found recently on it.
Vesselin Handjiev is the managing director for the new studio, and the technical director is Michael Peykov. Vesselin was the founder of the original Black Sea Studios back in 2001, which was bought by Crytek in 2008. It is important to note, that despite the similarity in name to Crytek Black Sea, with Black Sea Games this is not the same team; while the leads come from there the team in Sofia did not as a whole go create or join this studio.
Black Sea Games hasn’t announced any games or projects, although they do state that they are working on a game, but need more time before they are prepared to announce it. Their mission statement provides an idea of what type of experiences they are looking to create:
Our mission is to create hard-core games that will entertain you over and over again. We believe the best gaming experiences are coming from challenging the players with meaningful choices, while giving them the freedom to create (and share) their own in-game stories. Whether it is a “sandbox” or an “open world”, these are just words. We would know we did our job right, when you feel like: “Ah,… just one more hour”.
Update: We mistakenly called the old studio Black Sea Games when it was properly called Black Sea Studios. That has been corrected above.
Note: The original, incorrect story is below. This is because of our ethics policy which states we don’t delete work and instead maintain transparency when matters like this happen. We apologize to everyone involved for the error, and the bit below should be noted as being incorrect, in particular with the idea that Crytek Black Sea was reforming as Black Sea Games.
Less than a week after Crytek announced that it will close five of its studios, one of those studios, Crytek Black Sea, announced on Saturday that it will be reforming independently as Black Sea Games.
Crytek announced on Tuesday that it plans to close five of its studios, including those located in Budapest, Seoul, and Shanghai. Crytek Black Sea, located in Sofia, Bulgaria, was one of the studios announced to be shut down
However, while the development team there may not be a part of Crytek any longer, they are not done making games just yet. Gamesindustry.biz reported on Saturday that the same team is planning to return as an independent outlet.
Black Sea Games was originally founded in 2001 by Vesselin Handjiev, and it wasn’t until 2008 when the studio was bought by Crytek that it was rebranded as Crytek Black Sea. Handjiev is now set to lead Black Sea Games as the studio becomes independent once again.
The Sofia studio is known for developing the games Knights of Honor, WorldShift, and the free-to-play MOBA Arena of Fate.
The studio’s website says the following:
Our mission is to create hard-core games that will entertain players over and over again. We believe the best gaming experiences are coming from challenging the players with meaningful choices, while giving them the freedom to create (and share) their own in-game stories.
According to Gamesindustry.biz, Black Sea Games has already begun work on an unannounced game.
For those of you unfamiliar with the recent developments regarding the video game publisher Crytek, here’s the gist:
On Tuesday, Crytek announced that it will be closing all of its studios except for those located in Frankfurt and Kiev. It also announced in the same press release that it will continue to update and improve the CryEngine.
This announcement didn’t completely come out of nowhere, however, as Polygon had just reported a few weeks earlier that Crytek was reportedly having trouble paying its employees. According to Polygon, one employee stated that they had not been payed in two months. That same employee stated that in the preceding five months, pay was regularly delayed by a few weeks.
That employees was not alone, as the problem extended to many workers across Crytek’s many offices in Europe.
This wasn’t the first time that Crytek has reportedly had trouble paying employees. Back in 2014, when the publisher was reportedly on the brink of bankruptcy, employees expressed worries about payroll delays. 2014 also saw massive downsizing for Crytek.
UPDATE: Black Sea Games has reached out to TechRaptor to clarify that it is not the entire Sofia team that is independent now. In their words, “Black Sea Games is a new game company made by few of the ex-Crytek Sofia staff leads.”