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Crytek's Expensive 'Gift' To Its High-End Players

Crytek's is set to release a substantial patch to graphically improve Crysis 2, telling Gamasutra that its strategy to make the sequel more accessible than its predecessor may have "backfired."
When Crytek released its first-person shooter Crysis in 2007, it was -- and in many ways still is -- a benchmark for high-end PCs. It was one of the first commercial games to utilize the Direct3D 10 framework of DirectX 10, and playing the game at its maximum settings was practically impossible for any consumer-level computer. Even the game's minimum requirements were above what many gamers had under the hood at the time. "Crysis 1's intention was, if I were to play it three years later, it looks great. And it does, actually, it fulfilled that. But it made it difficult for entry-level players," Crytek CEO Cevat Yerli related to Gamasutra. "So with Crysis 2, we took a different direction, and it backfired a little bit." The sequel was much more accessible (thanks in part to its cross-development on consoles), so much so that it didn't even support DirectX 10, staying safely in DX9 territory. The change disappointed many of the original game's fans, who came to equate the franchise with cutting-edge graphical performance. Now, three months later, Crytek is getting set to release a substantial patch to address the needs of these players, adding support for DirectX 11. With that comes tessellation and displacement mapping, HDR motion blur, parallax occulsion mapping, and many other tweaks and enhancements, including a high-res texture upgrade. It is, he said, an attempt to "please everybody." Yerli admitted that there was no profit to be made from the time and money put into the patch, as the game is unlikely to sell many more units based on the free upgrade. "This is much more like a gift to the high-end community," said Yerli. "And I think gamers will appreciate that. It lifts up Crysis 2 and gives a sneak peak of how PC gaming will evolve in the future, if you support a high-end preference." The Crysis 2 version 1.9 patch will be available Monday, June 27th. A version of the patch was available on Crytek's test environment as recently as Wednesday, but has since been pulled.

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