A Wednesday in Coburg

This morning a news report at MCV Germany revealed that the police is investigating a case of illegal use of software and had raided the offices of Farcry developer Crytek in Coburg, Germany as well as the private apartment of one of the company's founders after having received hints from a former employee. Apparently a number of unspecified objects was confiscated by the authorities. "Early estimations" indicate a damage worth several hundred thousand Euros through illegal use of software according to the official statement of the police. No specific details on the nature of the software were mentioned and it seems that computer specialists are currently taking a closer look at aforementioned objects.

Gamestar contacted Ubisoft, who wouldn't want to comment on the news yet, pointing out that Crytek isn't a subsidiary of the publisher and that they're still trying to obtain more information on the case. Later GamesMarkt made it to briefly chat with Faruk Yerli. Crytek's CEO stated that he doesn't know how the company could have possibly caused a damage as high as estimated by the police. While he wouldn't want to rule out the possibility that some Crytek employee could have been running unlicensed software on his/her own, Yerli doubts there was piracy at a scale as massive as claimed by the police. He also confirmed that the team started working on Farcry again later today and that the FPS is still expected to ship in late March.

The guys over at Krawall received some more detailed answers via phone from Yerli, who mentioned that no computers were confiscated and no persons were arrested. Unlike in the previous interview he said that a single software product Crytek didn't have a proper license for may have been the reason for the accusations. Yerli, however, didn't elaborate on what kind of product he was referring to. He claims that the estimations of the police are blown out of proportion to justify the enormous efforts behind the investigation. Official statements by Crytek and/or Ubisoft are expected to be available soon.

Comments

If this delays Far Cry or affects the quality of the game I am going to be very angry. I might even cry

Is this some kind of conspiracy to drives us all mad? I mean, what's next? Carmack get's arrested for alleged Doom 3 beta engine sales and not reporting income? Chernobil power plant explodes again and kills developers of STALKER? What is going on?

Its just said that disgruntled employees cant be grown ups and move on.

There is lots of software installed on employees computers that companies dont have control over. I mean unless we all want to work in big brother work environments.

sh*t, whats next? Someone fibs to the RIAA that people at work might have mp3's that they may have shared or downloaded? Oh the HORROR!

Translation of Crytek's German PR on this topic.

On Wednesday morning at around 9 AM the office rooms of Crytek were raided by the police. The reason for this was the complaint of a former, frustrated intern/trainee, who accused Crytek of running a number of installations of a certain software product without having purchased an appropriate number of licenses.

Crytek appreciates that the German police is trying to fight software piracy and was cooperative althrough the procedure. Being a software developer, Crytek is naturally interested in purchasing and using software products of third-parties rightfully! The development of the anticipated Farcry was interrupted for only three hours as the Crytek management and the police cleared up the situation.

We'd also like to make clear that no objects were confiscated and that no people got arrested despite opposing claims on some websites/forums. Again, the development of Farcry is on track!

fangblackbone wrote:

There is lots of software installed on employees computers that companies dont have control over. I mean unless we all want to work in big brother work environments.

If that's the case, the IT department isn't doing their jobs. I know many smaller companies don't have people dedicated to this sort of thing, but there should be SOME sort of monitoring. Having some random user install some software he brought from home and didn't pay for can force his employer to pay some hefty fines, not to mention the bad press.
If it's not feasible in a given company to keep employees from installing software on their own, they should at least audit those machines periodically. It's not your PC, so don't go installing stuff you shouldn't have.