Coburg, Bavaria, 2004. The Crytek team was trickling into work in the early hours of the morning when state troopers kicked down the door. The studio had recently completed development on Far Cry, but the polizei (armed with Heckler & Koch sub-machine guns) weren’t exactly there to play Capture the Flag. At a nearby Crytek residence, a programmer emerged from the shower to find armed troopers in his room. He was ordered to lay on the floor, naked, a gun to his head.
Developer Tim Partlett, who vented his frustration about the event in an online forum, was herded into the studio’s Mo-Cap offices by dozens of armed guards and questioned under the kind of military threat that would make Jack Bauer shit his pants. Supposedly, this heavy-handedness was in response to an allegation by a former employee that Crytek had installed illegal software.
Above: San Andreas - Just misunderstood?
In reality, authorities in Germany just don’t like the games industry very much. The controversy over “killerspiele” (killer games) is now heating up to fever-pitch proportions in Germany. Politicians are calling for the prohibition of violent shooters like Quake and Unreal Tournament, while the media is behaving in a manner that makes the Daily Mail look like a model of reason.
“GTA: San Andreas - whoever rapes the most women wins,” ranted a recent edition of German Panorama, as the Hot Coffee mod was displayed to the tune of Nirvana’s “Rape Me.”