Crytek was formed in 1999 by Cevat Yerli together with his brothers, Avni and Faruk, who gave up their businesses - an ad agency and civil engineering consultancy - to try their luck in the games industry.
It was a bet which paid off, eventually. According to Cevat, the fledgling studio had "almost run out of money" by the time May 2000 rolled around, but a simple tech demo shown at E3 impressed graphics specialist Nvidia so much that they were asked to make a second one for that year's ECTS show.
The new demo, titled Exile: Dinosaur Island, in turn impressed Ubisoft boss Yves Guillemot. In May 2001 a deal was signed to develop Far Cry, which went on to become a global success.
Crytek has since signed a new deal and its next game, PC shooter Crysis, will be published by EA this November. GamesIndustry.biz visited the Frankfurt studio last week and sat down with Cevat to find out more - part one of our exclusive interview is below, with part two set to follow on Thursday.