Crytek has denied it's feeling the pressure after EA confidently proclaimed upcoming shooter Crysis 2 will be a 90 rated game, but has admitted meeting EA's lofty expectation is one hell of a challenge.
In August EA Partners boss David DeMartini told Eurogamer that Crysis 2 is "going to be another 90 rated game from Crytek".
While executive producer Nathan Camarillo didn't want to comment on DeMartini's assertion when quizzed by Eurogamer, he revealed the difficulty Crytek faces as it strives to reach that magical number.
"As a company, Crytek has a goal that we only ship high quality, high rated products. And that number starts somewhere," he said.
"It's definitely hard. It's always difficult to release a high quality product. You can't take a 60 rated team and make a 90 rated game. That's probably impossible.
"Let's say you're making a 90 plus rated game. Everything you do, every aspect that goes into the game, every person working on it, has to be 90 plus rated, or you don't get to 90 plus rated.
"You don't make a 90 plus rated game with a 30 rated bush in the game. Everything has to reach this quality bar. Every person working on it has to put that kind of effort into it, otherwise you have to do some things that are at 94/95 to pull the average up to 90.
"This threshold is so difficult to attain. That's a really difficult task for any developer to accomplish. For a game like Crysis 2 that's a full offering of multiplayer, a longer than expected single-player campaign – longer than what's average right now for FPS games – that's a lot of stuff to polish and make sure everything is as high quality as possible."
Crysis 2 was recently delayed from this year to 25th March 2011. "It wasn't going to be ready for that [Christmas 2010]," DeMartini told Eurogamer. "With the guys at Crytek, it's quality, quality, quality."
Despite the challenge, Camarillo is confident Crysis 2 will not only meet the magic 90 rating, but exceed it. "It's always a difficult situation to get that kind of score, but we have a lot of processes internally," he said.
"And through the help of EA to make sure we're hitting that quality bar, by having mock reviews and evaluation groups look at the game, as well as focus groups and looking at players playing, looking at their biometric data.
"Are the moments we're trying to sell in the game resonating the way we want to with them, or where are they getting frustrated so we can improve the quality?
"You can't fix those things when it's out the door and in someone's hands. You can't take a retail product, have them play it and go, 'We actually wanted you to be scared there. Ah, crap.' You want to find that out before it goes out. All these little moments add together to get you over that threshold."
Christian Donlan saw Crysis 2 for Eurogamer in June, and we spoke to Karl Hilton, managing director of Crytek UK, earlier this month.