Is the CryEngine particularly widely licensed? It seems like the only times I see it mentioned as being used are in CryTek's showpieces for it, but I can't tell if that's just because the games that use it under license are a lot less vocal about it
It seems fairly popular among indie games. Not quite as large as UDK, but certainly up there. Probably comparable to Source? If I recall correctly Star Citizen is using CryEngine.
State of Decay also uses it to great advantage and I love that game in spite of the floaty feel the car driving in that engine has.
My impressions of Cryteks history follow.
Crytek and other european studios like Dice repeated the success of US PC game studios like Epic and id that built their own engines for FPS games. They followed the same progression that Epic did to consoles but too late. Epic released Gears of War at the right time in 2006 whereas Crytek, Dice and id released Crysis 2, Battlefield 3 and Rage in 2011. It probably doesn't help that Crytek's initial target audience was the european market where a large share are PC gamers who were alienated by the new direction.
I have this strange feeling that the ambitions of CEO Mr. Yerli are driving the company into the ground from buying up studios rather than nurturing creative integrity. I guess they have at least tried something new compared to id (bought by Zenimax) and Dice (slaves of EA).
As someone who enjoyed many hours of my late teenage years toying around in their first engine map editor (supplied with Far Cry) much like people screw around in Minecraft today, it makes me sad to see them struggle.