The ten year story of Warframe, an MMO like no other | PC Gamer


The cover of PC Gamer magazine issue 381, featuring Warframe.

(Image credit: Future)

This article first appeared in PC Gamer magazine issue 381 in March 2023, featuring more even more exclusive interview content, original concept art, and more. You can still pick up a copy direct from us (opens in new tab). Every month we run exclusive features exploring the world of PC gaming—from behind-the-scenes previews, to incredible community stories, to fascinating interviews, and more.  

Warframe is big. Both in its success, and in its scale. It’s a vast action game that is as much about space combat, apartment decorating, pet training, fishing, hover surfing, mech fighting and open world exploration, as it is the central ninja combat that defined its debut. It’s now ten years old and still a roaring success, a feat few of its service game and MMO peers can boast. Like its Tenno, Warframe is an underdog that prevailed against the odds. 

Developer Digital Extremes is itself almost 30 years old, and spent the 2000s doing work-for-hire, creating licensed games for a variety of clients. The Darkness, Star Trek, Dungeons & Dragons… the studio survived by taking whatever work it could. But there was always one dream project, a little sci-fi game the team hoped to one day get off the ground. I was curious where the idea came from. “Like every game dev in [2004] they played Resident Evil 4 and they wanted to make their own version of it,” says Steve Sinclair, former creative director on Warframe, before he and fellow director Geoff Crookes both burst into laughter. Every answer they give is with a smile, and you get the sense they’re two guys who never take themselves too seriously. But there is some truth to their joke.

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