Today, IGN can confirm that Warframe, the “space ninja” co-op game, is coming to PlayStation 4. It will launch alongside Sony’s new hardware, and will follow a similar free-to-play, microtransaction model as the game does on PC. (We gave the game's beta a 7.0 on PC, in case you’re curious.)
Digital Extremes, the 20-year old development studio behind the Unreal series, Dark Sector and The Darkness II, is leading the charge for both the PC and PS4 iterations of the game, and we recently spoke with Steve Sinclair, the game’s creative director, for more on his vision, what it takes to bring his game to PlayStation 4, and what it’s been like working with Sony.
Sinclair notes that many gamers who play Warframe on PC often refer back to Phantasy Star Online as a similar experience, and even state that it’s like “Mass Effect meets Ninja Gaiden,” what with its emphasis on space and… well… ninjas. “It’s a big, messy space ninja game,” Sinclair said, laughing, one rife with customization and crafting options, and one that doesn’t stress competition as much as it stresses cooperation.
Warframe has deep roots. It’s a passion project, and it took some time to get it off the ground. “We’ve been trying to make this game for a while with a very old concept,” Sinclair explained. He wanted to do “Something with a smaller team, something we were very passionate about,” and that game ended up becoming Warframe on PC, which launched earlier this year.
With Sony’s well-publicized indie slant over the last couple of years, it makes sense that the company would reach out to Digital Extremes to investigate bringing Warframe to its new console. “Sony caught wind of [Warframe], and said, ‘hey, what do you think of bringing it over to PlayStation 4?’, and we were very surprised to hear that,” Sinclair said. After all, independent developers don’t always have positive interactions with big publishers, even those that happen to also be a console manufacturer.
An arrangement with Sony was “attractive” for Digital Extremes, because the company, “retain[s] control of the game, and we don’t have to necessarily get into bed with a publisher and sell away our ideas and kind of lose our creative vision for the game.” Unlike Microsoft with Xbox 360 and Xbox One, Sony doesn’t require a publisher to get onto their platform. It made PlayStation 4 an obvious destination for Warframe.
“Sony has been incredibly supportive and available,” Sinclair continued, “and [PlayStation 4], in my opinion, is incredible to develop for. It is awesome, and I don’t want to speak disparagingly about any existing or prior platforms, but we showed Warframe for the first time to our entire studio, and everyone had their jaws on the floor, how 1080p, silky smooth and beautiful it was. So, I’m really, really enjoying working on the machine.”
“Their attitude, their support and their willingness to work with us to get on the console is an incredible opportunity for a studio like ours,” he concluded.
Sinclair confirmed that DualShock 4’s special functionality – including its mysterious touch pad – will play a big role in Warframe. It will retain its fierce third-person action, its deep collecting system, and will even come packing new monthly content and a companion application for both iOS and Android. It also appears that Warframe will remain a PlayStation 4 exclusive in the console space. “Well, so far, it’s looking that way, yes,” Sinclair answered.
But how viable is free-to-play on consoles? That remains to be seen. Titles like Free Realms and DC Universe Online have found varied levels of success, and Dust 514 has most recently taken up the banner on console. But there’s no proven runaway success story as of yet. Sinclair hopes Warframe changes that. After all, the free-to-play model has “certainly given a studio our size a new lease on life,” he said.
“We hope we can make [free-to-play] attractive for the console audience… Instead of dropping 60 bucks on a six hour game, [a person] might drop a few bucks here and there on our game, which gives some of our players 500 hours of entertainment.”
And what sets Warframe apart from its competitor? Its non-competitive, more laid back slant, Sinclair said. “We’re getting a lot of players interested in the game because most of the other people in this space are head-to-head, hardcore competitive, and this is much more of a player-versus-enemy, co-op, more of a Diablo experience, but in third person shooter form.”
Sounds good to me. Are you excited about Warframe on PlayStation 4?
Article taken from IGN.com
Free-to-Play Shooter Warframe Coming to PS4
Gokuofuin / Jun 06, 2013