Warframe has achieved success on the desktop thanks in part to the fact that it’s free.
Free-to-play games are gaining in popularity and many other companies are taking note of how DOTA2, Tribes: Ascend and Hawken are making things work in their favour. It was only a matter of time before free-to-play titles came to consoles and quite a few are being developed right now for the Xbox One and Playstation 4.
Speaking to VG24/7, Warframe developers Digital Extremes said that developing a port for Warframe for the PS4 was really easy. The initial port took just a few weeks to complete and within three months they had a demo version of the game with very few bugs ready for a showing off at E3 2013.
“They approached us actually,” creative director Steve Sinclair recalled of Sony’s interest in Warframe. “I guess it’s coming up to about four months ago. We were in our open beta and rocking the Steam charts there, and Sony got in contact with James, who’s the owner of the company and said, ‘Hey what would you think about bringing Warframe over to our next gen console?
“We had, probably, a 30-second conversation about if we should do it,” Sinclair added, and then, “[Sony] squeezed themselves to send us as many dev kits as possible and three months later we were on the [E3] show floor at PlayStation 4 showing Warframe playable.”
Free-to-play games wouldn’t be an easy thing to do on consoles today owing to the restrictions that both the hardware and software environments place on developers. In addition, updating your game on the Xbox Live platform requires that Microsoft re-certify it to make sure that the game is still up to standard, a costly and time-wasting affair that may leave many developers to simply not aim for the console market at all.
With Warframe, Digital Extremes say that players will be on the same servers as their PC counterparts and will receive the same amount of content. The UI will be changed to accommodate for the lack of a mouse and the controls and gameplay will be slightly adjusted to make sure that console players aren’t at a significant disadvantage.