We’ve talked about Warframe‘s unlikely success story before, and Digital Extremes’ space-ninja hack-and-slasher has exceeded its creators’ wildest dreams. How have they done that? By being nice, it seems.

Polygon has an interview up today with Art Director Geoff Crookes and Studio Manager Sheldon Carter that hits all the usual virtual-rags-to-riches bullet points. “We didn’t have lofty expectations,” Crookes says, while Carter admitted to “screaming” when the early numbers got good enough.

The key to Digital Extremes’ and Warframe’s success? Communication and openness with players. Crookes calls it a “collaborative development relationship that we still have to this day with our community” while Carter says that the team has changed ‘frames based on player feedback when they’re revealed on streams.

The interview also discusses one of the game’s rare miscues, when DE offered a random dye on the cash shop for players’ in-game pets. “We weren’t trying to make a lottery,” said Crookes. When the system was patched out only days after being added, the team refunded the money players had spent on the random dyes. Imagine any other company doing that with its unpopular loot boxes!

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the author

Jason Winter is a veteran gaming journalist, he brings a wide range of experience to MMOBomb, including two years with Beckett Media where he served as the editor of the leading gaming magazine Massive Online Gamer. He has also written professionally for several gaming websites.

11 Readers Commented

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  1. Player1 on January 18, 2018

    I dont care about Warframe anymore, i freaking loved the game($1000 dlls into it) but not now, i just want a sequel of Dark Sektor, some classic fps attached to warframe, the orokin story, even the virus or at least a remake of the great game.

  2. GoblinGraphx on January 13, 2018

    DE has been doing good things but if they want to really grow, they definitely need another successful IP. Sad to see the Eternals crash out before launch but OW is the single person shooter king for now but maybe they can re-purpose the assets into something else.

  3. Dioxety on January 5, 2018

    Im pretty sure the comments below are botted. Because most of the Warframe community can agree that while DE have made a few mistakes, have for the most part listened to its players.

    Looking forward to 2018 and hope Warframe continues to grow.

  4. Chippers on January 3, 2018

    Been playing for 5 years now and it’s true, the Warframe now cannot be compared to 2012-2013 and pretty much everything was in some way reworked over the years. There are people who quit because of this “transformation” but I think it just got better and better. There were times when the communication wasnt the best -cough TWW cough- but DE admitted the development of that quest was too long. It’s a good relationship, the community gives feedback and the devs are actually trying to listen.

    Who would’ve thought that communicating with the community was a good idea.

    Looking at you EA.

  5. Renas on January 3, 2018

    Well they did this in the beginning, now they have more the money in focus. That means every update is a piece of grind or with each update we get more and more ridiculous grind (where is the fun?). Im still hate what they did with the void like many other veterans, before we had keys instead relics, that means only the host must had a key to run a mission so we could ez share under friends/clanmates, but now… . We had some ridiculous research and craft costs, where (im not sure) but they still did not changed it, even if people begged for months on the forums. Also like @Sethsamson said DE banned people for no reasons where they have behaved very unprofessional and just banned people from everything. I mean look at what they wanna to do with dmg 2.5, even youtubers not happy about it, lets see if DE will listen. (sory for my bad eng)

  6. Irelia on January 3, 2018

    These comments are so salty lol. These are the people who cause developers to NOT want to talk to the community because no matter how hard they work these people are never happy. Oh the community complained about a QoL bug and you didn’t’ literally drop every thing you were doing (acting like they have no idea how software development deadlines work) to fix it that day? WORST DEVELOPER EVER!! Oh you made a change that made like 50 other guns slightly better but didnt’ change the top 2 so those are still what I HAVE TO BUILD (retarded)? WORST DEV TEAM!! Oh you added in a new quest for free that was shorter than i liked and didn’t change anything (but still follows the pattern of the game i’ve put 500 hours in)? Worst team. Changed too much? Worst team. Added new stuff? Worst team. Didn’t add new stuff? Worst Team. Its endless bullshit with these people. The game has 30 million registered users. Did you ever stop to think that your single opinion wasn’t that of the community? That the few hundred upvotes on a reddit post wasn’t the whole community? Gawd damn.

  7. SethSamson on January 3, 2018

    HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA

    im with the game from its early early beginnings and i would say … in Sheldon dreams ;p
    game changed from awesome to worst .. some stuff they put into the game are useless and players dont want it .. other stuff too little too late .. other stuff are just pure deny by themselves … i remember when Scott was talking on some dev stream that he dont want to game to be a grinding game … and what warframe is now ?? grind to oblivion . Instead of awesome coop game like it was at the beginnings we now have rushers game from point A to B … with mission summary Player X kills 1000 Player B kills 20 unbalanced shitty weapons and frames … Ember Banshee ..LIMBO FFS .. PVP FFS .. Lunaro FFS .,.. Archwing FFS .. and we still dont have any decent endgame still …Veterans really playing only on update day cause basically they are piss upon .. Players are banned for absurd reasons . The do want they want cause there isnt any other game like it which would be a concurrent for them maybe then maybe they would start to listen the players and start to take care for the Veterans players . and i still remember the times of stealth and Grineers talking English .. when the game was semi hard , COOP and rewarding

  8. Anoldtenno on January 3, 2018

    LOL communicate with the players? LMAO! that’s the biggest lie I’ve heard all day. If DE actually communicated with its entire player base then things that needed to be fixed would be fixed, things that needed buffs/nerfs would get it. As it stands regardless of whatever the PR department of DE as well as those too disillusioned to say anything negative about the game says DE is turning warframe into a pay to play game even though its free to download. The timewalls and paywalls that have plagued the game since launch are now strangling the life out of the game.

  9. PraiseTheGood on January 3, 2018

    Dabdakka got a chip on their shoulder – if you can’t see it’s more important to reward doing it right than slag and bitch about doing it wrong – because plenty of wrong out there – then that’s sad.

  10. Dabdakka on January 2, 2018

    funny part is they still tried too.. Developers are fishing the waters to see what they can get away with and what they can not.. Though it is a nice thing they decided to refund purchases and I also kept the dye I got from it.

  11. Manipulator on January 2, 2018

    I’m one of the olde players since always and I approve dis information is legit :thumbs up:

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