Three-year-old Warframe broke its concurrency record after The War Within
Incredibly, according to GIbiz, “Over 1 million of the 26 million players who have registered since the game’s 2013 launch had played by November’s halfway point.”
Braun argues that Digital Extremes attempts a “balancing act” for catering to both existing players and newbies and stresses the importance of having a solid free-to-play model, but it was a rough beginning.
“We spend very little compared to other free-to-play games that focus a large amount of their budgets on acquisition,” she explains. “Warframe was a passion project – the studio’s ‘Hail Mary’ pass, if you will. There was barely budget to buy an account server for the game, let alone to spend on marketing at the time. […] We discovered early on that frequent significant updates – updates that added dramatic gameplay changes, enhancements and content, and transparency with our community, brought in droves of new players.”
If your brain has conjured up a snarky comment about Blizzard’s traditional update cadence, they (and we) are right there with you; in fact, Braun says that Warframe has another advantage over its P2P competitors: