Three-year-old Warframe broke its concurrency record after The War Within

GIbiz has an interview out with Digital Extremes VP of Publishing Meridith Braun today, who sheds light on how Warframe is doing. It turns out, pretty well: The game is three-and-a-half years old and just broke its concurrent player record thanks the launch of The War Within — something pretty darn rare for MMOs. Steamspy’s data even suggest the game is gathering momentum, which means the new 68,530 concurrency record may not even stick.

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:

“When Warframe first launched it was a shell of the size of game it has become, and our players have stayed with our growth throughout its life-span. They enjoy taking the ride with us, being a part of the evolution, experiencing game development from the front seat. If you’re not thinking about long-term engagement and game service at the heart of your game design as a good part of the future of gaming, you may have yet to come to grips with the dwindling projections of one-and-done games.”
Source: GIbiz
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