A particularly toxic sect of the Warframe community has ensured that a tabletop RPG intended as a love letter to the game will never see the light of day. The entire sordid story is outlined in a Dicebreaker interview with Spencer Campbell, the indie developer behind the TTRPG Frame and a fan of the multiplayer game that inspired his creation.
Campbell’s project initially seemed to gain a great deal of support when it launched its Kickstarter campaign, but initial reaction from some members of the game’s community on Reddit, private messages sent to Campbell via Reddit and Twitter, and messages posted to Campbell’s Discord became more and more threatening. “Fan projects are one thing, what you’re doing is stealing all of Warframe’s lore, modifying assets, and slapping a new label on it to turn a quick profit. You’ll quickly find that this community isn’t one to support blatant plagiarism, and I doubt DE is either,” reads a copy from a now-deleted post on the Warframe subreddit.
Eventually, the dogpiling from Warframe fans got bad enough to incite panic about the game’s prospects from a legal standpoint, despite the fact that Frame didn’t utilize developer-made assets like code, 3-D models, or art assets and instead was designed to mimic the overall flow of Warframe’s gameplay design while using original artwork created by a hired illustrator. Regardless, the harassment campaign was enough to cause Campbell to shut down the project.
Dicebreaker reached out to developer Digital Extremes about the story but had not heard back by the time the piece went to print. As far as Frame’s future, the game is going back to the drawing board to divest itself from any references to Warframe whatsoever. Sadder still, the damage by the game’s community has been done, with Campbell stating, “I have no intention of ever going anywhere near the Warframe community, in the near future or ever again.”