Once upon a time, gamers dreamed of the ability to play games with their friends regardless of the gaming system that each had. Universal cross-play is still a long way away, but the industry is now taking steps to make that dream a reality, with games like Rocket League and Fortnite offering full cross-platform play. While studios like Psyonix and Epic Games have taken that leap of faith, others foresee great risk in the venture. Digital Extremes, the makers of Warframe, unfortunately, find themselves in the latter category.
In their latest Devstream (#122), select members of the team responsible for making the game answered questions and talked about Warframe. The most pressing question that many fans have been asking: is Warframe planning on cross-platform compatibility in the future? Steve Sinclair, the Creative Director for Warframe gave his answer, although it wasn’t the one the fanbase was hoping for.
Sinclair begins with a long head shake and says, “As a player, I would love it. As a developer, it’s one of the highest risk things I think that we could do.” He says that the games that are doing it now are basically testing the waters and that those games had differences in negotiating contracts when launching on their respective platforms. “We are a game who’s constantly changing. We change the game modes, we change the gameplay, we do huge, huge swings constantly,” alluding to the difficulty of facilitating every change simultaneously for cross-platform to work. Even though the team has no plans for full cross-play in the future, he mentions that it is something they have discussed and would love to see implemented in the future. “Although we would like to do this, it is something I don’t think that we can promise right now in January.”
As disappointing as the news is, Sinclair did end with a silver lining. He said that the team has been discussing players being able to “share progress between the platforms or share items or something like that.” He says systems like that are a lot more feasible than full-fledged cross-platform compatibility. You can check out the entire Livestream below, with the cross-play topic beginning around minute 51.
Warframe is available for free on PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC through the Warframe website.