Digital Extremes, the company behind online cooperative shooter Warframe is having an interesting year heading into 2016. The company has been slowly building out the shooter with new mechanics and updates. The brand has come a long way since the developer was co-producing Unreal with Epic. Digital Extremes has been pretty consistent about pushing the boundaries of what their game is capable of with new additions and mechanics. Now it appears that the financial side of things are in for a shakeup.
On October 14, 2014, Sumpo Food Holdings Ltd. acquired a majority share of Digital Extremes, with Perfect World Co. acquiring minority shares. And now it looks like the parent company of that entity, Leyou, has stepped in again to buy up more shares. Sumpo is Leyou’s chicken meat distribution brand, and itself owns a subsidiary company called Multi Dynamic Games Group Inc. It was this company that held majority ownership, and it was the same which Leyou used to consolidate control. Leyou’s full report can be found here.
The acquisition is built on a partnership Digital Extremes struck last year with Leyou, which used a subsidiary to acquire 58% of Digital Extremes’ shares that were on the market. The deals made with Chinese companies over the last few years concerning Digital Extremes saw around 61% of the controlling stake of the developer sold to several Chinese firms. This comes after Perfect Online Holding Limited, a subsidiary of Perfect World Co., Ltd., also bought 3% of Digital Extremes as well. It’s this last bit that has led to some contention within the playerbase as many players cite Perfect World’s poor handling of other IPs as an ill omen for Warframe’s future.
On their own side of things, Digital Extremes wants to make it clear to fans that the studio will continue to develop Warframe just like they have done up to this point. The one thing that fans are concerned about is how the monetization model within the free-to-play title would shift. Perfect World has in fact been known to shove various microtransactions and convoluted monetization schemes into their games.