Chinese MMO house Perfect World buying Warframe developer

In collaboration with a chicken meat factory.

Warframe developer Digital Extremes appears to be in the throws of acquisition.

Behind the purchase are two Chinese companies. One you'll have heard of before: Perfect World, the MMO company that bought Cryptic Studios (City of Heroes, Star Trek Online, Champions Online, Neverwinter) and made everything free-to-play.

The other company you probably won't have heard of: Sumpo Food, a chicken meat company.

It's on Sumpo's website that a document announcing the co-acquisition of Digital Extremes can be found.

"The board of directors of the Company is pleased to announce that on 30th June 2014, the Company, Perfect Online Holding (the Company and Perfect Online collectively the Purchasers and each of them a Purchaser) and the shareholders (the Vendors) of Digital Extremes Ltd. entered into a non-binding term sheet, pursuant to which the Purchasers intend to purchase, and Vendors intend to sell, all the outstanding shares of Digital Extremes, subject to due diligence and execution of definitive agreements between the parties."

But the news hasn't gone down well with a portion of the Warframe community, which organised a strike (via PSU) that ends in two days' time. Those people feel Perfect World would "brutally murder our beloved game" - ie. ram more aggressive micro-transactions into it.

It's not clear exactly how much support the strike has had or whether it's had any effect whatsoever on Perfect World or the acquisition deal.

I asked Perfect World but hit a closed door: "Perfect World Entertainment does not have any comment on purchases and acquisitions at this time," a spokesperson told me.

Canadian developer Digital Extremes has been around since 1993, and found success by co-developing the Unreal series of shooters with Epic Games. Digital Extremes finally went it alone with average third-person action game Dark Sector in 2008, before helping on games such as The Darkness 2 and Homefront, and then following it up with a Star Trek Into Darkness movie tie-in - a game Star Trek movie man JJ Abrams had a pop at.

Then came Warframe, a lacklustre four-player co-op third-person shooter for PC and PlayStation 4.

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Robert Purchese

Robert Purchese

Senior Staff Writer

Bertie is senior staff writer and Eurogamer's Poland-and-dragons correspondent. He's part of the furniture here, a friendly chair, and reports on all kinds of things, the stranger the better.


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