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Digital Extremes president sees success through innovation, partnership and quality games

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Mike Schmalz, president of developer Digital Extremes, sees success and sustainability as a combination of constant innovation, partnerships and in releasing quality games, according to an interview with the Financial Post.

"As independent developers, our destiny rests on the quality of our games and I think we've been fortunate to have worked with some good partners in the past couple of years and been able to put out some great games that have showcased the creative and technological talent of our staff," he said.

The studio constantly generates new ideas and presents those to publishers. The idea is to create a "culture of innovation," according to Schmalz, that identifies and embraces new markets like digital distribution. Warframe, the studio's first free-to-play game, encompasses these goals in a shooter featuring titular exo-skeletons.

"It gives us access to more players and bigger audiences to see the work that we're doing," he said. "And the revenue model is working for successful games. Many people who play free-to-play games don't pay, but the people who really do like it end up being more than willing to pay enough to sustain the development costs through different monetization techniques."

Founded in 1993, Digital Extremes is a debt-free company based on London, Ontario that has developed games including Unreal Tournament, the multiplayer for BioShock 2 and Retro Pinball for iOS. The studio is also working on a Star Trek game to accompany the forthcoming J.J. Abrams movie.