The group has been the subject of a boycott by some players who say that its Russian-based activities have helped fuel an authoritarian regime. Wargaming says it will try to keep player numbers high in Russia, but if corporate efforts are unsuccessful, then ‘substantial losses’ may result
World of Tanks studio Wargaming says it will suffer ‘substantial losses’ in corporate exit from Russia and Belarus. Victor Kislyi, the company’s CEO, has a net worth of $1.7 billion.
MMO firm Wargaming made a bold comment about the brewing conflict over a month ago, at the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The Cyprus-based company, which owns World of Tanks, World of Warships, and World of Warplanes, had studios in Ukraine, Russia, and Belarus, and had initially halted marketing, donated $1 million to the Ukrainian Red Cross, fired the World of Tanks creative director for pro-invasion remarks, and stated that it had dedicated all of its resources to assisting its employees in the region in reaching safety.
Now, Wargaming has gone even farther, announcing that it will leave both Russia and Belarus, expecting to “suffer significant losses as a direct consequence of this decision.”
“Wargaming has been undertaking a strategic evaluation of company operations throughout the globe over the last several weeks. The corporation has opted to quit Russia and Belarus after deciding not to own or manage any operations in the two nations. The company’s live games business in Russia and Belarus was handed to local administration of Lesta Studio, which is no longer linked with Wargaming, on March 31. This procedure will not benefit the firm now or in the future. On the contrary, we anticipate to lose a significant amount of money as a consequence of this choice. We will complete the operational transition as quickly as possible while adhering to all applicable regulations and guaranteeing the continued safety and support of our personnel. The live goods will be accessible in Russia and Belarus throughout the transition time and will be managed by the new owner. Wargaming has also begun the process of shutting its Minsk, Belarus facility. Employees impacted by the transition will get as much severance and assistance as feasible. Despite the gravity of this decision, we remain optimistic about the future of our firm and remain dedicated to providing high-quality games to our gamers.”
As MOP’s Wargaming correspondent Ben Griggs points out, World of Warships was developed by Lesta Studio in St Petersburg, Russia, while World of Tanks was developed by the Minsk studio; it’s unclear which business is developing which games now and in the future, and which Wargaming assets remain. However, considering the news out of the area this weekend, we can’t say we’re shocked.
• EVE Online users contributed almost $500K for Ukraine in the current PLEX for Good charity campaign • Wargaming, the maker of World of Tanks, warns it would incur “significant losses” as a result of its business exodus from Russia and Belarus. In Russia and Ukraine, international sanctions have caused a financial snarl for independent game developers on Steam. • Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, War Thunder’s chat has been blocked for a month. • Albion Online’s gamepad functionality has been tweaked, and Russia-themed guild emblems have been removed. Fortnite and its community have already contributed over $100 million towards relief efforts in Ukraine. The profit giving initiatives of Fortnite have now collected $50 million for Ukrainian relief. New World seems to be preventing gamers from operating in Russia and Belarus. Doctor Strange has been added to Fortnite’s new season, as Epic Games raises millions for Ukraine help. Payments from Russia have been restricted, according to the Lord of the Rings Online company. Niantic suspends Pokemon Go and Ingress in Russia and donations to Ukraine’s relief efforts. • • EVE Online launches its PLEX for Good philanthropic drive to aid Ukraine’s humanitarian situation • The Kyiv-based Corepunk company claims it has lost communication with some personnel stranded in Ukraine. • EVE Online studio CCP Games will run a PLEX for Good charity campaign for Ukraine • Itch.io’s Bundle for Ukraine, Cyberpunk 2077 review bombing, and Twitch withholds pay to Russian streamers • Isometric MMO Broken Ranks lays out content roadmap, raises funds for Ukrainian relief • EA and Microsoft announce end of sales to Russia, Hi-Rez reroutes Russian profits to Ukraine • EA and Microsoft announce end of sales to Zenith’s Ramen VR joins the chorus of MMO firms that have donated to help Ukraine Neverwinter’s parent company contributes $2 million to Ukraine, while the International Game Developers Association (IGDA) calls on the industry to condemn the invasion. Conan Chop Chop is out today, and Funcom is donating $100,000 to the Ukrainian Red Cross. • Wargaming donates to the Ukrainian Red Cross and fires an anti-invasion developer In solidarity of Ukraine, Elder Scrolls Online users hold in-game peace walks around Cyrodiil. In light of the invasion of Ukraine, Battlefield 2042 has removed the Russian helicopter award. The game business responds to the Ukraine situation, according to the MMO Business Roundup.
Wargaming is a company that was founded in 1998 and is best known for its game World of Tanks. Wargaming has announced that it will suffer “substantial losses” as a result of the corporate exit from Russia and Belarus. Reference: wargaming headquarters.
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