During my time at PAX Aus, I was lucky enough to get an interview with Wargaming. In addition to frequent updates to their various free-to-play MMO titles, over the last few years Wargaming has branched out into console gaming. We caught up with the Marketing Product Manager for World of Tanks, Max Chuvalov, to talk about Wargaming’s stable of games and any future plans for the company.
Hayden Waugh: So, Max, I have a question about World of Warships to start us off. When will World of Warships be receiving new games modes?
Max Chuvalov: So, our main focus with World of Warships, right now, is to fill the game with content – as you may know we only started with two nations. The main focus for the release was to have a very good balance between classes, so each class would be interesting to play and completely different from one another. We want to keep this balance between nations, but have different nations that look and feel different from each other.
On October 19th, we released an update with the German nation and Soviet Union nation. At the moment, the Soviet Union has destroyers and Germany has cruisers, so our next step will be to fill in the gaps with all four classes. After that, we will work on the British fleet as well.
We are pretty satisfied with the game modes we have right now.
HW: Moving on to World of Tanks, what I’d really like to know is how the success of the Xbox 360 version translated into the newer console versions?
MC: So, it was quite an experiment both for Microsoft and Wargaming to bring World of Tanks across to console, mainly because we never had console experience before. Microsoft also understood that there were no free-to-play MMOs – successful ones – in the market. It was an experiment for us and for them, and that’s why we acquired Chicago Studios, formerly Day 1 Studios, and now they are a part of Wargaming Labs. We understood that we cannot just port the game, we needed to build it from scratch for a completely different experience. We needed to rebuild it for the living room, rebuild the controller scheme, different dynamics, different graphic settings, etc. We picked Microsoft because we already had a good relationship with them. When they approached us with this proposition it was pretty smooth and easy.
After that, we saw very good performance of our title on [Xbox]360 and we wanted to move to the next generation once it took off. Because, more than ever before, you need a critical amount of players. So, we waited a year and a half since the release of that to launch the Xbox One version, which is going well. Recently, we announced a version for PS4 where the beta will go live before the end of the year. We are happy where we are on console but I think the key point here is not to port your game but to build it from scratch instead. This is so that console users understand and feel that we are making a huge effort to bring satisfaction to the community.
HW: I also have some general questions, Max. Wargaming has made World of Warships, World of Warplanes and World of Tanks. What’s next for Wargaming in terms of vehicular warfare?
MC: To tell you the truth, that’s our trilogy of 20th century armoured vehicles and now it’s finished with World of Warships. So, with regards to the next chapter, it could be a different setting – perhaps a different time period or maybe even sci-fi. We will not tap into the second world war again – of course there are other types of vehicles – but we don’t have such plans. We’d never say no, but right now it’s not on the table.
Right now, we are focused on our PS4 release, we are focused on our Master of Orion release, we are working on different internal prototypes of completely new franchises, which we are not able to speak of, and we are delving into several of our new mini-studios – one of which is Wargaming Labs.
What does this mean? It means that any indie developer can submit an idea or a proposal, to us. It could be a prototype or it could be a pre-alpha build or any stage build, really – with supporting documents, of course. If it passes our Greenlight community, like Master of Orion did, we would be invested in the development and publication of the product.
HW: Speaking of Wargaming Labs, are you open to any concept or ideas not tied to current franchises – considering Wargaming’s past titles?
MC: Yes, we are open to any concept not tied to the Wargaming.net universe.
HW: Well, that’s all my questions, Max! Thanks for your time.
If you’d like to find out more about Wargaming Labs, head to wglabs.com. You can also follow Wargaming.net on Twitter @wargaming_net.