Wargaming (company)

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Wargaming Group Limited
Private[1]
Industry Entertainment
Video games
Founded August 12, 1998; 18 years ago (1998-08-12)
Headquarters Nicosia, Cyprus[2]
Key people
Victor Kislyi (CEO)
Vangelis Georgiou (Managing Director / Head of Global Publishing)[3]
Matias Myllyrinne (Head of Development)
Andrew Tinney (Chief Financial Officer)
Nick Katselapov (Executive Director / Chief Business Development Officer)
Jerry Prochazka (Chief Human Resources Officer)
Products Video Games & Services
Revenue Increase €217,9 million (2012)
Increase €6,1 million (2012)
Number of employees
Increase 4000+
Subsidiaries Wargaming Chicago-Baltimore
Wargaming Seattle
Wargaming Austin[4]
Wargaming America, Inc.
Wargaming Europe
Wargaming Asia Pte. Ltd.[5]
Lesta Studio
Website Official website

Wargaming Group Limited[1] is an international game developer and publisher headquartered in Nicosia, Cyprus.[6] The group operates across 16 offices and development centers.

Primarily focused on turn-based strategy and real-time strategy Games, Wargaming switched to developing free-to-play online action games in 2009, and has since become one of the leaders in the market. The company's critical and commercial success came after the launch of its first online project, the military-themed team-based game World of Tanks.

History[edit]

Wargaming was founded by Victor Kislyi in 1998 in Minsk, Belarus[7] as a development studio creating multiplayer strategy games for PC.

The company's first project was DBA Online—the digital version of a miniature tabletop rule set De Bellis Antiquitatis—launched in 2000. Wargaming started working on its first full-scale commercial project—the sci-fi turn-based strategy game Massive Assault, in March 2002.[8]

Over the course of five years, the company shipped five projects within the Massive Assault franchise.[9]

On November 16, 2007, Wargaming acquired the Minsk-based developer Arise.[10] In December 2008, the company released its first real-time strategy Operation Bagration.[11] On April 16, 2009, Wargaming started working on real-time strategy Order of War, which was published by Square Enix on September 18, 2009. On August 12, 2010, the company released its first online title World of Tanks. On April 12, 2011, World of Tanks was released in North America and Europe.

At E3 2011, Wargaming announced the follow-up to World of Tanks, the flight combat online action game World of Warplanes.[12] At Gamescom 2011, the company unveiled the third part of its military saga—the naval action online game World of Warships.[13]

In October 2011, Wargaming announced the online collectible card MMO game World of Tanks: Generals.

2011 marked the beginning of active global expansion for Wargaming. On July 26, 2011, the company opened Wargaming Group Ltd (the new holding company of the Group) with headquarters in Nicosia, Cyprus and after that the European Business Operations Centre—Wargaming Europe—with headquarters in Paris, France and with a subsidiary office in Berlin, Germany.[14] On August 3, 2011, the company created a direct presence in North America by opening an office in San Francisco.

Throughout 2011, Wargaming joined strategic partnerships with Persha Studia, Lesta Studio and DAVA Consulting,[15] with each operating separate projects under Wargaming.

On February 21, 2012, the Android version of World of Tanks Assistant, the mobile application for World of Tanks, went live in Europe and North America.[16]

In May 2012, Wargaming entered the Korean games market by opening a subsidiary office in Seoul.[17]

In June 2012, Wargaming embarked on a rebranding initiative and announced the Wargaming.net service,[18] which will unite its games and services into a single battle universe.[19] In the same month, Wargaming had grown to 900 employees throughout the world. On August 7, 2012, Wargaming acquired Australian company BigWorld Technology[20][21] which brought development of the middleware for its MMO projects in-house.

In 2012, Wargaming's revenue was declared to be 217.9 million Euro, with net profit of 6.1 million Euro, declared in an annual report for the Cyprus Stock Exchange (CSE).[22] Wargaming's shares were delisted from CSE in 2015 and it is a privately held company to date.

On January 29, 2013, Wargaming set sights on the console market by acquiring Day 1 Studios.[23][24] Renamed Wargaming Chicago-Baltimore, the studios are currently developing World of Tanks: Xbox 360 Edition (February 2014), Xbox One (July 2015) and PlayStation 4 (January 2016).[25]

On February 12, 2013, Wargaming announced its own eSports league,[26] the Wargaming.net League.

On February 14, 2013, the company acquired Gas Powered Games. On March 26, 2013, Wargaming announced World of Tanks Blitz,[27] the mobile MMO game centered around tank combat available on smartphones and tablets. The game was released on iOS [28] in June 2014. As of 2016, World of Tanks Blitz is available on iOS, Android,[29] Windows 10[30] and Mac OS X.[31]

On May 29, 2013, Wargaming branched into the Japanese games market by opening an office in Tokyo.[32]

On July 22, 2013, the company bought Total Annihilation and Master of Orion intellectual properties from the Atari bankruptcy proceedings.[33]

In 2015, Wargaming opened two new divisions: the innovation platform, WG Labs, and the mobile-focused unit, WG Cells.[34] The latter was shut down in 2016.[35]

In August 2016, Wargaming's WG Labs division released a reimagining of Master of Orion. The game was developed by the Argentinian NGD Studios.

As of 2016, Wargaming owns a significant share of the Hellenic Bank (Daniel S. Loeb's Third Point Group is the other major shareholder of the Cyprus-based Bank), and has shown interest in purchasing land property assets in Cyprus for its own use and investment purposes. Wargaming is currently the largest taxpayer within Cyprus.[6]

Strategic partners and owned studios[edit]

  • BigWorld Pty Ltd—Sydney, Australia
  • Wargaming West [36] (formerly Day 1 Studios)—Chicago, Illinois (USA), Baltimore, Maryland (USA)
  • Wargaming Seattle (formerly Gas Powered Games)—Redmond, Washington (USA)
  • Game Stream—Minsk, Belarus
  • Persha Studia—Kiev, Ukraine
  • Lesta Studio—Saint-Petersburg, Russia
  • DAVA Consulting—Minsk, Belarus
  • Melsoft Games [37]— Minsk, Belarus

Games and reception[edit]

Wargaming has created more than 15 titles, the most popular being the online action game World of Tanks. World of Tanks created a new market niche of slow-paced military-history PvP games, which the company expanded in the following years by releasing the flight MMO World of Warplanes (2013),[38] the cross-platform action game World of Tanks Blitz (2014),[39] the turn-based collectible card game World of Tanks Generals (2015),[40] and the naval warfare MMO World of Warships (2015).[41] All these titles are united within the Wargaming.net service.

Since this initial success, World of Tanks has made the jump to consoles, initially released on Xbox 360, then on Xbox One and on PlayStation 4.[42]

Wargaming Seattle is engaged in the development of an unannounced project.

Release year Title Publisher Genre Aggregated scores
2000 DBA Online Turn-based strategy Not available
2003 Massive Assault Turn-based strategy 80.11%,[43] 77[44]
2004 Massive Assault Network Turn-based strategy 78.15%,[45] 74[46]
2005 Massive Assault: Domination Turn-based strategy 69.61%,[47] 69[48]
2006 Massive Assault Network 2 Turn-based strategy 76.00%,[49] 72[50]
2007 Galactic Assault: Prisoner of Power Turn-based strategy 69.47%,[51] 68[52]
2009 Order of War Square Enix[53] Real-time strategy 71.67%,[54] 69[55][56][57]
2010 Order of War: Challenge Wargaming Real-time strategy 72.50%,[58] 70[59]
  • RU: 2010
World of Tanks Wargaming Massively multiplayer online game 82.15%,[60] 80[61]
World of Warplanes Wargaming Multiplayer online action game 69.18%[63] 69[64]
2014[65] World of Tanks Xbox 360 Wargaming Multiplayer online action game
2014 World of Tanks Blitz Wargaming Multiplayer online action game
2015 World of Warships Wargaming Multiplayer online action game 80.93%[66] 81[67]
2015 World of Tanks on Xbox One Wargaming Multiplayer online action game
2015 World of Tanks Generals Wargaming Turn-based collectible card game
2016 Smash Squad WG Cells[68]
2016 Master of Orion: Conquer the Stars WG Labs Turn-based strategy 75.83%[69] 74[70]
2016 Hybrid Wars WG Labs[71] Top-down shooter
TBA Excalibur[72] TBA

Wargaming has created more than 15 titles; most popular being the massively multiplayer online game World of Tanks.

The company currently has several projects in the pipeline being developed for multiple platforms. Its flight combat action game World of Warplanes was released in November 2013. The naval action title World of Warships entered Open Beta Test phase in 2015.[73] Other projects in the works include the CCG World of Tanks: Generals, mobile MMO game World of Tanks Blitz and World of Tanks: Xbox 360 Edition.

WG Labs[edit]

WG Labs is an organizational unit within Wargaming that cooperates with 3rd party developers and delivers games that go beyond the company's traditional paradigm. Opened in 2015,[74] the division partnered with the NGD Studios to release Master of Orion: Conquer the Stars (2016[75]) and is working with Extreme Developers on the top-down shooter Hybrid Wars.[71]

The Wargaming.net service[edit]

Announced in 2012, Wargaming.net is a service developed by Wargaming. The service is designed to support all of Wargaming's online games, and provide a single point of entry to all Wargaming projects, partners and fan websites.

Features[edit]

The service includes:

  • Single unified account system—Wargaming.net ID that grants direct access to all Wargaming online titles.[76]
  • Advanced account management system—Improved personal account tools that will provide gamers with increased security, including optimized password and login resets and account restoration.[77]
  • Original payment system, built on the free-to-win principles.
  • Common economics that will allow players to transfer Gold and Free Experience between Wargaming's titles (World of Warships excluded).[78]

Unified Premium Account (UPA)[edit]

With the introduction of the Unified Premium Account service, players got the opportunity to maintain Premium time across World of Tanks and World of Warplanes, and World of Warships without any additional expenses.[79] When purchased in World of Tanks, the Premium account is now also automatically activated for World of Warplanes and World of Warships.[80]

The concept underlying the Unified Premium Account service contradicts business models previously established in the games industry. Instead of charging players for every piece of new content, it now spans the Premium options across all of the company's titles.[81]

History[edit]

The service was announced in June 2012.

In August 2012, Wargaming deployed the OpenID authentication system, enabling players to log into all Wargaming-related websites using a Wargaming.net ID.[82]

In May 2013, the first public version of Wargaming.net Service went live.[83]

Shortly before E3 2013, it was announced that all Wargaming.net ID owners would benefit from the Unified Premium Account service, allowing players to pay for all premium services at once, with the added benefit of an increased experience and credit accrual rate in-game.[84]

eSports[edit]

Since 2013, Wargaming runs its own eSports organization, the Wargaming.net League.[85] The League serves as a platform for World of Tanks pro-gamers, with each tournament year broken down into several seasons featuring a series of online and offline events that culminate in a massive offline tournament, Grand Finals.

Military history activities[edit]

Wargaming is involved in a number of projects to preserve military cultural heritage, including:[86]

VR and AR Content[edit]

As part of its historical initiatives, Wargaming is actively exploring virtual and augmented reality technologies. In early 2015, the company worked with Google to record and accurately portray a 1941 battle in 360°[96] for the Google Cardboard mobile HMD.[97] This was soon followed by a series of panoramic tours of WWII tanks, Virtually Inside the TanksRetrieved,[98] filmed in cooperation with Google and The Tank Museum in Bovington, England. Available via the Littlstar VR cinema network, the series currently includes the T-34-76,[99] the M4 Sherman "Fury"[100] from the Brad Pitt movie of the same name, the Type 59,[101] Leopard 1,[102] and the Chieftain.[103] Each video also offers a tour with Wargaming Military Specialists Richard Cutland and Nicolas Moran.[104]

To honor Victory Day, Wargaming released the "War Knows No Nation" video.[105] The video rekindles the memories of three veteran World War II tankers, blending live action panorama footage with CG scenes for the very first time.

In spring 2016, Wargaming joined forces with the National Museum of the Royal Navy, Portsmouth Historic Dockyard and honored the anniversary of the Battle of Jutland with an augmented reality app: HMS Caroline AR Experience.[106] This app recreates the only ship still in existence that fought at the Battle of Jutland: the WW1 cruiser HMS Caroline.

To congratulate Russians on Navy Day, Wargaming created a Porthub augmented reality mobile app that lets users take snapshots with legendary warships.[107]

As part of the 100 Years of Tanks celebration, Wargaming presented the Virtually inside the First Tanks 360° Video that featured a walkthrough of Bovington's collection of early tanks, enhanced by World of Tanks in-game scenes of the Mark I, and the free "Tank 100" mobile app.

The latest series in its range of 360° videos, Virtual Inside the Warships, is set to debut soon and will feature HMS Cavalier, amongst others.[108]

Awards[edit]

  • Best Game Developer Award at GDC Russia 2009 (KRI-2009).[109]
  • Media Award at GDC Russia 2009 (KRI-2009).[109]
  • Best Game Developer Award at GDC Russia 2010 (KRI-2010).[110]
  • Special Award from the Industry at GDC Russia 2011 (KRI-2011).[111]
  • Industry Excellence Award at GDC Russia 2012 (KRI-2012).[112]
  • Best Game Developer Award at GDC Russia 2012 (KRI-2012).[112]
  • Best MMO Award for World of Tanks at the Golden Joystick Awards 2012.[113]
  • Best Booth Award from Massively at E3 2012.[114]
  • Best Publisher Award from MMORPGITALIA.[115]
  • Best Action Download MMO 2012 Award for World of Tanks in the MMO of the Year awards.[116]
  • Best Classic Download MMO 2013 Award for World of Tanks in the MMO of the Year awards.[116]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]