GDC 14: Wargaming.net CEO Victor Kislyi Talks World of Tanks Future, eSports and Xbox One

Wargaming.net has created one of the most popular MMO’s in recent years with their freemium hit World of Tanks. For both casual gamers and eSports Olympians, World of Tanks has become a monster hit for Wargaming.net, causing the company to make expansive changes to both their staff count and their vision for future game distribution.

After coming to life four and a half years ago, World of Tanks continues to gain popularity both in Wargaming.net’s home turf of Eastern Europe and worldwide. The growing user base for World of Tanks has forced Wargaming.net to keep expanding their workforce to make sure they have the available staff to address bugs and release updates around the clock. With a current staff of 3000 people in 16 locations, Wargaming.net shows no signs of slowing down their MMO juggernaut. The company also noted the steady influx of a North American user base for World of Tanks, which Wargaming.net has reacted to by hiring a number of team members from the United States.

In response to the enormous success of World of Tanks, CEO of Wargaming.net Victor Kislyi is convinced that refinement and evolution of their MMO model is what will keep World of Tanks going.

“This kind of MMO thing,” Kislyi said, “no one, including ourselves, possesses one magic formula which can allow us to clone our own success as many times as we want.”

The increasingly prominent eSports movement has also given plenty of support for World of Tanks, which has taken Eastern European audiences by storm and gathered over 3000 eSports teams to battle it out for gaming supremacy. In addition to seasoned eSport athletes, Wargaming.net has earned even more followers by hooking players who’ve never touched a game before, while still building upon the established userbase. Wargaming.net continues to support simple experiences that gradually become more complex and rewarding for players, citing World of Tanks as a strong example.

Future projects for Wargaming.net with World of Tanks include upgrading realism in the tanks’ movement, with animations and physics that are more in tune with real-world tanks.

On the topic of the recently released 360 version of World of Tanks, Kislyi articulates the challenges of bringing a freemium MMO game (a genre that’s normally difficult for consoles) to the Xbox 360.

“We want to support the 360 version like we did with PC,” Kislyi said. “It’s not an MMO oriented platform, but on the other hand, it’s quite a marriage.”

As far as an Xbox One version of World of Tanks goes, Kislyi kept the door open, but without any official announcement.

“Nothing prevents us from making an Xbox One version.”

Upcoming Wargaming.net projects include the mobile MMO World of Tanks Blitz and the naval battle MMO World of Warships, both with undetermined release dates.