How the World Of Tanks publisher is giving something back
Founded in Minsk in 1998, Wargaming made its name developing multiplayer strategy games for PC. In 2010, it hit the big time with World of Tanks, expanding to become a hugely successful global publisher and developer. It has since established a new division, Wargaming Labs, to broaden its portfolio by working with external developers.
How was Wargaming Labs formed?
It wasn’t something that just happened one day. Over the years, Wargaming has picked up a lot of experience publishing different games on different platforms and in different regions. We’ve always had a strong sense of giving something back and helping out other companies. Thus, the idea of Wargaming Labs was born— a division that focuses on helping devs publish titles big or small.
What in particular are you looking for when people submit new projects? How can developers make their projects more attractive to you?
Wargaming Labs is aimed at supporting games mainly by indie, young-gun devs, featuring outstanding game mechanics. Of course, we have a number of standard requirements: playability, implemented core features, technical stability, and so on. Besides that, we expect those eager to collaborate with us to be passionate gamers and tech-savvy developers. If we are talking about newcomers with little or no background or expertise, it’s their gaming experience that is of the most value. In general, in 2017 we’ll be focusing on PC first and console projects second. It doesn’t mean that we limit developers in terms of genre and setting. What we are interested in most are projects that can be offered to our 180 million-strong audience.
What kind of expertise can you offer to potential partners?
First and foremost, we have access to Wargaming’s colossal resources. This enables us to provide our potential partners with expertise we’ve gained in development and publishing, as well as to give access to our massive audience.
Wargaming is renowned for strategy games. What can you offer those working in other genres?
Our laboratory is a standalone unit where we work with projects that are beyond the Wargaming development tradition. We have dealt with an indie twin-stick shooter for PC ( Hybrid Wars) and Caliber, a co-op shooter for our Russian audience. We don’t limit ourselves to a particular genre.
Wargaming has grown from a small indie company to a huge one. How do you maintain a start-up spirit?
Speaking about Wargaming Labs, we’ve never been a huge team, as some may think when they hear ‘Wargaming’ in our title. In fact, we’re a small, focused bunch of professionals. We understand that only close communication with those who create games will help us understand what makes the game industry tick, how to speak a common language with developers and how to retain this start-up spirit. However, due to our access to all Wargaming’s resources around the world, our expertise goes far beyond that of a usual startup. These capabilities empower us to experiment with new mechanics, services, and business models, providing external developers with business, promotional, and operational support needed to refine prototypes into finished products.
“We’ve always had a strong sense of helping out other companies”
Sprawling sci-fi 4X game MasterOfOrion was one of two Wargaming Labs titles to launch last year