Wargaming, a game developer that changed the industry in a few years by believing that free-to-play is the new way of making games. And even though it was a brave step, it also was a move that changed everything for Wargaming. Going from a small company in 2010 into a giant in 2015. And it is still going growing today.
And with the release of there latest game World of Warships we had the opportunity to sit down with Victor Kislyi (CEO Wargaming) and Artur Plociennik (Global Publishing Producer World of Warships). And before we want to know a bit more about the future of Wargaming we started talking with Artur, who’s currently still working on World of Warships.
365Gaming: So Artur, you guys do a lot of research. I spoke to the Military Specialist and he told me that the developers actually tell them which ships to do his research on. But how do you come up with a country that you want to research?
Artur: Well, it’s not that simple. On the design stage we say to our Military Specialists and Special Project that we know that a certain country had a great battleship of an awesome destroyer. So we ask them to look up the blueprints or any other information. But sometimes there just isn’t any information about how the ship was build. So than you move on and go and look for other ships. But we don’t drop the initial ship, we just put it on hold until we do have the information we need. So some of the ships that are in the game or not our first choice, but they where easier to import in to the game. So there are a lot of things you need to consider before you make the right choices when it comes to the design stages and which ships are in the game.
So, if you look at the Japanese ships in the game, it is not just a designers decision, but when you look at the archives, they just had a lot of ships and gave us access to the archive to get these ships done in a photo-realistic way. And when you look at Wargaming, than it would have made more sense to start with the Soviet ships first, based on our fanbase, but there are not a lot of the documents for the time period that the game is set in, and with that at hand, it’s hard to start with, which made it harder for us to complete the fleet. So the Japanese fleet is just the starting point and we go on from there.
365Gaming: So these blueprints, are these all based on the blueprints that are stored in the French Archives?
Artur: No, it’s not just the French Archives, it’s also the achive in Tokyo. We contacted a lot of people in Japan who already did research and published stories on the ships in the past. So there is a whole veriaty of sources when it comes down to getting the right information.
365Gaming: Wargaming launched World of Warships recently. But when you look at the build, you see that this is version 0.5.0.2. Normally a game is released when you are at version 1.0. When will the game be complete?
Artur: Well, the game will never will be done. I personally will never be happy with the game. Because if you ask an artist he will always tell you that there are always things he can improve. The best is yet to come. So the game is getting completed, but it will never be done. Of course there are a lot of things we can change and make it more realistic, but then again, we don’t want to be a simulator, what we want it to be, is realistic and historical correct. But maybe, over time, when you have a group of very high level players it might be time for historic and simulation mode.
And unfortunately our time with Artur is over, but we did get some great answers. And now we move on the Wargaming’s CEO Victor Kislyi. A man with a mission and a new view on gaming. He knows what he wants and he is not ashamed to tell us about it.
365Gaming: So, Victor, first of all. Congratulation with the launch of World of Warships. But why Warships and how big do you think this game can become?
Victor: Well, World of Tanks is still bigger than World of Warships. But let me tell you, our inspiration came from the Asian and the Korean games, there is a very old game called Navy Field, it’s a 2D, very slow game, but it introduced session based battles and a progression system and historical accuracy, so we where inspired by this game while making World of Tanks. And a lot of players, including myself, wanted to play a navy combat game and there was Navy Field, but it did not develop to fast, so we started our own World of Warships productions to satisfy my hunger for Navel Warfare. And of course the hunger of all the other players as well.
365Gaming: So World of Warships is more like a personal game, WG Labs is now working on Master of Orion, which is also a personal favourite. Which other games that you would love to see as a remake or a remastered version?
Victor: I just love games, I played hundreds of games starting from the ZX Spectrum, such as Laser Squad Elite, Jumping Jacks and games like that. In the ’80 and ’90 I played all games and in all genres, of course, today it is not possible to play all the games, but I still play games. Luckily for me playing games is part of my work, and it’s also a good excuse for me to tell my wife. But I really enjoy playing them. So, if you want to know which games I love and want to play, than we should go to an island so we can talk for a whole week about the games that I love.
Of course, strategy is my favourite genre, Civilization is the best game of all times. And Master of Orion is our attempt to bring back something similar to the 4X strategy game genre, Master of Orion is a legend of the ’90, but now with 21st century graphics. But if you talk about the games that I would really love to play now, than I would have to say Total Annihilation. That’s a great game which that was on auction, and when it was for sale, I had no choice, I bought the gmae. But Panzer General, Sim City, WarLords, I can go on and on and on which game I would love to play.
And what you should remember is that games are a form of art. It’s the same like Gone with the Wind or The Godfather movies or the Mona Lisa painting. Games are a form of art. It’s already acknowledged by society and Wargaming is glad to be part of this art, but unlike any other art it’s not static, it’s dynamic, it’s interactive, it’s high tech, it’s on the edge, it’s beautiful, it’s making people smarter.
365Gaming: Recently Wargaming branches of and started with WG Labs. Master of Orion is done by WG Labs, but is WG Labs the way you expected it to go?
Victor: Well, WG Labs is still a part of Wargaming. It’s just another brand within Wargaming and we want to be true to the brand. So Wargaming is this true heavy metal photo-realistic warfare brand. WG Labs, well, the name says Labs. So we are kinda experimental. Yes, we branched out from our free to play games. Because the fans would kill us if we would make Master of Orion free to play.
We knew from the beginning that this is something we would not do with Master of Orion. It’s all about experiments and from there on we’ll see how it goes. And Master of Orion is the first experiment, if it goes well we have more option to go to and we have more experience and than more developers would love to work with us and probably IP holders who would love to talk about there old franchises.
And that wraps it all up for us. So, who knows what we can expect in World of Warships in the future. And talking about the future, only time will tell which games Wargaming Labs will bring us, but we hope that Master of Orion is the first of many games.