World of Tanks CEO’s Rise to the Top

from the tanks desk

In a recent interview on Develop Online with BigWorld-Powered World of Tanks‘ CEO Victor Kislyi, he details his rise from rags to riches story with World of Tanks. Once a lowly bedroom coder, he now controls one of the biggest MMOs in the world.

What brought World of Tanks into fruition was Kislyi’s realization that retail games might not be the future of gaming, and f2p online multiplayer was the way to go.

“There’s piracy, $50 price tags, competition and the developer-publisher relationship, which very rarely works because of contracts, deadlines, money, acceptance, quarterly reports for big publishers which affect your schedule, and other stuff.”

Another big component in World of Tanks’ success was that Kislyi founded his own publishing division for the game, as opposed to going with an already pre-established one.

“The truth is that none of the traditional retail publishers, even now, know how free-to-play works.”

Perhaps the biggest reason for World of Tanks success, though, was their way of making a niche game spread out into the masses. By making a competitive military MMO, World of Tanks brought in not only people interested in tanks and history, but also fans of shooters, competitive gamers, strategy fans, and MMO connoisseurs.

“We pulled in waves of Counter-Strike players, other shooting game players, and strategy game players…it was a very natural growth but it had this exponential component to it.”

While this definitely helped the outspread of the game, Kislyi is sure that we don’t forget how much passion and polish went into the project, which brought it to this point.

“Don’t forget, we’ve put a hell of a lot of quality in. With World of Warplanes for example, I can claim, and very soon it will be true, that when it’s finished, and probably around a couple of months or half a year after launch, the amount of investment in this game will be equal to all of the flight simulators made before it combined.”

Although the meat of the interview deals with how Kislyi and his team got World of Tanks to this point of popularity, there is also plenty of other interesting information brought up. Kislyi discusses how to keep players coming back to the game, potential console game development, an upcoming special edition retail release of World of Tanks, and what is next for Kislyi and the future of Wargaming.

Check out the complete interview here.

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