World of Tanks developer, Wargaming, is shutting down its Russia and Belarus studio in Minsk and closing all operations in the region due to the ongoing conflict caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
World of Tanks developer Wargaming is the latest to join the boycot off Russia and Belarus by various gaming companies in an attempt to oppose the actions of Russia in their invasion of Ukraine. Wargaming is also responsible for World of Warships as well as other war-centric multiplayer titles which will also see a halt of operations in Russia and Belarus.
Wargaming offered their statement to VGC, stating that they would “own or operate any businesses” in the region of Russia and Belarus, following “a strategic review”. Wargaming was founded by Viktor Kislyi in the Belarussian capital of Minsk, which is the studio that is set to shut down.
“Effective March 31 the company transferred its live games business in Russia and Belarus to the local management of Lesta Studio which is no longer affiliated with Wargaming.
The company will not profit from this process either today or going forward. Much to the contrary, we expect to suffer substantial losses as a direct result of this decision.
We will be completing the operational transition with all due speed while remaining in full compliance with all laws and ensuring the ongoing safety and support of our employees. During the transition period, the live products will remain available in Russia and Belarus and will be operated by the new owner.”
The reason behind the transfer is due to the closure of the Minsk studio which will impact all of the current employees at the Belarus development house, however, Wargaming has stated that they “will provide as much severance and support as possible to employees affected by the change”. There is no confirmation from Wargaming whether current employees will be allowed the chance to perhaps transfer to one of their 19 offices around the world rather than take a direct severance package.
Wargaming is the latest in the gaming industry to boycott the actions of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, going so far as to even dismiss creative director Sergey Burkatovskiy over his public support of the invasion. “Sergey Burkatovskiy expressed his personal opinion on social media which categorically does not reflect the position of the company. He has been let go and is no longer at the company”, said Wargaming when the incident occured.
Many companies have suspended their operations in Russia and Belarus by extension, including Activision, Nintendo, and more.