THE publishers of the enormously popular free-to-play multiplayer combat games World of Tanks and World of Warships have announced that, effective from March 31, they have withdrawn all of their operations from Russia and Belarus and will no longer have any business there.
No official reason has been provided, but international sanctions and condemnation against Russia over the Russian invasion of Ukraine obviously has a lot to do with it.
Last month the company offered its full support to staff at its Kyiv office, including helping pay relocation costs for their families to leave Ukraine, and also made a USD$1m donation to the Ukrainian Red Cross.
The official announcement regarding Wargaming’s withdrawal from Russia and Belarus is as follows:
Over the past weeks, Wargaming has been conducting a strategic review of business operations worldwide. The company has decided it will not own or operate any businesses in Russia and Belarus and will leave both countries.
Effective March 31 the company transferred its live games business in Russia and Belarus to local management of Lesta Studio that 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.
Wargaming has also started the process of closing its studio in Minsk, Belarus.
We will be providing as much severance and support as possible to our employees affected by the change.
Despite the magnitude of this decision, we as a company are confident in the future of our business and are committed to delivering quality games to our players.
While originally founded in Belarus, Wargaming relocated its HQ to Cyprus in 2011 and the company’s main operations will continue to be based in there.
We’ve contacted Wargaming to find out more and will let you know if there are any updates.