Developer Wargaming, best known for World of Tanks and its various spin-offs, have chosen to pull the plug on two of its offices based in Belarus and Russia. In a move they cited as a “strategic review of business operations worldwide,” the developer shifted its operations to a separate non-affiliated Russian company, Lesta Studio.
While the closure of two studios might sound like it would come with a bit of financial benefit, the Cyprus-based developer is expecting a “substantial loss” thanks to the closures.
“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.”
While it was initially founded in Belarus all the way back in 1998, in 2011, Wargaming chose to relocate to Cyprus while maintaining its studio in its motherland.
The World of Tanks dev is only a drop in the bucket in terms of companies shying away from operating in Russia amid the Russia-Ukraine conflict. Other major companies have taken similar moves. Nintendo has halted online orders in Russia while Microsoft and Sony have stamped out hardware shipments and new game releases. Outside of the direct gaming sphere the likes of Spotify, Netflix, and Apple have all limited or halted their operations in the country.
Full Wargaming statement:
“Wargaming announces decision to leave Russia and Belarus
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.”