World Of Tanks Dev Will No Longer Own Or Operate Any Businesses In Russia Or Belarus
Wargaming's live games business in Russia and Belarus is being transferred to another studio that is no longer affiliated with the company.
World of Tanks developer Wargaming is ceasing all business operations in Russia and Belarus, including closing down its Belarusian studio, following Russia's invasion of neighboring Ukraine.
The announcement came via a post by Wargaming on LinkedIn, stating that over the past weeks, Wargaming "has been conducting a strategic review of business operations worldwide and that it will no longer operate in Russia or Belarus." Instead, Wargaming is transferring operations of its free-to-play live service games (World of Tanks, World of Warplanes, and World of Warships) to Lesta Studio, located in Saint Petersburg, Russia. Wargaming acquired Lesta in 2011 but will not be affiliated with the studio moving forward.
"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 statement reads. "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."
It will also close its Belarusian studio in Minsk, where the company was initially founded. Wargaming's headquarters has been based in Cyprus since 2011, and the company has offices across Europe and the United States. One such office is in Ukraine's capital of Kyiv, where it employs more than 550 people. To help Ukrainian employees, Wargaming has sought to help provide them with "alternate housing, early salary payments, and additional funds to aid travel and relocation."
Wargaming recently fired one of its creative directors for publicly endorsing Russia's invasion of Ukraine on social media, telling PC Gamer that the ex-employee's personal opinion "categorically does not reflect the position of the company." The company has donated $1 million to the Ukrainian Red Cross.
The World of Tanks developer is just the latest video game company looking to sever ties with Russia and Belarus following the Ukrainian invasion. Companies like Microsoft, EA, and others have ceased sales in the region. Other companies have sought to raise funds for Ukrainian relief efforts, with Epic Games recently having raised more than $144 million for the cause.
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