What makes Berlin such a strong hub for the gaming industry?
Berlin has a vibrant community of gaming, mobile and technology professionals who actively drive the industry forward. The large number of related events that occur in Berlin can attest to that. Plus, the talent pool in the capital is constantly increasing thanks to the established professional education centers for gaming, including the renowned Games Academy. An easy-to-reach location from pretty much anywhere in Europe, Berlin has a welcoming atmosphere for international businesses, which makes it a good place for the global industry’s talent to relocate. The networking opportunities create an inspirational ground for exchanging experiences, innovating and collaborating on new awesome projects with the industry’s greatest minds.
Wargaming ranks among the largest gaming employers in the capital. Recently, you moved to a new Berlin office. How did you settle in the new location? Was it a smooth move or did you face any obstacles?
As I already mentioned, Berlin is very welcoming to international businesses. There are organizations that help non-domestic companies settle in. In particular, we worked with Berlin Partners whose mission is to help businesses come and settle down in Berlin and we received tremendous support from them—from legal to immigration and logistics perspectives. They helped us to establish the new office, and relocate people in the smoothest possible way. Of course, there’s another side of the capital’s welcoming atmosphere. Since Berlin has become such an attractive location for various businesses, there is a huge competition for office space. It took us some time to find our home—we had two temporary locations but in the end, it was totally worth it. We’re now enjoying a modern and spacious office with the awesome views from the 19th and 20th floors close to Alexanderplatz.
Wargaming has a big fan and playerbase in the CIS, where the company was founded in 1998. What distinguishes the office in Berlin from the one in Minsk? Do you believe that the playerbase here will grow as big as in the CIS?
If we’re talking about Wargaming, the office in Berlin is dedicated fully to mobile gaming—operations, publishing, and project management activities—while Minsk still has one of the company’s biggest development studios, handling the development for both World of Tanks and World of Tanks Blitz, the mobile version of the PC title. Germany already has one of the biggest communities for World of Tanks, World of Tanks Blitz and World of Warships Blitz. It’s also one of the fastest growing communities for our games. We still see a huge potential in this region—every other resident is a gamer, and our games are obviously to their liking.
It was recently announced that you are collaborating with the Ukrainian studio Frag Lab for your next game, using the free-to-play model and Amazon technology. What advantages does the Amazon technology have for players? Are you intending on having more similar partnerships in the future?
Amazon Game Tech gives developers everything they need to create amazing games by bringing together solutions using all of Amazon’s tools. Wargaming and Frag Lab are using a number of Amazon tools, including Amazon Lumberyard—the game’s engine. One of its key benefits is that it simplifies and facilitates the development process. In other words, gamers receive a high-end game within a shorter development timeframe.
With Wargaming growing more and more, what are you planning for foreseeable future?
Wargaming is committed to delivering first-class gaming experiences. The company has made plenty of announcements recently. These new titles will be for PC and are currently being developed by the guys at Frag Lab and our studio in Guildford. Furthermore, over the past few years we have heavily increased our investment into mobile gaming. Wargaming Mobile has been formed as a separate division to focus solely on the development and publishing of mobile titles. This year we plan to soft launch few new mobile games, including internally developed games in Copenhagen and Helsinki, so players can expect more and more mobile titles in the future.
Thank you, Rinaldo!