Wargaming CEO Victor Kislyi says he has to tolerate the Xbox Live Gold subscription requirement for World of Tanks, but he's not happy about it.
One of Microsoft's biggest announcements at E3 was that World of Tanks, the free-to-play armored combat simulator already enjoyed by millions of PC gamers around the world, is coming to the Xbox 360. Just kidding! World of Tanks is actually pretty cool but it's hardly a game-changer; it is interesting, however, to watch the clash between the die-hard free-to-play culture embodied by World of Tanks that's already common on the PC, and the "pay for everything" walled garden of Xbox Live.
"With Microsoft, unfortunately it's not 100 percent free-to-play because it requires the Gold subscription to Xbox Live membership. But that's a Microsoft requirement which is valid for us and for Activision and for EA and all other partners. They cannot drop it for us because they would have to drop it for everyone and it would be a total mess for them," Kislyi told GamesIndustry. "This we have to tolerate, which I am not happy about. I would rather add another 30-40 million non-golden members and they will monetize occasionally."
Kislyi was also critical of Microsoft Points, which he described as "suicide in free-to-play," and said Wargaming would "advise [Microsoft] on how to embrace, sometime in the future, different payment methods like SMS" for the Xbox One. But while working with huge console companies can be far more challenging than developing for the PC, he added that it's necessary for his company to do so because of the predominance of consoles in North America and parts of Europe.
"We are an entertainment company and we have to cater to our players whatever they use," he said. "If you want to play World of Tanks on console, we have to make it possible for you."
The PC version of World of Tanks recently broke 60 million registered users worldwide. Applications for the Xbox 360 beta are being taken now at worldoftanks.com/xbox.