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World of WarPlanes Previews: GDC 2012 Preview

By Som Pourfarzaneh on March 23, 2012

At GDC last week, I got to sit down with Wargaming.net's CEO Victor Kislyi to learn more about World of Warplanes.  Being developed in Kiev, Ukraine rather than Wargaming.net's development center in Minsk, Belarus, World of Warplanes (WoWP) is following the incredible success of World of Tanks (WoT) and will be offering fast and intense dogfights and aerial combat.  You'll be able to choose from warplanes of many different nations from the World War I era to the Korean War, and while battles in WoWP will not initially be historical, Wargaming.net may consider re-creating famous scenarios for military history enthusiasts.

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Our preview included a short demo of WoWP, and the game already looked great even in its current global alpha build.  It will be very easy to jump into battles, get some XP in a match, upgrade your plane, and jump back in again, and WoWP will allow you to tinker with WoT-style tech trees for small biplanes all the way to epic prototypes and blueprints.  You'll get a hangar for all of your planes, including light and heavy fighters and ground attack aircraft, which will each be part of a rock-paper-scissors type scenario in battle.

WoWP will also have the same free-to-play model of WoT, and you'll be able to use microtransactions to purchase premium ammo and camouflages that won't disturb the game balance, as well as enhanced XP and currency buffs.

WoWP has been called "Counter-Strike with warplanes" (or WoT with warplanes), and Wargaming.net has been working on building up the e-sports community for their games.  They're already in conversation with the ESL, WECG and Russian Federation of CyberSport, and are working closely with the Kiev CyberSport Arena.  Wargaming.net is serious about the competitive potential for their games, and have close to $2 million this year allocated for e-sports.

I asked about a potential crossover between WoT and WoWP (how awesome would that be), and Victor told me that although they're not working on that right now, you will be given a unified account across both games.  Thus, all of your currency and XP will be connected between WoT and WoWP, and there will be a unification of clan wars maps across both games.

Amazingly, Wargaming.net has grown to become an 800-person company, and although they're happy with the PC market that they've created, they could potentially be interested in investigating console markets for their games in the future.  They're also working on World of Battleships, which is going to be amazing.

World of Warplanes will be released "when it's ready," and will have a public beta around E3.

Are you excited for World of Warplanes?  Let us know in the comments below!

Som Pourfarzaneh / Som has been hanging out with the MMORPG.com crew since 2011, and is an Associate Director & Lecturer in Media, Anthropology, and Religious Studies. He’s a former Community Manager for Neverwinter, the free-to-play Dungeons & Dragons MMORPG from Cryptic Studios and Perfect World Entertainment, and is unreasonably good at Maze Craze for the Atari 2600. You can exchange puns and chat (European) football with him on Twitter @sominator.

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