The growth that Wargaming.net has experienced over the last few years is staggering. World of Tanks has over fifty five million registered users and this April will be launching 8.5. The game supports a growing list of development projects for Wargaming.net, the least of which is World of Warplanes. We got a chance to talk to the team at GDC and here is what we found out.
World of Warplanes continues to run in closed beta. They are using this time to add polish to the game and tweak some of the gameplay. With their fourth build they have recently revamped the visuals to make them much more vivid. They are also taking feedback from the community to customize controls more towards a flight simulator. The game will support basic controls for everyone however, there is a group of testers who really want to set up controls like a simulator. The team at Wargaming.net is working to make sure those controls are also in the game. Right now they are balancing how deep to go with simulator controls compared to fast-paced gameplay. They also want to make sure it all works with flight sticks and game pads.
World of Warplanes' new graphic overhaul brings a lot to the player and the team explained that the graphics for the port or ocean settings will be used in World of Warships. The development of Warships continues and hopefully we will see something soon, possibly at E3. Seeing that Warplanes really is in the polish and beta phase hopefully Wargaming is putting more resources to Warships.
Along with developing three major titles we got a look at World of Tanks Generals card game. This is a much faster browser game which allows players to have short bursts of fun. Generals can choose their card make up from various tanks with different speeds and weapons. They want people to be able to play where ever they are. You play as an HQ with a series of light tanks which can move fast around the game board. The heavy tanks in your arsenal deliver the damage but move much slower. Generals is designed to be a quick hit for players of about five to six minutes a game.
We also got to see World of Tanks Blitz on the iPad. The game looked amazing with graphic quality similar to the PC version. It also really moved well with the interface. The team explained that it was still in development and just past the prototype phase. In the pre-alpha build we got to drive around in our tank and switch to sniper mode to better target our opponents. We got in some solid gameplay and were pretty impressed with how smooth the game handled. Switching back and forth from regular to sniper mode was also very easy and we found ourselves doing it a lot during the demo. Blitz is looking to launchw ith over eighty tanks in the game. They will be starting with the Russian, German, and U.S. tanks at launch. The game will be online all the time and full PvP all the time. We expect Blitz to be extremely popular and I cannot wait to play at work, er, at home. Sadly there is no release date yet for Blitz but from what we saw it looked solid.
Wargaming.net continues to move at record pace in terms of growth. The main reason is their very strong product line and cross-genre appeal. People who are not hardcore gamers are joining in both World of Tanks and the Warplanes beta. It is this appeal that has lead to quick growth around the globe. Wargaming definitely is welcoming to more players and looking to get them into the games as quickly as possible. If you have not grabbed a World of Warplanes beta key you should give it a try.