'World of Tanks' CEO aims for non-stop crunch for next decade

Wargaming.net CEO speaks out against studios that tack on free-to-play features.

A successful massively multiplayer game will experience a never-ending development crunch which will last for "five, seven, ten years," according to Wargaming.net CEO Victor Kislyi during a presentation at GDC Europe.

Kislyi lamented massively multiplayer studios that believe the work ends once a game is shipped. Following the shipping of a product on its release date, studios must begin hiring employees, not firing them, in order to create new content and updates for the title.

"The boxed [product] mentality kicks in," he said. "[but] when you ship the game, this is where the work starts."

Kislyi added that only massively multiplayer games that offer 100 percent free-to-play capabilities will "rule the world," while subscription hybrids are simply "wrong." Hybrid subscriptions which feature free-to-play elements on top of a monthly subscription and physical boxed product create a barrier to entry for a large portion of potential players, he explained.

"As soon as you have a fixed price point you cannot overcome that. Only a certain amount of people are ready to pay this price. It is a narrow corridor.

"In massively multiplayer online games, there are people who do not pay in principle," he stated, adding "you have to cater for those people too."

World of Tanks is a popular freemium massively multiplayer title that features World War II-era tank combat. According to Wargaming.net, three percent of the population of Iceland play the title.

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