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World of Tanks founder warns console makers of the risk of ignoring free-to-play

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By 2015 the free-to-play market is expected to be $9.25 billion ... in the U.S. alone.

Wargaming founder Victor Kislyi's speech at the DICE summit this week centered on how to carve a little space out of that blossoming game space. He also took a moment to warn current console manufacturers that they ignore the trend at their own peril.

"They keep their own prejudice and they keep to their old ways," he said. "If they keep holding to their old way, single player box ideas they may pretty well drop.

"I hope they are wise and smart people and will have a chance to come back. I believe in this, which is why we were so happy to announce the acquisition of Day 1 studios in December to venture into console space."

Kislyi knows what he speaks of. Fifteen years ago Kislyi launched Wargaming.net. In 2008, they company switched from single-player paid games to online free-to-play games. Since then Wargaming's World of Tanks has taken over a sizable chunk of that market.

Today, Kislyi said, the company has a combined peak 1.2 million concurrent gamers and 1,400 employees working out of offices in 12 locations around the world.

"Free to play is everywhere today," he said. "It's growing, everyone knows this. It is still blue ocean, it is still wild west."

The next step for free-to-play, he said is for free-to-play to overcome gambling, financially.

Check out Kislyi's full talk for some interesting insight into both his burgeoning Wargaming empire and the broader world of free-to-play.