Free-to-play World of Tanks Makes Millions a Month's World of Tanks, a free-to-play tank skirmish game, seems all but certain to cement the F2P model as the way of the future. With more than 20 Million players, around 25-30% of which are prepared to stump up cash for premium items, the game now generates monthly profits in the "double digit" millions.

"If you count the last year and a half, we might be the fastest growing company ever, headcount wise and revenue wise," Wargaming CEO Victor Kislyi told GamesIndustry. "When you see the numbers of Twitter, Facebook or even Google for a year and half we probably outperformed them."

Success for the studio has come by focusing on doing everything - from developing to publishing the game - internally, a strategy the team determined that they needed to adopt early on. After approaching "all" of the major publishers, Wargaming realized that they didn't want to be part of someone else's portfolio. "We'd be struggling," Kislyi said, "World of Tanks has 400 people working on just one game. Some publishers aren't that big with multiple projects."

Meanwhile, World of Warcraft - another big player in the massively multiplayer space, albeit one that requires a monthly subscription to play - has seen its once legendary subscriber base begin to fall, recently dipping to 10 Million players from a high of 12 Million a couple of years ago.

When asked about gamers "paying to win", referring to the fact that World of Tanks players can purchase more powerful equipment for real money, Kislyi was pragmatic; "Of course if you want to win a tournament, if you're competitive, if you play clan wars, if you want to be at the top, we think it's appropriate to expect a little bit of money from you because you already spent hundreds of hours in our game and that's much more than the value of any $50 box. But it's still a micro transaction game, you would have to be very creative to spend $1000."

Is F2P the future? Which do you prefer, subscription-based games or the new wave of "free" games with micro-transaction options? Let us know in the comments!


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Comments Comments (5)

Posted by KatalystaKaos
On Tuesday 20 Mar 2012 1:35 PM
Isn't it a form of elitism where the rich have bigger badder guns whilst everyone else is left fighting with twigs?

Won't matter what anyone wants or thinks, the companies will do what makes $$$$$. They've already got people suckered into day one DLC and barely an eye brow is raised. People will fall for anything. Clearly this game is making mega-huge bucks so won't be long til everyone has a "World of Tanks". At the end of the day the human race in general are a bunch of sheep and will become conditioned to anything given enough time and/or lack of other options.
Posted by KatalystaKaos
On Tuesday 20 Mar 2012 2:18 PM
Is the thumbs down from the guys running the banner ad at the top.

If you gonna thumbs down at least have the b@lls to voice your opinion as well.
Posted by phantom
On Tuesday 20 Mar 2012 2:24 PM
20 March 2012, 02:18 PM Reply to KatalystaKaos
Is the thumbs down from the guys running the banner ad at the top.

If you gonna thumbs down at least have the b@lls to voice your opinion as well.
I'm interested in the F2P concept but I'm not gonna get involved with a game where people with deep wallets will have an advantage over me.

I like the concept of getting a taste of the full experience for nothing and then, if I like it, I don't mind paying a bit for more bag space or character slots or something like that.

But if it's "insert credit card to unlock weapon of supreme pwnage" i'm not going there. Competing on skill is one thing, but competing as to whose dad has the best credit card is something else entirely.
Posted by Kegz
On Tuesday 20 Mar 2012 3:09 PM
Depends on how it's done. I really like this idea, you get to play the game and if you get to the point where you want to be really competitive or decked out online then you can be. So for example if those bad assery weapons can only be used when you're above a certain level anyway it'd make it better for new players.
Posted by METAL666nZ
On Tuesday 20 Mar 2012 7:15 PM
I have sunk a few $$$'s into tanks, don't play as much now, but it is a game that if you want to really enjoy the top you spend cash. i o know some who have no lifes and have grinded to the top with F2P.