Even while under the public microscope for aggressive and possibly predatory monetization schemes and the near-collapse of its influencer program, Wargaming is making few moves to quietly slink out of the spotlight.
The latest controversy started when a Russian-language World of Warships community contributor named Turry accused Wargaming developers of not playing the game they work on. Wargaming responded by removing Turry from the community contributor program. While this may seem a bit heavy-handed, it gets a lot worse, and the worldwide community took notice when during an official Russian language stream, Wargaming presented the audience with a bonus code: W0LAXU5FKUTURY5. English-language players noted the code contained a combination of letters that appeared to send a profane message to one specific person: FK U TURY. And lest you think it was an unhappy coincidence, Wargaming conducted an internal investigation and determined that the code was indeed intentional. Here’s the Google translation of the apology on the Russian forums.
As you know, last Friday on our official stream was distributed a bonus code with inappropriate content, insulting our player and the popular streamer Turry. This is absolutely unacceptable. We conducted an internal audit and found that this situation was due to the actions of one employee. He has been suspended and subjected to the strictest measures based on the results of the audit.
On behalf of the entire World of Warships team, we apologize to the players, viewers of Friday’s stream, and most importantly, we apologize to the players, the audience. @Turry. We have made absolutely unacceptable statements addressed to you and are fully aware of our responsibility.
We understand that now words alone are not enough and we want to offer you a bonus code: TURRYWEARESORRY
With respect and hope for your understanding,
World of Warships Team
But don’t worry, folks; English-language gamers haven’t been left out! Last week, we learned the company sent emails to players with dormant accounts, attempting to lure them back into World of Warships as part of a customer win-back campaign. Superficially, the email seemed benign, promising goodies (via random containers, of course) to players who logged in and won five battles. However, players who clicked on the links within the email were sent to a web page containing a Universal Tracking Module (UTM) containing the word “whales.” UTMs are used to track the progress of online digital campaigns, and apparently “whales” was the name chosen for this advertising campaign, which under the circumstances seems to convey just how much respect the company has for its users, not just its influencers.