Wargaming, the studio behind World of Warships and World of Tanks, is garnering the wrong kind of attention all over again, this time for firing a member of the Tanks community team following weeks of bad press and botched apologies in the wake of a massive influencer exodus.
Eagle-eyed players noted yesterday that Elias K. Grodin (formerly both Hey_Man_Gnesi_Shot and Gnesisenau013) no longer carried the Wargaming employee designation on his account in the official forums. While Wargaming didn’t make an official statement, players suspected that Grodin was let go due to the botched handling of a promise made (and broken) to one of the former World of Warships North American community contributors. This assumption seems to be supported by an official apology he offered to the CC in question back in June.
It turns out there’s more to it than that. Today, World of Tanks’ Senior Manager of Community and Events, Zachary “CabMech” Doig, announced that he’d resigned from his position at the company in protest over Grodin’s sacking, which he publicly characterized as “scapegoating” while describing Wargaming’s actions as “cowardly, contemptible, and shitbird-like.” Here’s part of Doig’s tweet about what he calls a “toxic corporate culture”:
“I am making this painful decision because of the recent termination of an employee on my team that I believe to be a kind and competent individual for reasons that I personally perceive to be an illegitimate and incredibly persistent campaign to unfairly scapegoat him by the leadership of his former team that (in my opinion) is desperate to have anyone at all to blame for the most recent incident of, what I perceive to be, a toxic corporate culture perpetuating a cycle of serious errors that stretches back at least 4 years – well before his time on that team and with causes well above his pay grade.”
— CabMech (@CabMech) September 8, 2021
Doig further clarified that he is referring to “a tiny minority of one part of the organization and that it’s not fair or accurate to assign them to it as a whole.”
The error in question caused World of Warships community contributor Little White Mouse to abruptly quit the community contributor program, initiating a chain reaction resulting in the resignation of nearly 30 World of Warships contributors for reasons that included predatory monetization mechanics and mistreatment of players. This mass exodus and subsequent missteps by Wargaming caused a worldwide press firestorm and massive community upheaval from which the company still appears to be reeling.