Wargaming will suffer ‘substantial losses’ in corporate exit from Russia and Belarus

But it's doing it anyway

    
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Over a month ago, at the beginning of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, MMO studio Wargaming was already making a bold statement about the burgeoning war. The Cyprus-based company, which runs World of Tanks, World of Warships, and World of Warplanes, maintained studios in Ukraine as well as Russia and Belarus, and it had initially halted marketing, donated $1M to the Ukrainian Red Cross, ousted the World of Tanks creative director for his pro-invasion remarks, and said it had allocated all of its resources to helping its employees in the region make it to safety.

Now, Wargaming is doing even more, having announced that it is exiting both Russia and Belarus; it expects to “suffer substantial losses as a direct result of this decision.”

“Over the past weeks, Wargaming has been conducting a strategic review of business operations worldwide. The company has decided it will not own or operate any businesses in Russia and Belarus and will leave both countries. Effective March 31 the company transferred its live games business in Russia and Belarus to local management of Lesta Studio that is no longer affiliated with Wargaming. The company will not profit from this process either today or going forward. Much to the contrary we expect to suffer substantial losses as a direct result of this decision. We will be completing the operational transition with all due speed while remaining in full compliance with all laws and ensuring the ongoing safety and support of our employees. During the transition period the live products will remain available in Russia and Belarus and will be operated by the new owner. Wargaming has also started the process of closing its studio in Minsk, Belarus. We will be providing as much severance and support as possible to our employees affected by the change. Despite the magnitude of this decision, we as a company are confident in the future of our business and are committed to delivering quality games to our players.”

As MOP’s Wargaming reporter Ben Griggs notes, World of Warships was run out of Lesta Studio in St Petersburg, Russia, while the Minsk studio handled World of Tanks; it’s not entirely clear which company is running which games right now and into the future and which properties remain with Wargaming. However, given this weekend’s news coming out of the region, we can’t say we’re surprised.

Source: Wargaming
Update
According to DevBy.io, the Minsk studio was taken by surprise at the announcement that Wargaming would be pulling out of Belarus, finding out in a missive from Viktor Kisly at the same time as everyone else earlier today. According to the site’s sources, VIP employees are being given the opportunity to relocate, likely to Lithuania, Poland, and the Czech Republic, though workers believe half the staff will ultimately be let go.
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