Wargaming ditching 'pay to win' model

Developer Wargaming is scrapping its current "pay to win" system in favor of a new model they are calling "free to win." The new monetization scheme is already started in its popular free-to-play World of Tanks, and is expected to carry through to the upcoming World of Warplanes and World of Warships.

So what had been previously considered premium consumables, such as golden ammo that did more damage or tank repair and personnel medical kits, will now be purchasable for in-game credits earned through experience instead of gold.

"Free-to-play games have the challenge of being sometimes viewed as low quality, and we want World of Tanks to serve as proof that a quality and balanced free-to-play game is possible," Andrei Yarantsau, VP of publishing, told Gamasutra about the change. "However, breaking down deeply-rooted stereotypes is no easy task.

Yarantsau said the change has been in the works since 2011 and that this is part of a push by the company to be a more attractive to eSports. "Professional sport--and gaming is no exception--is about fair competition," he said. "The introduction of our new free-to-win system will really help facilitate the development of World of Tanks as a true eSports discipline."

Revenue is now expected to come from such items as premium vehicles and personalization, and Yarantsau said he does not expect the company;s revenue to be affected. "Deep gameplay and great replay value provide comfortable and fair conditions for everyone," he said. "The game has no overpowered weaponry and microtransactions don't give users any sort of advantage in combat. Premium items are priced so that players rarely end up having to spend a lot. We don't want World of Tanks players to feel like it's an experience that only a select few can afford. Quite contrary, we want the game to embody accessibility and fairness to all players, paying or not."