World of Tanks is coming to Xbox 360. It may seem like an odd fit, given the platform's general lack of free-to-play games. There's also that Xbox Live Gold requirement for online multiplayer--a barrier to entry to what would otherwise be a free to play game.
Wargaming CEO Victor Kislyi admits that the Gold requirement isn't ideal. "This we have to tolerate, which I am not happy about," he said. "I would rather add another 30-40 million non-golden members."
Unfortunately, Wargaming can't just break the rules established on Microsoft's platform. "That's a Microsoft requirement which is valid for us and for Activision and for EA and all other partners. They cannot drop it for us because they would have to drop it for everyone and it would be a total mess for them," Kislyi told GI.biz.
What Kislyi hopes for, however, is to change the culture of Microsoft from within. "Everybody knows Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo are traditional console companies which are huge in their own merit. They have lots of divisions, lots of departments, lots of regulations. We respect that, and whining and complaining about that structure does not help," Kislyi says. "We're now working hard with Microsoft's people as a team to build this and to break a couple of rules inside Microsoft."
Although Microsoft has been slow to change, there have been signs of progress. Minecraft, for example, has pushed numerous title updates--a process that has traditionally been difficult on console. With Wargaming's newfound relationship with Microsoft, perhaps there's hope for even more change from the Redmond team.