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Wargaming closes all offices in Russia and Belarus

The developer behind World of Tanks and World of Warships will cease all operations in the two countries continuing their invasion of Ukraine.

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The escalating conflict in Ukraine has continued to have a major effect on industries around the world, including the gaming world. For Belarus-based Wargaming, this has been a particularly trying time. After weeks of internal debate, the World of Tanks and World of Warships creators have ultimately decided that it cannot continue its operations from Russian and Belarusian soil. On Monday, the studio announced that it would cease all operations and cut all ties with the two countries.

The following statement was issued by Wargaming via email, as well as on the Wargaming website:

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.

While Wargaming expects to take a massive hit from the closure of its studios in Russia and Belarus, the World of Tanks/World of Warships developer has several other studios located around the world, including in Shanghai, Tokyo, Singapore, Berlin, and Prague. There are also four U.S.-based offices located in Bellevue, Chicago, Baltimore, and Austin.

Wargaming's Kyiv studio has previously donated $1 million USD to the Ukrainian Red Cross as part of the relief effort. Game Developer also notes that Wargaming had recently fired World of Tanks creative director Sergey Burkatovskiy following comments publicly supporting the Russian invasion.

We continue to follow the unfolding situation in Ukraine here at Shacknews. If you wish to help those affected, check out organizations you can donate to right now for relief.

Senior Editor

Ozzie has been playing video games since picking up his first NES controller at age 5. He has been into games ever since, only briefly stepping away during his college years. But he was pulled back in after spending years in QA circles for both THQ and Activision, mostly spending time helping to push forward the Guitar Hero series at its peak. Ozzie has become a big fan of platformers, puzzle games, shooters, and RPGs, just to name a few genres, but he’s also a huge sucker for anything with a good, compelling narrative behind it. Because what are video games if you can't enjoy a good story with a fresh Cherry Coke?

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