Wargaming, the developers of the much-loved Free-to-Play (F2P) title World of Tanks, has said in an interview with Polygon that Microsoft’s policies for Xbox Live games are “totally unacceptable” and that the game’s developers are trying to work out an agreement with the software giant to allow them more freedom with issuing updates.
Speaking to Polygon, Wargaming’s CEO Victor Kislyi noted that the process of re-certifying a game with Microsoft for Xbox Live was too lenghty and imposed limitations of how F2P titles such as MMOs (Massively Multiplayer Online) and MOBAs (Massively Online Battle Arena) could function.
Says Kislyi. “The good thing is with online games, sometimes if you screw up, you can do frequent updates and patch player exploits. But one of the biggest challenges with Microsoft was the frequency of updates because the QA process and certification process takes an extremely long time. Totally unacceptable for a meaningful free-to-play. We are working with them to do quicker updates.”
Kislyi says that their decision to make a deal with Microsoft instead of Sony was based on “circumstances [that] shaped the ecosystem of the moment,” possibly alluding to the initial plan to make every Xbox One console adhere to a requirement that the device would be always online.
The veteran developer also says that DRM has been a non-issue for the company for a number of years and personally doesn’t see the matter being an issue in the near future. Kislyi says that the F2P business model will become the dominant one in the industry and that once it takes hold and every game is online to some extent, piracy will become another thing that’s in the past.
“Can you imagine if it all becomes free-to-play within a year or two?” Kisly asks. “The way back will be pretty much impossible, psychologically it will not convert half a billion people who are used to free model than to pay model especially considering [the number of people already playing our game].”
World of Tanks is currently in Beta for the Xbox 360 version and will be available around the same time frame as the Xbox One version. World of Tanks currently has over 60 million registered users and a significant number of those have Gold WoT accounts that help players to get better tanks, more hardware and more firepower earlier on in the game.