World of Tanks studio Wargaming is leaving Russia and Belarus

World of Tanks

Wargaming has transferred operations in those areas to another studio

Major war sim developer Wargaming has announced it’s backing out of two major areas. Wargaming says it will not own or operate any businesses in Russia or Belarus, and is leaving both countries.

In a statement posted on Wargaming’s site, the studio says it’s been conducting a “strategic review of business operations worldwide,” and decided to leave both Russia and Belarus. As of March 31, the company has handed management of its live games for those regions over to local management in Lesta Studio—a studio no longer affiliated with Wargaming. During the transition period, the live games will remain available in those regions, operated by their new owner.

The studio behind World of Tanks and World of Warships says it will not profit from this process. According to the statement, Wargaming expects to “suffer substantial losses” as a result of this decision.

Wargaming will also be closing its studio in Minsk, Belarus. The developer says it will be providing “as much severance and support as possible” to employees affected by the change.

Support for Ukraine

Though the statement doesn’t specify a reason, Wargaming has supported humanitarian efforts in Ukraine and its employees affected by the invasion. The World of Tanks studio recently fired creative director Sergey Burkatovskiy over posts he made, supporting the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The studio told PC Gamer that his personal opinions categorically did not reflect the position of the company. Additionally, Wargaming made a significant donation to the Ukrainian Red Cross.

Many game development publishers and studios have spoken up about the invasion, as it has affected international colleagues and friends alike. Developers have assembled charity bundles. And big names, like CD Projekt, Electronic Arts, and Microsoft, have halted sales in the region.

Ukrainian vice prime minister Mykhailo Fedorov had previously called on studios like Wargaming to close its offices in Russia. Leaving the region behind is huge for Wargaming, as games like World of Tanks have been incredibly popular in Russia. It’s certainly a statement for the studio to leave it.

Eric Van Allen