The Insider – Part I
It’s not everyday that one gets lucky. Some would say that luck plays no part in life, that one makes one’s own luck. While this may or may not be true, I personally consider it a massive stroke of luck to have been contacted by someone very special.
This person, up until rather recently, used to work for Wargaming. This person has disclosed to us some information that we find shocking, even considering what we already know.
Now, we’ve always prided ourselves on naming names, but this time, we’re making an exception. You see, this person signed, as part of their contract of employment, a non-disclosure / non-compete agreement. Should it come to light that this person spilled their guts, they could get into a rather large shit-storm of trouble.
That said, we will not reveal this persons name or sex or location or exact employment dates. This person will be referred to simply as X to preserve their anonymity. We have also edited the speech of X to prevent recognition.
X has taken a huge risk to even say anything at all, and although most of it may not be something you will lose sleep over, it WILL piss you off. Guaran-fucking-teed. Some of this shit is so out there it actually defies belief altogether. The stuff that doesn’t piss you off will have you at the very least shaking your head in absolute disbelief.
That said, we’re not going to say any of this is or isn’t true. We’re just going to throw this shit on the table and let you all decide for yourselves what you want to believe.
In the interest of not having to live at a keyboard ’round the fucking clock, this story will be released in four parts. As the page states, this is part one.
EWOT: So what the hell happend? What went so horribly fucking wrong with this game?
X: That goes back a ways. Some of it happened at the top but a good deal of it happened at the lower end of the food chain.
EWOT: So it’s not all Victor’s fault.
X: Oh hell no. I mean, he’s an asshole like you wouldn’t believe, but it’s not all his fault. His biggest contribution to it really is his indifference and listening to the wrong people. When things started really taking off in late 2011 into 2012, he let it all go straight to his head. He was always an asshole but he became damn near impossible to be in the same room with. That of course paved the way for a lot of shit to go wrong really fast.
EWOT: Such as?
X: The whole real estate and banking thing. God damn that was just awful. It was like he thought he was actually this world class businessman instead of a kid that had a great idea for a video game. Then of course you have all these old fucks that want to ride the gravy train talking him into that very idea – that he can be a world class entrepreneur and own the world and be the second coming of Bill Gates or Warren Buffet or some other bullshit.
EWOT: And he bought into that?
X: Lot, livestock, barn, barrel, pond and all.
EWOT: So where did it all really start going pear shaped?
X: January of 2013. That was it. Once that world record got set, it was all down hill from there. Everything went completely tits up from there on out.
EWOT: So what got the ball rolling? I mean, what event tipped you off that, “Oh shit, this is going to end badly”?
X: It was the year before. World of Warplanes. I knew January of 2012 that Warplanes was a flop. It was just really bad. We had of course known that another aircraft game was being developed at the same time, and there were a lot of us that advised against doing planes at all and moving on to ships first. You see, the last thing you really ever want to do is develop the same exact game that somebody else is developing at the same exact time. If you do that you roll the dice. You’re either going to flop or fly, because people will play both games and whichever one is better is the one they’re going to play and the one they don’t play is the one that goes broke. Had we gone on to Warships first ( a game nobody else was even thinking of at the time) and then did planes later down the road after seeing how the other game went, we would have been a whole hell of a lot better off.
EWOT: But this was ignored?
X: Completely. The idea might as well have been pitched to a brick wall. Fact is, nobody wanted Warships from the outset. It was thought to be a bit of a pipe dream and that it probably would never take off simply because nobody talked about ships. I mean think about it. What posters do you see on walls? What models to you see people building? What do old war guys and young war enthusiast talk about? Planes, Tanks and Guns. You never hear about or see ships.
EWOT: That never occurred to me. I’ve always heard some mention of ships, the great ones of course like Enterprise, Yorktown, Musashi, Yamato, Bismarck and the like.
X: But never in the same amount as Spitfires, Tigers, Mustangs and Shermans?
EWOT: No. Yea…I’ll give you that. So what happened?
X: Gaijin kicked our ass. That’s what happened. They had a better game. Still do by far when it comes to airplanes. To make mattes even worse, we had longer to work on Warplanes to try to get it right, and they still kicked our ass. There were a lot of people that really didn’t want Warplanes to be released at all…not in the form it was in at any rate.
EWOT: But you did anyway.
X: Had to. I mean hell. You sink all that time and money into it, what else are you going to do?
EWOT: Shelve it ’till you get it fucking right!
X: Easy to say when it’s not your money. Wargaming were already in the red at the time. Victor and his entourage had gone around buying up everything in site. We were so broke we couldn’t pay attention.
EWOT: Say fucking what?!
X: Yea. Broke. Flat out. Cash flow was a serious problem. Many of the investments he was making turned out to be money pits. And like the young, inexperienced gambler he was, Victor would keep hurling money at it hoping to earn it back.
EWOT: And it never worked out?
X: Well, that’s not entirely accurate. Some of it did, but very little of it. He took a beating in real estate especially. I mean, why do you think they bought into a bank to begin with?
EWOT: To help finance his interest.
X: Exactly. And that turned into a bit of a nightmare as well. During the restructure they took a bit of a beating on that as well. I’m not aware of the actual numbers but I know there were a lot of rumors floating around that they lost millions. Some say even 10’s of millions.
EWOT: Holy shit!
X: Yea. And to add insult to injury, you had the whole stock market fiasco going on as well. So there’s this bam, bam, bam, bam of failure going from 2012 into 2013 – Victor’s buying up everything in site, over extending himself, then Warplanes flops flat on its ass, then he takes a beating in real estate, then the bank loses money on one of the Greek dept restructures…it was just shit after shit after shit for nearly two years.
EWOT: So THAT’S why they never filed any more financial reports!
X: Yea. You got that part pretty much on the nose. They couldn’t file those reports because not only had they failed to meet those ridiculous projections they made early on, but they had made an absolute mess on their investments. If not for some of the real estate coming ’round to eventually start paying off, he would have been in really big trouble. I mean REALLY big.
EWOT: So what’s he actually worth now?
X: I have no clue. Not what they’re saying though, that’s for sure. There’s just no way.
EWOT: So not a billion dollars?
X: Oh hell no. Not even close. If he was worth a quarter of that I’d honestly be surprised. He had to shell out a boat load for all the dept he racked up. That sucked up a lot of money. I mean a LOT. You have to remember that his worth was largely just all the investments he made that he added up. So he spent nearly 300 million dollars buying out smaller studios from 2012 to 2013. Guess what? None of them ever really panned out. They’re all gone now. All of them. What’s more, none of them ever really contributed one damn thing to his earnings. They were, quite literally, money pits. That’s 300 million dollars! That’s two entire years of earnings from World of Tanks up in smoke!
EWOT: But wasn’t Tanks making a lot more money than that with ease?
X: Oh hell no. It was making good money, to be sure. But billions? LOL! No way man. Not even in that area. It was making a solid 150 million back then (2012-2013). But again, it all started topping off in January 2013 and then slowing going backwards from there on out.
EWOT: So that part we know.
X: Yea, you have that decently correct. The part you missed though was that it really didn’t have to go down hill like it did. It could have continued to climb. If not for some really bad people giving really bad advice and some really big egos not listening to anybody at all, Tanks would rule the world as we speak.
End Part I