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World of tanks Developer Wargaming has announced that it is leaving Russia and Belarus, and is expected to inflict “significant losses” as a result.
Announced on LinkedIn, the company said that it has moved its live games business in the two countries to Lesta Studio, which is no longer affiliated with the company. It has also begun closing its Minsk office in Belarus.
“The company will not profit from this process today or in the future,” a statement read. “On the contrary, we expect to suffer substantial losses as a direct consequence of this decision.” It added: “We will provide as much layoffs and support as possible to our employees affected by the change.”
While no specific reason has been given for the move, it is most likely motivated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, as well as sanctions imposed on Russian companies. and Belarussia. Wargaming was previously donate 1 million dollars to the Ukrainian Red Cross, and fired a creative director for expressed support for the invasion. The company provides internal support to 550 employees in its Kiev office.
Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine Mykhailo Fedorov previously Wargaming asked (and other companies) closed its offices in Russia.
Wargaming was founded in Minsk, but moved its headquarters to Cyprus in 2011. The company produces and publishes hugely successful games such as World fo Tanks, World of Warships and World of Warplanes. Most recently in 2019, Statista Polls have shown World of Tanks as the most popular game in Russia.
The long-term future of the company’s games in Russia and Belarus is unknown, but it said its live games will remain playable “during the transition period”.