For the Record: Interview with Big Boss Kislyi
Source: http://www.vedomosti.ru/library/news...yj-osnovatel-i Thanks to Maiorboltach (yet again) for providing a link to this news :) Hello everyone, on the portal linked above, there is a huge interview with Viktor “Big Boss” Kislyi, Wargaming CEO and one of the most influential Wargaming people (if not THE most influential person). The interview took place in Nikosia (Cyprus). The interview is very long, so I’ll make an abridged version. - in top 200 Belarussian businessmen, Kislyi is on 13th place - his first contact with computergames was in his father’s science laboratory on very old computers - VK went to specialized chess elementary school - he studied physics faculty in Belarus (on the insistence of his father) - one of the first games he programmed was a sort of multiplayer strategy, playable over e-mail in 1996 - he worked as a programmer for 25 USD per month, just enough to keep from starving, the first videogames were not profitable - Kislyi did not get money from the big “Order of War” either, because it came during the 2008-2009 crisis, that’s when he learned that the retail model for small and medium game projects is dead and that if they make games like that, they will barely survive, so it was either stop making games or to come up with something new, which was online distribution - the idea behind World of Tanks was “there are enough games with infantry, let’s make a game with tanks only!” - “We had no idea to what extent will the size of the game grow – last month, in Moscow, at 20:00, during one second, 1.100.000 guys were sitting and playing tanks, that’s a record” - the owners of Wargaming are: Viktor Kislyi – 38,5 percent, Vladimir Kislyi (his father) – 25,5 percent, Nikolai Katselapov – 17 percent, Ivan Mikhnevich – 17 percent - the start of WoT was problematic and VK even considered selling a share of the company - they couldn’t find proper publishers, because existing publishers did not understand the F2P model - 70-75 percent of players do not pay anything for playing - the game started to earn first real money in August 2010, a lot of the game popularity came from rumors guys telling their friends about it - VK states that they chose Cyprus as Wargaming seat, because they needed to find a special place, allowing them to do international business properly while being transparent enough, stable, with all the taxes paid correctly. The choice was influenced by the need of find a place “between East and West and in Europe at the same time, also with many Russians and with similiar mentality, including the Orthodox church and some lifestyle elements (coffee, “dreaming of life”) and that was the Cyprus republic.” VK states that there was no intention to use the place as “offshore” - the company currently employs 2800 or so people in the entire world - the atmosphere is very not formal in Wargaming, Kislyi is very respected on Cyprus, he has informal access to the Cypriot minister of finances, if he needs to talk about something financial - according to VK, the entire group of WoT developers is 600 people. A half of the company (1300-1400 people) are “publishers”, who deal with service - WG has office in Paris and San Francisco, because they tried to run the game service from Minsk and it didn’t work out Actually, the entire interview is very long and very, very interesting (I am actually sorry I don’t have the time or strength to translate it in its entirety). Not in the info provided, it’s more like… the way he talks about Cyprus and the way he sees the world. Of course, for average players it’s irrelevant, but I find it quite admirable.