World of Tanks 360 launched on Wednesday 12th February for the Xbox 360, funnily enough. The PC MMO war game comes to the console, keeping the free to play model so it doesn’t cost a thing.
We sent Sean Cleaver to check it out and speak with Marvin Hall, the EU Community Product Specialist for developers, Wargaming.
World of Tanks for 360 game launched yesterday, how has it gone so far?
It’s gone really, really well. I can’t speak enough about our EU community right now – we hit a CCU of around 35,000 on our first day so it’s really, really good.
Have you seen any dip in the PC because you’ve gone on to console or is it still very steady?
The PC is a completely different element. We’re not expecting people to drop their PC version of WoT and jump on Xbox. The whole point of this project is to catch people who we haven’t caught yet.
This is just on the Xbox 360 at the moment. Do you have any plans to go on to other consoles in the future?
Not for the moment.
So what’s different between the 360 and the PC versions if anything?
The 360 version is a real console experience. It’s in your living room, you have your wireless control pad, if you have a big TV or a really good sound system it really immerses you in to the game more.
I’ve already played a bit and its controls are really easy and intuitive, have you had to adapt the gameplay to make it more console friendly?
Yeah definitely, our development team went out of their way to really make it its own title. The game is inspired by WoT (PC) but it’s its own title. For the control scheme we use, we really went out of our way to make it console friendly. Everybody from experience console gamers to people that maybe play Call of Duty once or twice a week can get the controls and play it straight away.
One of the biggest benefits of this is its free to play, like the PC version. How do you expect that to carry on? Obviously Xbox Live is charged and you can’t avoid that element, and there are extras inside the game too. How realistic do you think it is to keep it free on the Xbox Live Arcade?
It’s going to continue to be free, that’s our business model and we’re going to stick to it. The Xbox Live gold thing is a requirement that Microsoft has so we respect that. But for free users you can get a seven-day trial of the game. So if you want to upgrade after trying the game for seven days then you can.
With this, you have the opportunity to expand the game as well. I know you have World of Warships and World of Warplanes planned to come out, is there plans for these to come on console as well?
There’s no plan, no. We went with World of Tanks, as is it our flagship title. Everything else is in the future.
The biggest question is probably Next Gen. As you said there’s no other console plans at the moment, how are you looking to Next Gen with this kind of model?
It’s a very attractive prospect right now, but we’re very focused on the 360 and our current player base. One of the reasons we didn’t go over to next gen to begin with is because the 360 has a player base of over 48million Xbox live users and that’s why we went with the 360.
It’s already been said that you’re looking to capture as many people with the target being 48 million. Do you think it’s a realistically achievable thing to get that many people involved in the game like this?
I think it’s realistic. If something is available and it is free then people will try it. With Microsoft backing us, with the correct promotions, why not!
Playing it myself I found a lot of comparisons to Battlefield 1943. How do you feel you’re going to compare against very established online gaming with games like Battlefield 4 and Call of Duty? Do you think you’ll be able to take some of those players away from that and bring them in to your fold?
Possibly. I think players are always looking for something new and with this coming on to the Xbox I think it’s quite refreshing because it’s AAA and it’s free to play. So I think users will find that very attractive.
What’s your favourite part of this game?
Probably just playing with medium tanks. It’s my favourite type of tank and you can get everything. You can shoot scouts you can kill enemies easily… It’s very versatile.
Anything you want to add?
Just basically thank you to all of the community. We’re going to continue to push more in game content in the near future so eventually we’ll have all of the content that the PC version has so there’s a very long lifespan to this title.