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Wargaming looking to can 'cruel' IAPs in World of Tanks Blitz

Wargaming.net CEO Victor Kislyi has a checkered history with mobile gaming.

Not long after quipping that "mobile games are for pussies", Kislyi's company announced World of Tanks Blitz - a mobile version of the wildly successful desktop combat simulator.

We caught up with Kislyi at GDC 2014, on the same day that Wargaming announced a closed beta for World of Tanks Blitz, to talk about what players could expect from the mobile game.

Battle of the bulge

"World of Tanks Blitz is aimed at a younger audience. We wanted to replicate the same experience from the PC on mobile, so it's going to be much more challenging than Angry Birds," Kislyi began in a rapid-fire explanation of Blitz.

"This is not a slam on Angry Birds, though. We love Angry Birds," he quickly clarified, "but his game is all MMO, and there aren't many games like this," he stated flatly.

When asked about how Blitz would manage 7-on-7 multiplayer, Kislyi responded only that there are "some very sophisticated, rocket science-ish servers" dedicated to his task before mulling that Blitz might be "probably a little bit ahead of its time."

But Kislyi is confident it will find an audience.

"Zynga showed us that we can convert hundreds of milions of non-gamers into gamers, and we created a new segment of gaming in Russia with World of Tanks. We're hoping to do that again with Blitz."

Warchests

The number seven comes up quite prominently in looking at World of Tanks Blitz.

While the MMO allows you to fight in teams of seven, Kislyi's team also designed World of Tanks Blitz around a seven-minute core loop.

He envisioned World of Tanks players indulging in Blitz while waiting for a train or a cab. When asked if he thought seven minutes was a bit long of a loop for mobile, he paused slightly and shrugged.

"Maybe, but you will still catch your cab."

Before we could ask how World of Tanks Blitz would monetise, Kislyi freely shared his strategy for the game.

"It's absolutely free-to-play. There is no discrepancy between those who pay in the game and those who don't. Of course, players need to play more if they don't want to pay." Kislyi began.

"Some popular in-app purchase schemes are cruel and need to be written into the Geneva convention," he continued before noting that World of Tanks Blitz would not look to "milk" users for more that $10 dollars or so a month.

"This is a popcorn level of monetisation", Kisyli said in reference to the $10/month plan.

"We don't want to get your $100 in a month. We want you to be very low-paying, or maybe not paying at all, but we want you playing for 12-18 months."

Kislyi wrapped up his thoughts on World of Tanks Blitz by underscoring that it will not feature "pay-to-win" boosts which its desktop cousin, World of Tanks, did away with recently.

"Everything in the game you can grind to, but if you pay a little money your life gets a little better and more enjoyable."

US Correspondent

Representing the former colonies, Matt keeps the Pocket Gamer news feed updated when sleepy Europeans are sleeping. As a frustrated journalist, diehard gamer and recovering MMO addict, this is pretty much his dream job.

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