After seven years on the market, World of Tanks is still going strong. It's going so strong, in fact, that the folks at Wargaming have stated that they have no current plans to launch a sequel. Of course, that doesn't mean they won't continue adding copious quantities of content to the game over 100 million people are currently playing.
PAX Australia is going strong through the weekend, and this latest announcement from the show floor comes to us from Gamespot, who had Wargaming's regional publishing director, Alex de Giorgio, on their stage for a quick interview.
Rather than beat around the bush, the interviewer went directly to the question of a sequel for World of Tanks. The immediate response from de Giorgio left no room for speculation. "World of Tanks 2? No."
But as the Wargaming exec explained, that doesn't mean that the current game is going anywhere. At present, the game has 130 million players on PC, and that's not even including the folks controlling armies tanks on the Xbox One and PlayStation 4. In other words, a lot of people are already in love with this game that launches fresh content and special events on a regular basis.
To explain Wargaming's stance on a sequel to WoT, de Giorgio brought up the marketing buzzword of the year, "games-as-service." In short, more developers are trying to develop games that have a much longer tail in terms of sales. The idea here is to launch a core game with systems in place that allow for DLC, loot boxes, microtransactions and the like to easily keep the money coming in. Destiny 2 is one example of this. Rather than launch an FPS with a few DLC map expansions planned, Bungie plans to keep the train rolling for several years without needing to launch another full game. There will be big, story-expanding DLC along the way, along with regularly-occurring events and, of course, microtransactions.
That's a pretty tame example, though. Games like Overwatch, PUBG, Fortnite and any MOBA under the sun are probably a better example, as they don't focus on any sort of campaign or story content. For those games, it's enough to simply bring out more characters, maps, cards, abilities and the like in order to keep the community clamoring for more.
Looking ahead, plenty of games of all shapes and sizes seem to be leaning on this idea of games-as-service. While some, like Shadow of War and Battlefront II, simply have games-as-service features tacked onto more traditional titles, others are going the same route as World of Tanks. Heck, EA recently stated they shut down a studio and "pivoted" a Star Wars game just to bolt in more features like this.
It's a publishing model that's certainly caught hold these past couple of years and, from the looks of things, it's going to stick around for at least a while to come.