Every December we launch a series of materials “Results of the year”. In it, we interview top industry managers about how the last 12 months have passed for them and for their company. We are opening the current cycle with an interview with Andrey Ryabovol, Product Director (World of Tanks Blitz) at Wargaming Mobile.
Andrey Ryabovol How was 2018 for you personally?
The year turned out to be eventful. At the beginning of the year, a daughter was born, in the middle of the year I changed my position, at the end of the year we look at the results of the work done, prepare gifts and make plans to conquer the world.
It turned out to read a lot. I am ready to confidently recommend Liu Qixin’s trilogy “The Task of Three Bodies”. I’m waiting for the film adaptation from Netflix.
How was the year for your company?
The year has been wonderful for Wargaming. There are many significant events in all our key titles throughout the year. We actively developed the mobile direction: Wargaming Mobile released a new game World of Warships Blitz, and also formed a powerful global publishing to work with future mobile projects. In the new year, the division will enter in a confident composition of six offices and 350 people.
Big important changes took place inside the World of Tanks Blitz team, some of the decisions made were difficult and risky. Towards the end of the year, it became clear that we were doing everything right, World of Tanks Blitz was growing, and we were setting new records for key metrics. For example, during the Mad Games Halloween event, the number of simultaneous users was more than 250,000 people. I am looking forward to the traditional WGFEST in Moscow, where we will share some plans for 2019.
Which event of 2018 do you consider the most important for the industry?
Launch Fortnite on Android, bypassing Google Play. Epic has launched a mechanism in the industry that will change the ecosystem of mobile games in the next year or two. A situation has arisen when a large cross-platform title, an advanced open engine, and a newly launched platform store are in the hands of one company. I think 2019 will be epic.
What trends of the outgoing year would you note?
The first bright trend is government interference in the regulation of games. In China, it was difficult with state regulation before, but this year it became quite difficult. GDPR has been launched in Europe, there is a struggle with loot boxes. In 2019, I think this trend will continue, and we will see the emergence of new restrictions, laws, commissions and standards.
The second trend is high—profile stories around studios, announcements, and game launches. Starting with the hype around Diablo and Fallout 76, ending with the closure of Telltale, next to the scandal with YouTubers and esports players. In general, there are growing demands on the quality of games, the behavior of studios in the public field. The slightest mistakes or inconsistency with expectations can result in large PR losses.
In fact, the year is quite calm, he continued the trends set in 2017: battle royales are growing, the mobile market is growing, esports is growing, no new platforms have been released or announced. Regarding 2017, this year turned out to be not so eventful.
Additionally, I will note the changes that have occurred in the PC hardware market. AMD has launched new Ryzen’s, NVIDIA has released a new generation of GeForce, in 2019 a new generation of AMD video will be released on the 7th process. In parallel, we are seeing a drop in the cryptocurrency exchange rate and, as a result, a drop in video card prices. I think that these factors will contribute to a drop in prices for powerful gaming PCs, which, of course, is good.
What are the third-party projects of this year that you liked the most?
Hitman 2. I was looking forward to the continuation of the first part, IOI was not let down. It turned out to be fun, cheerful and sometimes funny.
Dota2 for the grand final of The International 2018. As a rule, sports finals are rarely spectacular and interesting. All the most interesting things happen in the other stages of the playoffs. This year, the teams staged a real drama in the grand final. It was cool.
Happy New Year to everyone! Play games.