Here’s some good news for all you “World of Tanks Blitz” fans out there. Because just recently, I got a chance to do an interview with Wargaming’s Daria Klimchuk. So we talk about everything from “World of Tanks Blitz“, mobile Esports to Amazon’s Mobile Masters to World of Tanks’s future. With that said, please enjoy our interview with Klimchuk =)

world of tanks blitz daria klimchuk

Say hello to Wargaming’s Daria Klimchuk (Klimchuk is the eSports Team Lead for “World of Tanks Blitz”).

Robin TGG
Would you be so kind and give our readers a brief introduction of yourself? =)

Daria
My name is Daria Klimchuk, and I’m the eSports Team Lead for World of Tanks Blitz. Our eSports team is constantly working on improving the game for competitive play to make WoT Blitz the very best mobile eSports title in the market.

world of tanks blitz

“World of Tanks Blitz” originally launched back in 2014 for mobile units, the game then launched for PC in December of 2015. Well, if we fast forward to the now, “World of Tanks Blitz” now has over 40 million players worldwide. My point would be that the game has come a long way since 2014.

Robin TGG
How, when, where, and why did World of Tanks Blitz happen? And could you give a short introduction what the game is all about for those who are not familiar with it?

Daria
Well, after all the excitement generated by the PC version of World of Tanks, Wargaming invested a lot of time and money to make the WoT franchise truly multi-platform. The result was WoT Blitz, a lean-and-mean version of the original game that features 7v7 multiplayer gameplay, more than 250 tanks from nations all over the world, 23 battle arenas, no pay-2-win, and real-life physics for authentic tank movement and damage mechanics.

Robin TGG
What has the development journey been like for World of Tanks Blitz so far? And what has the feedback been like from gamers and the game media?

Daria
Originally, World of Tanks Blitz was tested in the Scandinavian region. We decided at first to focus on players who owned high-end iOS devices in order to minimize the number of technical errors. The data set was more limited, which contributed to the success of that first round of testing. Four months later, we launched on iOS for all Apple devices. This generated a fairly large number of players – and from June to December 2014, the game was downloaded more than 10 million times! Users were very receptive to our product and proved that there was real interest in a mobile version of World of Tanks.

After the launch on iOS, we realized that we couldn’t stand still. We needed to keep going. The next platform was Android – the largest and perhaps the most complex platform. The Android market is huge: There’s an amazing number of possible configurations based on different screen sizes, resolutions, GPUs, and CPUs. We were well aware that we’d need to deal with code optimization to ship a stable product. So we began to optimize WoT Blitz – not for specific devices, but entire segments that were most popular among users.

We received about 20,000 applications for Android testing. Of course, not everyone owns an iOS device; most of the planet runs Android. But the desire to play WoT Blitz was the same! Testing went through several stages – and it was quite smooth. We received excellent feedback from players.

The porting continued. Soon, we had stable builds for Windows 10, Mac, and Steam. That was the moment when our game became truly multi-platform – erasing any OS-specific borders between our players.

Robin TGG
What’s your experience and thoughts on Amazon’s Mobile Masters?

Daria
This was our second time at Mobile Masters. We started in 2017, when only American players were allowed to enter. We were invited again in 2018; both Amazon and eSports fans loved the original tournament, and this year teams from all over the world were allowed to compete! We could barely contain our excitement to take part in Mobile Masters once again.

The two top teams from North America, the best CIS team, and the #1 team from Europe competed to win both an awesome trophy and prize money. In the end, CRYABOUTIT from one of the strongest clans – PRAMO(NA) – won the trophy and took home $10,000.

We were thrilled to take part in Mobile Masters a second time – and we really appreciated the opportunity. Mobile Masters is a great eSports festival because it brings together all sorts of different games and provides players and fans with top-notch streaming facilities and quality – not to mention that watching the best teams in the world play against each other is always fun!

the future of world of tanks blitz

Where will “World of Tanks Blitz” be in a couple of years from now? Not even Wargaming could answer that question, because there’s so much stuff going down with “World of Tanks Blitz” that it’s hard for them to know what things will be like even by the end of this year. So, time will tell.

Robin TGG
What would you say that you are most proud of with World of Tanks Blitz? And where do you aim to take the game in the future?

Daria
With WoT Blitz, we have pretty much created a new genre. It was the first mobile AAA F2P shooter featuring tanks. Before Blitz, there were no such games. We’re also proud that we’re constantly improving the game. WoT Blitz is now four years old, but we haven’t stopped working on it: adding new nations, features, and content. We carefully listen to our players – making sure that their wants and needs are not only heard, but implemented.

Robin TGG
Do you think that mobile eSports will grow even more in the future? If so, why?

Daria
Exactly! Today, almost everyone has a smartphone or tablet – and a huge percentage of them already plays mobile games. Furthermore, eSports titles such as WoT Blitz provide an opportunity for players to become cyber-athletes.

From experience, we know that a percentage of WoT Blitz users will use this opportunity to become professional players.
Just a few years ago, it was unthinkable for mobile games to be considered “fit” for eSports. Today, it’s already happening! Can you imagine that all you need to become a pro is a mobile device – a piece of equipment that’s always with you, that allows you to play and train with your team anywhere … on your own terms? Smartphones and tablets give you access to the entire world, and the eSports industry is part of that.

world of tanks blitz for mobile

It was anything but a walk in the park to develop “World of Tanks Blitz” for mobile. However, the result turned out just great.

Robin TGG
Which part of the game development process was the hardest while developing World of Tanks Blitz? And did you ever run into problems in terms of mobile limitations or such?

Daria
The difficulties we experienced are similar to what most mobile games go through – particularly at this scale. We can divide them into three parts:

– Porting to all available platform and devices; the game needed to be as close to perfect as possible on all of them.
– Download size versus content, features, and graphics. The gameplay in Wot Blitz is far from simple. On top of that, we add a lot of new features with every update. We’re constantly worrying about the size to ensure it’s not too heavy or difficult to download over mobile connections.
– Providing a fun, immersive game-as-a-service model that must continuously be improved. Keeping players engaged and having a great time is all that matters for the team. This is the main challenge – and we’ve been addressing it for four years!

blitz football championship

The Blitz Football Championship is an event that hit home with most of the fans of “World of Tanks Blitz”.

Robin TGG
What could you tell us about Blitz Football Championship? And how has the championship worked out so far?

Daria
Blitz Football Championship is one of our regular game modes. We’re always paying attention to current events and certainly couldn’t let such a major competition like the World Cup pass us by! A huge number of our players are passionate about football/soccer – and they can invest their love for the game by taking part in a championship of their own – and win awesome rewards in the process!

nintendo switch

Will “World of Tanks Blitz” ever find its way to the Nintendo Switch console?

Robin TGG
Is there a chance that we could get to play World of Tanks Blitz on the Nintendo Switch in the near future?

Daria
We’re constantly watching for trends and how new platforms are performing in the marketplace. We’re also open to discussing opportunities with our many partners – which stretch all the way from mobile and desktop PCs to consoles. However, nurturing and keeping each version of the game currently requires a lot of time and effort. We have to keep resource management in mind when making such decisions.

Robin TGG
Since VR has started to become a rather big deal for mobile units, have you thought about implementing VR support for World of Tanks Blitz?

Daria
This is similar to the question about the Nintendo Switch – but in this case, the PC version of World of Tanks is already heading in that direction (World of Tanks VR), so there’s no need for Blitz to do the same. On our end, we’re focused on developing new features and adding more exciting content to the game.

world of tanks blitz the fine art of war

Believe it or not, but “World of tanks blitz” has been downloaded over 100 million times.

Robin TGG
How many active players does World of Tanks Blitz have today? And do you have any “dream goals” for more players?

Daria
Millions of players enjoy Blitz every month. In fact, we just reached 100 million downloads! As you can imagine, hitting this milestone means a lot to us – but we’re far from done. We’re happy to continue giving both new and current players a chance to “go pro” while delivering new experiences every day in Wot Blitz.

Robin TGG
What is it that you personally like the most about World of Tanks Blitz? And could you give us some reasons why people should pick up and play the game?

Daria
To start, we have a big emphasis on customization: New camouflage is regularly introduced to the game, and you can also customize the look of the tank in 3D – which we call “body kits.” We also regularly add features such as clans, training rooms, game modes, tournaments, crew skills, a lot of maps, equipment, special tanks that can only be obtained by participating in certain events – in a word, a TON has happened over four years 🙂 Working on this game has been a continuous process since launch.

We’re happy to have settled on a stable release schedule where we push out a solid update every month. We’ll keep adding content to WoT Blitz to make things even more epic for players – new tanks, maps, and modes – and we’ll also keep optimizing the core gameplay, which is the top ask from players. Focusing on the core game is a big deal for the community, which generates an amazing number of ideas virtually every day … so we make sure to keep communication lines open. Wargaming pays special attention to social media, and we’re always adding new ways to listen to and act on feedback.

world of tanks blitz winter is here

It’s going to be really interesting to see where “World of tanks blitz” will go in the future.

Robin TGG
Where do you see yourself and World of Tanks Blitz in a couple of years from now?

Daria
Everything moves so fast in the mobile space; even just a couple years is a really long time! Anyway, we shouldn’t think in years but in months. If there’s one reason why WoT Blitz has been so successful, it’s because we remained flexible and kept an ear to the ground. We’re one of those mythical four-year-old mobile games. Who knows when the next paradigm shift will hit? Whenever that happens, we’ll be ready for it.

world of tanks blitz incoming

There were some mistakes made during the early release of “World of Tanks Blitz”, but Wargaming has done their very best to sort everything out.

Robin TGG
If you could go back in time, is there anything that you would like to change, remove or add to World of Tanks Blitz? If so, why?

Daria
Since WoT Blitz is a game-as-a-service, we’re constantly trying to fulfill our players’ wants and needs. Even if we get it wrong the first time, we have plenty of opportunities to improve the game in the next update. That’s why we have nothing to regret – because we’re always trying to do our best!

Thank you very much Daria Klimchuk and Wargaming for doing this interview with us =)

tgg author avatar robin ek
Robin “V-Act” Ek
Editor in chief
The Gaming Ground
Twitter: @TheGamingGround

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