Wargaming is shutting down operations in Russia, a decision announced this week following the weeks after the country invaded Ukraine last month.
The publisher is transferring operations to St. Petersburg-based Lesta Studio, who will take over World of Tanks and World of Warships, with Wargaming noting the studio “is no longer affiliated with Wargaming.”
Wargaming noted they will suffer “substantial losses as a direct result of this decision,” and they “will not profit from this change at any point.” Originally founded in Minsk, Belarus, Wargaming has operated for over two decades with a portfolio of military-themed games.
The publisher had previously come under fire when Wargaming creative director Sergey Burkatovskiy publicly voiced support of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. While he was promptly fired from the company, he appeared to not back down from his statements.
Wargaming’s Minsk studio will be closed as well, with the publisher providing “as much severance and support as possible” to all affected employes.
Here’s the word from Wargaming:
Wargaming is shutting down operations in Russia and Belarus
Over the past weeks, Wargaming has been conducting a strategic review of business operations worldwide. The company has decided it will not own or operate any businesses in Russia and Belarus and will leave both countries.
Effective March 31 the company transferred its live games business in Russia and Belarus to local management of Lesta Studio that is no longer affiliated with Wargaming. The company will not profit from this process either today or going forward. Much to the contrary we expect to suffer substantial losses as a direct result of this decision.
We will be completing the operational transition with all due speed while remaining in full compliance with all laws and ensuring the ongoing safety and support of our employees. During the transition period the live products will remain available in Russia and Belarus and will be operated by the new owner.
Wargaming has also started the process of closing its studio in Minsk, Belarus.
We will be providing as much severance and support as possible to our employees affected by the change.
Despite the magnitude of this decision, we as a company are confident in the future of our business and are committed to delivering quality games to our players.
News that Wargaming is shutting down operations in Russia come after numerous other gaming and tech companies have cut the country off.
Major Payment processors cut off services to the country, as well as numerous gaming companies like Nintendo, Microsoft, Sony, Epic Games, Electronic Arts, Activision Blizzard halted sales in Russia, and Cyberpunk 2077 developer CD Projekt RED halted their sales in Russia.