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We were fortunate to talk to Alexander Bobko from Gaming during the 4C Kyiv event a couple of weeks ago. We’ve discussed the way the company treats VR and how this technology can enrich the experience of World of Tanks lovers.
My name is Alexander Bobko. I am global marketing projects team lead at Wargaming. VR is currently the number one trend worldwide and it is evolving rapidly. We see that the industry is ready for the virtual reality with all the software and different kinds of technology. What is more, users want to experience VR and it is something they talk about.
Wargaming has plans for virtual reality. We want to use it and we want to use it today. As of this moment, the company has no VR titles. World of Tanks, for example, is not going to feature VR – we tried to work out compatibility with Oculus Rift and streaming services that would allow gamers to play our game using mobile VR. But those ideas didn’t bring playable product.
These are just experiments for now, which allow us to collect some feedback and see customers’ reaction.
One idea that has the potential is showing matches in VR – replays, eSports and stuff like that. We have the power to create 360° videos using our engine. We’ve already presented prototype of this idea during Tokyo Game Show, which featured a possibility of spectating replay in VR – users could look at the match from different points of view using their controllers.
First of all, there are 360° videos, which can turn you into a director. We are working on this element. Our gamers love history – they watch videos, go to museums, read about it. Videos on history from Wargaming get millions of views, so we’re working on creating content for these gamers – we create 360° videos, which can get them to battles, different tanks and ships. It doesn’t matter where you live – you just put on your VR device and find yourself walking on board of a ship, looking at what sailors are doing.
Another direction for us is to let the customers dive into online matches, not just replays. We’re also working on AR. Our friends from castAR have presented their prototype of AR glasses at D.I.C.E. With the glasses you can watch online matches on your table or any other surface.
What does that all mean for the players? We develop our ideas and share them with our gamers at different game shows – IgroMir, Gamescom, Tokyo Game Show. We show the potential of these ideas and what these ideas can bring in the future.
We have to be realistic. You can’t be sure when it comes to VR and AR markets. You can put up your prognoses for these markets, but will these be true in the future? The topic is hot, but the market is just getting ready – not much is done yet. There are different barriers for companies to create their own VR and AR content. Still, people are working on their projects to move the industry. We witness some major changes, which can bring a beginning of something big. All this might form basics for the future industry.
Alexander Bobko, Global Marketing Projects Team Lead at Wargaming
Interview conducted by Kirill Tokarev.