Obsidian Drops Armored Warfare -- Consultant Says Mail.ru Just Wanted "World of Tanks Clone"
In a brief statement today, Obsidian Entertainment announced that it would no longer be developing Armored Warfare. The continued development and updating for the game will be shifted to My.com in Russia.
No word was given as to the fate of the development team in Obsidian's American offices -- some of whom were let go back in December -- but as a veteran RPG company with other properties under its roof, such as Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire, one hopes they'll be taken care of. No word was given on the fate of Skyforge, which is also a joint venture with My.com, which is a subsidiary of Russian internet giant Mail.ru ...
... which is the entity that one consultant on Armored Warfare blames the most for the game's shift in management. In a post on Reddit, "Gatortribe" talks at length about Armored Warfare's shortcomings. He points some fingers at Obsidian and My.com, but saves the bulk of his venom for Mail.ru, which he says is "very shortsighted" and "chose Russia as the only market they cared about, to no one's surprise."
"They [Obsidian] developed this magnificent plan for Armored Warfare – what could have been is not at all what we have today. In fact, I'm not even sure if you would have been able to call it a World of Tanks competitor as the games only had tanks in common.
"So, what happened to that? It's simple. Mail.ru said they wanted none of that, and they tasked Obsidian with making a 'World of Tanks clone.' Yes, it was supposed to be as close to World of Tanks as they could get with modern tanks and without getting their asses sued off by Wargaming."
While Mail.ru eventually relented, slightly, and gave Obsidian a bit longer leash, the two companies never quite saw eye-to-eye, with frequent clashes occurring and feedback from Gatortribe's consultant group being wholly ignored. The reason? "We aren't Russian."
Even in its current state, I thought Armored Warfare was an enjoyable game, with just enough different about it from World of Tanks to stand apart. Between the constant press releases and the media junket Obsidian planned back in October 2015 (from which I wrote this and this), it seemed like the company invested a great deal in the game and had a solid vision for that it wanted to do. Those queue times, though ...
It's nearly impossible to paint this as good news, and it wouldn't surprise me to see the already-small player base shrink even further. The game isn't shutting down -- not yet anyway -- but I don't know if I'd give it positive odds to make it out of 2017.
About the Author
Jason Winter is a veteran gaming journalist, he brings a wide range of experience to MMOBomb, including two years with Beckett Media where he served as the editor of the leading gaming magazine Massive Online Gamer. He has also written professionally for several gaming websites.
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