Free online wargame World of Warships has been on thin ice with its community for a while now, but recent events — including the botched return of a fan-favourite ship — have seen many of the community’s biggest names quit the game’s official community program.
As MassivelyOP report, developers Wargaming have in recent years slowly been changing the way the game’s marketplace works, pushing more and more content behind loot boxes and random item unlocks that obfuscate a piece of content’s actual cost in real dollars. This has frustrated a playerbase that had grown accustomed to being able to either buy or grind their way into clear, desired purchases.
Tensions boiled over earlier this month, though, when Wargaming decided to re-release the famous USS Missouri, a WWII battleship that had previously been put in the game in 2016, then removed in 2018 after players worked out that its credit multiplier was breaking World of Warships’ economy. Originally advertised as an item that could be bought with the game’s purchasable currency, Wargaming then quietly shifted it to something that would only appear randomly in loot boxes.
This did not go down well. Wargaming’s official Community Contributor’s program has taken this as a final straw in an ever-strained relationship, and when some of its more prominent members — like MightyJingles, who has over 600,000 YouTube subscribers — announced plans to quit in protest, by the weekend 23 others had joined him.
MightyJingles’ departure message reads:
I’ll keep this short so as to not waste anyone’s time. Being in the CCTP was a privilege in the first two years when the contributions we made were respected and valued and the feedback in both directions was something I was happy to be a part of. In the last three years, and the last year in particular, this has become a toxic one-way relationship that I’m glad to put behind me. It hasn’t been any one thing…but a continued demonstration of the contempt in which Wargaming holds for this program, the icnreasingly aggressive monetisation and implementation of gambling mechanics into a game marketed to children as young as the age of seven and numerous other factors means that it’s high time I admitted that I’m in a toxic relationship and got out of it with some self respect in tact.
So in today's Salt Mines Discord Q&A (which will be posted in lieu of Mingles with Jingles on Monday) I announced my intention to quit the World of Warships Community Contributor Program. Once the Discord Q&A ended, I posted this message on the CC Discord and left the server. pic.twitter.com/7sHhYvALNN
— Paul Charlton (@MightyJingles) August 14, 2021
After days of silence from Wargaming, the company has finally responded to the outcry on its official forums, saying “We respect their decision and want to thank them for their contributions, devotion, and passion for the game and program over several years. We wish all of them best of luck and hope that they will stay in touch with us nevertheless, we will always be here to talk.”
Wargaming then add “We’ve been discussing this since last week and decided to add an alternative way to purchase the ship”, and will “provide details on our Devblog soon.”
The community response to such a brief response is…about what you’d expect.