If you’ve been having a bad few weeks, and really in 2021 who hasn’t been, it’s important to sit back, take a deep breath, take stock of your surroundings and realise that you’re probably making smarter decisions than Wargaming are at the moment.
We’re going to need to recap before we go any further. First, last month, players went into “open revolt” after Wargaming released a fan-favourite ship then botched its implementation, the drop serving as a “last straw” situation for a fanbase fed up with the increasing levels of monetisation being forced on the game.
In the wake of that whole mess, a Wargaming employee was suspended for sending out an abusive message disguised as a promo code:
…an employee thought this would…be the perfect time to send an insulting message hidden in a promo code about a streamer (I’ll explain this in a minute) who has had a contentious relationship with Wargaming. That streamer’s name is Turry, someone who instead of leaving Warships’ community program voluntarily was actually kicked out for being critical of the developers.
The code, sent out as a freebie to some Russian fans watching a stream of the game, was “W0LAXU5FKUTURY5″, and it didn’t take long for English-speaking players to wonder whether the “FKUTURY” was actually saying “Fuck You Turry.” That question was soon answered by Wargaming themselves, who admitted it had been intentional. “This is unacceptable. We conducted an internal audit and found that this situation occurred due to the actions of a certain employee. The employee was suspended from this job and the most stringent measures were applied to him according to the results of the audit.”
Then earlier this week Wargaming fired an employee (known online as Gneisenau013) over an earlier community debacle, one involving a ship that was supposed to be designed in consultation with some popular players but at release used almost none of their suggestions.
Now, after that firing — which the community feels was a scapegoat situation — a community manager from Wargaming’s other big game, World of Tanks, has quit in solidarity, firing off one hell of a statement on his way out. Zachary “CabMech” Doig says Gneisenau013’s sacking was “an illegitimate and incredibly persistent campaign to unfairly scapegoat him by the leadership of his former team”, who are “desperate to have anyone at all to blame for the most recent incident of, what I perceive to be, a toxic corporate culture perpetuating a cycle of serious errors that stretches back at least 4 years – well before his time on that team and with causes well over his pay grade.”
Doig’s full statement is below:
I am sorry to announce that I am resigning my position as Sr. Manager of Community & Events on the World of Tanks Americas Team. I will not be appearing on any more official streams, and sadly this means I will not be attending Aquino Tank Weekend at the Ontario Regiment Museum next week (but you should definitely still go, it’s going to be awesome). I have been with Wargaming more than 5 years, and I am proud of the work that we have done, especially in rebuilding our operations after the move from Emeryville to Austin.
I am fortunate to have been given the opportunities to advance my own career and interact with amazing and passionate people from around the world. I have so much love for the brilliant and resilient people of Belarus, Ukraine, Brazil, Argentina, and other countries as a result of my time at Wargaming that it is hard to put into words. Of course, the same is true of our marvellous CC’s and the general WoT Community – I will miss even the saltiest of you.
I am making this painful decision because of the recent termination of an employee on my team that I believe to be a kind and competent individual for reasons that I personally perceive to be an illegitimate and incredibly persistent campaign to unfairly scapegoat him by the leadership of his former team that in my opinion) is desperate to have anyone at all to blame for the most recent incident of, what I perceive to be, a toxic corporate culture perpetuating a cycle of serious errors that stretches back at least 4 years – well before his time on that team and with causes well over his pay grade.
The team member in question did make mistakes, and when asked to apologise for them publicly despite having left that team he stepped up and did so like the honorable individual he is. In spite of this, senior members of that team, in my opinion, waged an unrelenting backdoor campaign to get him terminated from my team. I can only describe this behaviour as cowardly, contemptible, and shitbird-like.
There is more separation between our teams than is probably obvious to the public eye, and I sincerely hope that this incident represents a unique incursion of that culture into the Tanks team. I urge you not to judge the company as a whole by these actions, for there are thousands of dedicated employees at Wargaming truly working hard every day to bring you the best experience possible. Wargaming contributes a lot to the living history of armoured vehicles, and at least in my experience treats employees very well. While my journey with World of Tanks is over, I am confident that my team will recover and begin a successful new era in short order.
Thank you all so much for letting me be a part of it,
Zachary “CabMech” Doig
AU Update 11/9: After the publication of this article, Wargaming told Kotaku Australia that the company’s North American division held a farewell leaving stream for Doig to thank them for their service. “For this stream we’re taking the opportunity to appreciate the positive impact CabMech has had on our team and the community at large,” another Wargaming staffer and stream manager wrote.
“I’m personally quite sad to see two amazing Community powerhouses part with Wargaming, specifically World of Tanks. I’m hopeful that both of them will find green pastures and welcoming fields.”
We’re told Doig took part in the event, with around 3,000 people tuning in for the farewell.
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