Wargaming is proud to announce that it has transported the Australian Cruiser tank Mark 1 (AC1) from Texas, USA, to the Australian Armor & Artillery Museum in Cairns. Acquired from the private collection of the late Jacques Littlefield, a well-known tank enthusiast and founder of the Military Vehicle Technology Foundation, the Sentinel is now waiting to undergo minor renovations and will soon make its public debut back in its homeland.
The Australian Cruiser tank Mark 1 (AC1), also known as the “Sentinel”, was the only tank to be designed and mass-produced in Australia during World War II. Just seven Australian Cruiser tanks remain in the world, making it a rarity amongst historic military vehicles. World of Tanks (PC) and World of Tanks Blitz players will also be able to get their hands on this vehicle in the near future.
During my time in Cairns, I had the opportunity to speak with Alexander Bobko who is the Head of Global Marketing Projects at Wargaming. He allowed me to get a broader understanding of what Wargaming is aiming for in the future and how the players have received their latest releases.
Firstly, I’m a fan of the “Inside the Chieftain’s Hatch” series on the Wargaming YouTube channel, Seeing the “living conditions” that people would have to endure in some of these war machines is pretty eye opening. My question is, will we be seeing an episode on the Australian AC1 Sentinel?
Yes, we will actually be releasing a documentary on this tank’s journey and the history behind this tank. Nicholas Moran and Richard Cutland (our historical experts) will go over the many steps taken to find and preserve this tank before being brought back home to Australia. We are also doing a series of episodes of the Chieftain’s Hatch which will focus on the AC1 Sentinel. Unfortunately, I can’t provide specific dates for the documentary but I can tell you that part 1 of the Chieftain’s Hatch video is available to watch on YouTube right now.
Now a lot of World of Tanks players are there for the historical accuracy of the vehicles that have been put in the game and the historical battles they take part in. Just how does Wargaming complete such wonderful recreations of these vehicles?
Well today in World of Tanks, we have over 400 vehicles created from the original blueprints themselves. It’s quite a long process for Wargaming and it takes no less than half a year to complete, and sometimes it takes over 12 months to get it just right. Our historians will go out to museums like this one here in Cairns, make the 3D scans of the vehicles to get as many reference points as possible so that they can to preserve that in the game both visually and practically. It should all be based on the historical accuracy but we also like to balance it with fun, and if we go through this work we want to make sure our players have fun in the vehicles we create for them.
Since World of Tanks has now released on the PlayStation 4. How well has it been received by the players? Are you getting the numbers that you were looking for?
Well it’s very well received in both the Asian and American markets which are two of our biggest markets. We have been able to transfer across the high tier of graphics over to the Xbox One and PS4 so that console players can have the same experience as our PC players. We see there are millions of registrations for Xbox One and PS4 players and as the community grows we will be releasing new content, new maps and new vehicles.
How’s the community around your games been looking these days? Is it fragmented between your three “World of” titles or is there a lot of overlap in audiences?
Definitely in the EU market it requires a new audience when releasing our games on different platforms, but there are people who want the ‘World of’ games on as many platforms as possible. Like for myself I play on PC, but if I’m relaxing on the arm chair then I can play World of Tanks: Blitz with no problems. We want to be accessible to as many players as possible.
We have a diverse audience for our games but our core age demographic is between 25 and 32 so those are your university graduates and family orientated players. However, we still have students and the older generations playing and enjoying our games for various reasons, like that historical accuracy I mentioned before.
Finally, Rocket League developer Psyonix has recently discussed becoming the first game to support cross-network multiplayer between the Xbox One and PlayStation 4. With World of Tanks releasing on so many platforms, is this something you would also like to replicate for World of Tanks players?
Unfortunately, It’s not up to us, it’s up to the platforms. As you’ve probably seen, there are talks of Microsoft and Sony are looking to find a solution to merge the servers, and if they agree then that would add some extra value to our players and a broader range of players to compete against. It’s something we would take advantage of, but we have to wait until the companies want to go ahead before we can have a chance to push towards those options.
That’s all the questions I had the time to ask during the event with Wargaming. I’d like to thank Alexander for taking the time to speak to me and for the wonderful addition Wargaming has made to the Australian Armour and Artillery Museum.
About Alexander Bobko – Head of Global Marketing Projects, Wargaming
Alex joined Wargaming in 2013 to run special marketing projects which includes sponsoring opportunities in Formula 2.0 “World Series by Renault”, and partnering with Abbey Road Studios to running socially responsible WW2-times heritage-preserving initiatives by Wargaming globally. Alex studied international economy, marketing and management at Université Paris 1 – Panthéon Sorbonne and Belarusian State Economic University.