Belarusian game developers came to Lithuania half a year ago. What does this mean for the Lithuanian gaming industry?
Wargaming currently employs 5,500 people and is constantly expanding its operations in Europe. The Wargaming MS-1 tray, which is developing the game World of Tanks Blitz for smart devices, has been actively looking for new specialists since the official opening of the office in order to confirm the new ranks of the study staff. The goal of the MS-1 team is to bring together more than 100 employees from other social and cultural groups to create games that are relevant to the largest and most diverse audience possible.
So what does Wargaming’s arrival in Lithuania mean for the country’s gaming industry? Today we are talking about this with Mantas Katinas, CEO of Wargaming Vilnius.
– Only a few months have passed since the opening of the Wargaming office in Lithuania. Who will achieve during this time?
– The company officially established a representative office, selected and leased the main office “Quadrum” business center, formed an essential project management team and quickly increased the number of employees in Vilnius.
-It is planned to recruit and relocate several hundred employees over the next 3-4 years. Who will make up the Wargaming team? How many professionals are currently employed?
– More than 200 specialists are currently employed. Many of them are relocated from several countries, in order to bring together the full development of games you need to have the expertise. In Belarus full of colleges from the US, Ukraine, Thailand, UK. Gradually, we also hire Lithuanian specialists who complement the international team.
The structure of the company is strongly based on the needs of product teams. There are at least several game studios in Vilnius responsible for different games. The main and most planned development study in Lithuania is MS-1, which currently has two games that have not yet been announced. This is truly a very unique opportunity to participate in global gaming teams with the backbone experience of Wargaming.
– You are in the middle of a pandemic. How has this changed your plans? Which sectors are still affected by the situation?
– The gaming industry pandemic, like most other technology companies, made sense of business success. Many people want to shop, order services and entertain in the digital space during this dramatic period.
On the other hand, naturally, this was a major challenge in trying to ensure the safety of workers. Dozens of other countries with different and ever-changing requirements and pandemic-level prices are making a huge effort to ensure day-to-day operations.
– This is already the 18th office in the world. What circumstances determined that this gaming industry giant has now come to Lithuania now? Was the Lithuanian game industry ready for that?
– Over the last 10 years, Vilnius has been very impressive against its technology community: there are many international players, and the local start-up ecosystem is developing strongly. According to international indices, the Lithuanian legal system is equal to 15 international countries. Although the gaming industry in the country is very large, you can become one of the brightest cities in the technology industry Vilnius really has.
– Do you think that the emergence of Wargaming contributes to the faster development of the country’s technology sector?
– The gaming industry requires really specific knowledge, then Wargaming’s solution has established an international competence center in Vilnius, which really wants to work with these industries for development. All the more so as the company itself plans to actively share its knowledge, seek to attract local talent and establish new partners.
– How has this event changed the image of the Lithuanian gaming industry on a global scale? Can we expect this to attract more international investors?
– It’s hard to say at the moment. Foreign examples show that the emergence of companies of this size has led to the supply of enterprise development, to supply new regions of giant interest. A good example here would be Canada, whose gaming industry has grown in a similar scenario. We will see how it will be in Lithuania.
– The number of gaming culture lovers and enthusiasts is growing every year. Can you describe gaming trends in Lithuania?
The gaming community in the country is small but inclusive as the trends are related to the global gaming market trends. In terms of platform, mobile games are in first place, computer games are in second place and consoles are in third place.
– Can you reveal Wargaming’s future plan?
– To form a fully operational division of several hundred and several game studios with fully prepared talent, marketing and human resource strategies so that the company can grow organically into one of the largest gaming competence centers in our region.