The free online game World of Warships immerses players in historical battleship combat that ranges from two players or full clans to 12 vs. 12 Battles. And now one of the most epic battles of the year — Godzilla vs. Kong — is joining this game of warfare. We chatted with World of Warships Regional Publishing Director Artur Plociennik about the game and its two newest in-game commanders: Godzilla and King Kong.
The Pop Insider: World of Warships is a free game that features tons of options (five game modes, 30 unique maps, and more than 300 warships) for players to choose from, but it also features relatively simple gameplay. Can you give us a brief overview of the game and how the many options draw players to the game?
Artur Plociennik: I believe we’ve got more than 400 warships by now! What’s interesting about World of Warships is that it’s a unique mix of characteristics that cross genres. On the face of it, it does look like a simple third-person shooter in which you get to directly control a Warship from the first half of the 20th century, train your guns or torpedo launchers on enemy ships, and click to sink them. However, the pacing is comparatively slow, giving you ample time to react and make choices throughout the battle. Also, the ships, shells, aircraft, and game mechanics all interact with each other differently. They are designed to paint a believable portrait of naval combat in the period, but they also create an experience that has a great amount of depth to it. We like to say it’s a “thinking man’s action game,” where choosing the right tactics and time to strike is much more important than your agility, hand-eye coordination, or even your current ping.
PI: The five different play modes that allow for competitive and cooperative gameplay — whether you’re in a collaborative Clan Battle or a Random 12 vs. 12 Battle. Can you dive into the play modes a bit and tell us what each one offers?
AP: The core systems, which define how the player controls their warship and interacts with the environment around them, remain the same. However, the different game modes alter the environment players find themselves in, providing for a drastically different experience and challenge level. Random Battle is the core experience of the game, where you get to play out a naval battle between two teams of 12 real players on a selection of maps, which vary in features like terrain or weather effects, and which promote different tactics.
If you prefer a slightly easier experience with lower stakes, you can choose to play Co-op Battle, which pits you and other real players against a team of AI opponents.
For players who want more storytelling and a more immersive experience, we have Operations, where we send teams of players into scripted scenarios inspired by real historical events. Some of these can also be quite challenging to complete with all the side objectives!
Conversely, if you’d like to up the stakes and earn more unique rewards, you may participate in seasonal Ranked Battles. In this mode, there are fewer ships available and fewer players per side, which means that everyone has a bigger impact on the outcome of the battle. [This mode also has] a tier system that matches you against players in the same rank bracket.
Finally, the most proficient commanders form clans and participate in competitive Clan Battles, where the stakes and skill levels are the highest, but they are compensated with prestige and unique rewards.
PI: With more than 35 million people having tried this game to date, World of Warships has a big community. Can you elaborate on how your community interacts with each other — from Divisions and Clans to arranging meetups?
AP: Our community is as unique as the game they love playing so much. On one hand, you’ll find them in the usual spots — game chat, banding together in clans, on our forums, in our Discord servers, in our YouTube comments, and in the Twitch chat when we’re streaming. Whenever we organize offline events and gatherings — usually at real ships and museums or gaming events — they are also there to talk to us about history or gameplay, sometimes traveling huge distances or taking vacations just to be there!
On the other side, due to the specifics of the game, our audience tends to be quite a bit older than your average gamer, with a large part also being former or active service members. This means that the World of Warships community is in many ways more mature and the atmosphere is quite friendly. Many players are also heavily engaged in helping to shape the game experience by contributing to our many VIP programs — this includes testing prerelease features, creating online content like ship reviews for the community, or keeping our Wiki up to date with the latest changes.
PI: You offer fans of your game an in-depth look at the mechanics behind the game, which is not something every developer/publisher offers. Can you give a bit of insight on what players can learn and how you feel like this offering adds to their gaming experience?
AP: While World of Warships is not a simulator, we still do our best to depict naval combat as accurately and believably as we can. This means there are many relatively complex interactions happening around the player, making the game less about the muscle memory of aligning cursors with pixels in record time, but about understanding what’s happening and knowing why. We believe that providing a better view into at least some of the inner workings of the game helps players gain these insights faster and decreases the overall difficulty of getting from “new tug boat captain” to “salty grand admiral.” The other obvious point to make is that players just want to know everything there is to know, while we are aware that free two-player games simply do not work without an engaged community. Therefore, we do our best to talk to and tell our players as much as we can, whenever we can.
PI: Tell us about the collaboration with Godzilla vs. Kong. What makes this movie a perfect partnership for World of Warships?
AP: Back in 2019, we were very lucky to connect with Legendary Entertainment and quickly realized that our teams have a lot in common: a passion for entertaining millions of people globally; openness for innovative approaches; and, specifically to the Godzilla vs. Kong title, a significant overlap among fans.
When King of the Monsters came out, the World of Warship Instagram channel compared Godzilla with battleship Yamato and this post became our top performer for that year! After we first saw the footage of the epic fight between Godzilla and Kong on the deck of an aircraft carrier, we felt there was a strong, creative fit between the brands and our partners supported our efforts to bring these two titans to World of Warships.
PI: What new features will this partnership bring to the game that players and fans of the movie will love?
AP: This partnership will bring two sets of cosmetics for fans of Team ‘Zilla and Team Kong, consisting of a ship skin, ship flag, and account patch, respectively. The skins themselves feature gigantic, animated, 3D models of the two titans standing astride their ship (the Japanese battleship Amagi for Godzilla and the U.S. battleship North Carolina for Kong) visible in port. We are also adding the two arch-rivals as in-game commanders, which come with their own voice-overs based on the sound bytes from the movie — a plethora of terrifying growls, grunts, and primal screams!
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PI: Can World of Warships fans expect more collaborations like this in the future? Anything you can tease?
AP: Even though World of Warships at its core is a game about history and naval combat, we quickly realized that our fans were open to other themes as well. Experimenting first with anime crossovers and cosmetics in the east, and then also collaborating with western [properties] like Warhammer 40k and Transformers, we discovered that there is a significant part of our audience who like this type of content. We try to cater to that need as best we can and such unique collaborations are also extremely fun to work on for our team!
Even as we focus on the release of our Godzilla vs. Kong content, elsewhere parts of our development and publishing team are already working on future content for our players to enjoy — including other collaborations with different [brands], both classic and unique ones. These things do take their time though and many stars need to align before we can make something happen, so we don’t want to announce anything until we’re sure we can deliver on the inevitable hype in our community!
World of Warships is a free, online game that you can play at wargaming.net. The Godzilla vs. Kong partnership is available now through May 31 on PC and May 17-June 21 in World of Warships Legends on consoles.