Wargaming, the developers of World Of Tanks and its various spin-offs, are ceasing operation of their studios based in Russia and Belarus. They're transferring the management of their live games in those regions to Lesta Games, which was previously owned by Wargaming but now "is no longer affiliated" with the company. The games will continue to be available to play in those regions.
"Over the past weeks, Wargaming has been conducting a strategic review of business operations worldwide. The company has decided it will not own or operate any businesses in Russia and Belarus and will leave both countries," said the company in a statement.
"Effective March 31 the company transferred its live games business in Russia and Belarus to local management of Lesta Studio that is no longer affiliated with Wargaming. The company will not profit from this process either today or going forward. Much to the contrary we expect to suffer substantial losses as a direct result of this decision."
All of Wargaming's games will remain live in Russia and Belarus, which includes World Of Tanks, World Of Warplanes and World Of Warships.
Wargaming was originally founded in Belarus, a country ruled by an authoritarian government with a poor human rights record. Although the company long ago relocated their headquarters to Cyprus, the company has since maintained a large studio in Minsk. They have now "started the process" of closing this studio. "We will be providing as much severance and support as possible to our employees affected by the change," says the statement.
The company also maintains studios in Ukraine, France, England, America and more.
In February, Wargaming parted ways with creative director Sergey Burkatovskiy after he voiced support for Russia's invasion of Ukraine. In a statement given to Cyber.Sports.Ru, the company said that his opinion "categorically does not coincide with the position of the company. All our staff are now focused on helping out our over 550 colleagues from Kyiv and their families." They confirmed Burkatovskiy was no longer at the company to PC Gamer.