It looks good and it plays better than it’s predecessors; World of Tanks, Wargaming’s multiplayer phenomenon, has now gone live on Playstation 4, free to play for anyone with a Playstation account irrespective of whether or not they subscribe to Playstation Plus (although the “Plus” members had access to a premium bundle on launch). Maintaining its “free-to-play” philosophy, the game can be downloaded and played instantly with 15v15 online tank warfare, bringing in a tech tree of over 140 historically-accurate, mid-20th century vehicles from the USA, Germany, and the USSR for use during the game.
Of course, like all World of Tanks, purchasing premium content in-game is the way to go if you really want to experience all the game has to offer, a model which seems to have worked well for the franchise so far, seeing the game through to various platforms including Android and iOS. This PS4 version is a giant leap forward as part of Wargaming’s console campaign, taking advantage of various Playstation features like DUALSHOCK4, Share Play, and Playstation Vita remote play.
While he was down in Australia, we recently caught up with Wargaming’s lead designer Jeff Gregg, who has been key in bringing World of Tanks to both Xbox and Playstation.
World of Tanks has become such a behemoth for Wargaming. How did the team balance consistency from the other games with the need to give us an updated experience? Was the focus on ‘more is more’ in terms of tank customisation and what not?
No matter which platform, we want World of Tanks to look and play beautifully and our teams are constantly looking at ways to improve all gameplay aspects across PC, console and mobile. The PS4 version will contain exciting platform specific features, including stunning visuals, DualShock controller functionality, Shareplay and PlayGo support and PS Vita Remote Play to push the PS4 to its limit.
While the content on the PS4 won’t be the same as it is today on Xbox 360 and Xbox one versions, it will have more content at launch than any previous version of World of Tanks and we will be updating the game at a much faster rate than when it released on the Xbox version. We expect the game will reach parity with Xbox within the year. The team worked hard to make sure that the PS4 version was as robust as possible and will include over 140 vehicles and over 30 maps including two limited-time exclusive to PS4 – Scorpion Pass and Ruinberg.
As the development team works on what order to bring content to the PS4 (it takes time to get it all up and running) they carefully consider the player’s experience and the balance of the tanks available. This is in an effort to ensure the gameplay experience, balance, and fun of the game is preserved as the number of maps and tanks grows on both platforms.
What is the level of research that goes into designing these tanks and what sort of inspirations did the team draw upon for this PS4 version?
Wargaming has historians on staff that are consulted for every new aspect of the game. In general, the design team starts with historical accuracy and then makes any changes that are needed for both fun-factor and balance. The history of the tanks and the development methodologies of the different nations is a constant source of inspiration; it is fascinating to learn how and why specific vehicles were created (to counter other threats, to take advantage of existing supply lines, etc.).
Why were the Xbox One and PS4 versions so far apart?
When we thought about bringing World of Tanks to console, we decided to work closely with Microsoft first to launch the World of Tanks Xbox 360 version and because of the existing Xbox Live ecosystem and agreement in place, it made sense for us to launch the Xbox One version ahead of PlayStation in 2015. We’re now really excited about the PlayStation 4 title and working with Sony to help grow the number of players playing World of Tanks and having a free to play model will certainly appeal to a lot of gamers.
With the free-to-play market growing where do you see it heading in the future?
At Wargaming, we have built our games on the basis on free-to-play or, as we call it, free-to-win. If you respect your players and don’t sell in-game advantages, you’ll deliver a great title and keep your fanbase happy. We will continue to keep our Wargaming titles in this model as we want all gamers to play our games.
Available until April 30, and also included in the release version. is the Girls und Panzer Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf. H Elite tank, which can be unlocked by battling with the regular version of this tank. Additionally, available for purchase via the Playstation Store are Founder’s Packs loaded with Premium vehicles and in-game content including Premium Account time, in-game currency, and rare tanks. To learn more about World of Tanks on PS4 click HERE.