Breakthrough in online games
<img class="imgl" alt="" src="http://www.belarus-magazine.by/belen/data/upimages/2009/0001-009-484.jpg">[b]Most popular worldwide online-game with Belarusian ‘registration’ [/b]<br />The Belarusian World of Tanks computer game, made by Game Stream, is one of the most well-known worldwide, with about 75 million players. The tank battle simulation was launched in August 2010 and quickly gained popularity among children and adults across the globe.<br />Authoritative domestic and international experts have acknowledged World of Tanks as the most recognisable Belarusian IT-brand abroad. So… what’s next for lovers of online games? And how is IT developing in Belarus? Company Director Viktor Novochadov reveals all…
The Belarusian World of Tanks computer game, made by Game Stream, is one of the most well-known worldwide, with about 75 million players. The tank battle simulation was launched in August 2010 and quickly gained popularity among children and adults across the globe.
Authoritative domestic and international experts have acknowledged World of Tanks as the most recognisable Belarusian IT-brand abroad. So… what’s next for lovers of online games? And how is IT developing in Belarus? Company Director Viktor Novochadov reveals all…
In recent years, Game Stream — sited at Minsk’s High-Tech Park — has increased its employees several-fold: to more than 1,500 people currently. What is the company doing now and how does it plan to develop?
Currently, Game Stream is working in two software directions: computer games (in particular World of Tanks) and systems to optimise advertising online. At the moment, we have no plans to launch anything else. With our chronic lack of personnel, our resources are not sufficient even for World of Tanks. We have to produce updates, introduce new services, improve graphics and the physical characteristics of moving objects, and prepare releases for other regions. Unfortunately, I can’t say more, due to commercial confidentiality; our rivals are always listening in.
Is it difficult to find skilled staff for your company in Belarus?
When people love their work, when an enterprise provides permanent professional advancement, when results are the highest, with prestigious achievements, and when you hear daily raves from users, believe me, you don’t have any problems in recruitment or retention of staff. Our company is steadily growing in size, by a hundred people a month, and we only employ the best, who want to work here.
Do many Belarusians work at Game Stream? How does the level of Belarusian programming compare to that in the world IT-market?
Because of its history, Belarus is one of the top countries worldwide for training programmers. Our specialists are highly-intelligent, creative and unconventional in their approach to solving tasks, truly using creative thinking. Silicon Valley is known to have Russian speakers among about half of the workforce and relies on various Belarusian personnel. Programmers from Belarus have proven themselves at the highest level professionally and in their dedication.
Our company uses not only Belarusian programmers but specialists from across the CIS and beyond. Our company in particular, and Belarus as a whole, is attractive to foreign, highly-qualified personnel. We offer good living conditions, healthcare and education.
In your opinion, what’s the recipe for success with World of Tanks? Can other game simulators — such as World of Warplanes or World of Warships — repeat it?
First, I’ll list the major characteristics of World of Tanks: simplicity and accessibility, an absence of cruelty or violence, and equality of national, political and other characteristics, while retaining reality. It requires group collaboration and inspires a study of war history and battle strategy. It appeals to people of all ages and professions, men and women, in any country. World of Warplanes and World of Warships are magnificent computer games but I do happen to believe that they won’t match our success — at least for another decade.
Do we have the necessary conditions for IT development in Belarus or do we need more legislation?
I think that Belarus has all necessary conditions and infrastructure to develop its IT-sector. As a good example, the Hi-Tech Park has worked successfully for many years. The online game made by our programmers has won the Golden Joystick Awards’ foremost prize twice over the last two years. I can’t help but view this as an unprecedented achievement: one reached in today’s IT-environment in Belarus.
Does Game Stream like to promote itself as a Belarusian company? And do you think its work (in particular World of Tanks) has influenced how people worldwide view Belarus and our software programmers?
Game Stream is certainly a Belarusian company — as perceived by customers and potential employees. Our software, including World of Tanks, is known worldwide as Belarusian. World of Tanks online game from Belarus leads globally. Our business is a Belarusian creative laboratory: a union of like-minded people and experimentalists. Even although the company employs quite a few workers from neighbouring countries and beyond, it will be situated in Belarus forever. This is our principal position. Finally, I’ll share some good news. Game Stream has just received a special prize from an international jury as the most known Belarusian brand in the Brand of the Year 2013 Contest.
By Yuri Chernyakevich