Check out our interview with Rajeev Girdhar, the Global Operators Director at Wargaming, the team behind “World of Warships


Welcome! - Can you do a quick introduction for viewers? 

 As a Global Operations Director, my role involves in conceptualization, collaboration and execution of Publishing plans for our global audience. This includes all player facing content, CRM, Customer Support, Player Interaction and Games Platforms.

How long have you been working in the games industry?  

I have been in the games industry since 2006 so a veteran of 17 years in this wonderful industry. 

What’s the story behind your game?  

Following Wargaming’s successful multiplayer MMO entries in the land and sky with World of Tanks and World of Warplanes, launching World of Warships in 2015 felt like a natural progression for us.  

The design of the game is very much inspired by the technological marvels of 20th Century naval warfare. We build our ships based on official design documents and records, giving us the largest digital catalogue of naval vessels in the world, with more than 600 of them fighting on our virtual seas. 

Why this game?

Over Wargaming’s 20+ year history, we have earned a reputation for creating leading free-to-play MMOs. We felt there was no other game on the market which could bring Naval warfare enthusiasts and fans of tactical multiplayer combat together. When developing the game, we have to strike a careful balance between dynamic, fun and easy-to-learn gameplay, with the complexities of these huge technological phenoms. The visual design of the ships is meticulously crafted to replicate the real and conceptual ships designed during the 20th Century. Meanwhile, from a gameplay perspective we analyze the real-world features of these ship and find fun and balanced ways to incorporate them into the game. 

What has the reception of this game been like?  

Well, with a community of over 50 million registered players eight years on from launch, we can safely say that World of Warships has been received incredibly well. We have focused on creating an accessible experience for new players, whilst building enough tactical complexity into the game to keep veterans coming back. 

Any important lessons learned in the game since release?  

The ability to adapt comes at the top of that list. The fact that we’re about to celebrate our 8th anniversary and that our players keep returning to World of Warships as their favorite game and a hobby tells enough about our capacity to overcome obstacles and keep developing a valuable experience and a unique ecosystem for our community. 

Work Life

What’s it like working at the studio?  

It’s intense and inspiring. With so many creative and smart people working alongside each other, every day brings some new challenges and opportunities. Each team member brings something else on the table, and that’s why it’s important to have a diverse and motivated team that works together towards a common goal – making sure World of Warships continues to be a leading naval combat game. 

What does your day-to-day look like? 

My day consists of solving issues one at a time and a whole array of meetings with game developers, monetization specialists, marketers, community managers, you name it. It is my responsibility to align the team around key priorities so that both development and publishing sail in the same direction as efficiently as possible.   

A lot of viewers also want to work in games, what advice do you have for those wanting to work in gaming? Especially for your role?  

My main advice would probably be to try to make yourself useful to your colleagues. Collaboration is the key to success, and for it to work, there needs to be a common understanding of why something needs to be done. Finally, Wargaming is a fantastic place to work if you’re a person with lots of ideas, ready to roll up your sleeves and make things happen. 

For people unfamiliar with this genre, what should they know about the game? 

World of Warships is a naval combat free-to-play multiplayer game. The game provides a thrill of epic naval clashes with the biggest guns ever produced while requiring a strategic approach and team play to outsmart the opposing team. The most popular game mode pits 12 players against each other on each side, and considering battles taking place in an open sea, each move must be carefully planned upfront to optimally utilize your vessel's strengths. 

Is it accessible for new players?  

Absolutely! The game has multiple in-depth tutorials to get players started, and the ship acquisition system is designed to familiarize players with the basic mechanics of their ships before moving onto more complex tools. One of the reasons the game is so successful is the fact it’s easy to get into but difficult to master. 

What’s the best way to learn/master the game?  

Mostly I would say just keep playing! As you play and earn new ships you will learn the different playstyles of each of the ship types, and the optimum route to victory in every game mode. Communication with your team is also incredibly important. As a tactical MMO, the team that operates as an effective unit usually comes out on top. Outside the game, we also have an incredible community of veteran players who support new players via discord, Reddit, and our various online communities. 

Any cool community stories to share?  

Some of our most incredible community stories have come from our military veteran community. We regularly work with charities such as Help for Heroes and Stack Up or for instance our latest campaign with Force Blue as part of our Popeye collaboration. These communities keep us in touch with men and women who have served on the front lines. Many veterans come to us regularly to tell us how World of Warships has given them an outlet for their passion for the military history and has been a way to bring these communities together. 

How do you balance implementing community suggestions/feedback with following your own design/vision choices?  

Balancing community suggestions/feedback with our own design vision is a delicate process. We listen to your community, identify common themes, and evaluate feasibility and impact. At the same time, we have to stay true to your design vision while considering feasible and impactful suggestions. We try to strive to strike a balance that respects both our vision and the community's input and it is not easy. 

Anything you can share about future plans for your studio? 

Belgrade Studio continues to grow as it has become the heart of our development. We have surpassed the milestone of 500 employees in less than a year and we continue to grow to ensure that our teams are equipped to deliver our long term vision for World of Warships as a franchise. 

Anything you want to plug before we sign off?  

World of Warships: Legends, our console game is currently preparing for a full release on mobile, so keep an eye on that if you are looking for an ever more accessible gaming experience. As for our PC game, we are releasing new updates every month, with a slew of new ship lines, nations, commanders, exciting collaboration and experimental content that is keeping the game fresh, and our player based engaged. This summer, both World of Warships: Legends and World of Warships (PC) are celebrating birthdays, which means lots of presents and enticing offers for our players.  

Bonus Questions!  

Favorite game of all time?

Red Dead Redemption 1 and 2 

First real game you ever played?  

Dave MS DOS Blush   

Games you’re playing the most right now, when you have time?  

Cyberpunk, Atomic Heart, The Last of Us 

One Underrated Game that you think more people should play?  

Hades 

What element matters most to you in a game?  

Immersion, characters and story telling 

Anonymous
  • played world of tanks before and had looked at world of warships. Read a few articles here.. And after reading this interview I'll have take to take a more serious look. Loved naval warfare since reading C.S. Forester.

  • Interview made me want to check out this game.

  • Is rare when I play the game, but it help to relax one in a while.

  • I used to play War Thunder a few years back and have been wanting to try World of Warships but haven't gotten around to it. I have been a little discouraged because being a late beginner in these type of games came be brutal unless you buy upgrades and packs which can get expensive but after reading his advice on playing a supportive role until upgrading and that the veteran players are welcoming of new players I think it might be easy to transition into the community. Very informative interview.

  • Great post!