Armored Warfare, a free-to-play tank combat game developed by Obsidian, will no longer be handled by the famed RPG studio. Instead, the game's Russian publisher My.com is taking over.
Announced on Saturday, Obsidian CEO Feargus Urquhart and My.com Publishing Director Yuri Maslikov both provided polite statements, with Obsidian listing its other commitments and My.com assuring that all promised development roadmaps and support will continue.
It doesn't appear to be the most amicable split, however: according to a moderator of the official Armored Warfare reddit – who claims to have worked as a design consultant for Obsidian and My.com – competing visions hurt the project. In particular, Gatortribe claims My.com parent company MailRU didn't care to develop the game in a manner which would appeal to users outside of the company's core Russian market.
According to the post, Obsidian was tasked with developing a "World of Tanks" clone.
"Yes, it was supposed to be as close to World of Tanks as they could get with modern tanks and without getting their asses sued off by Wargaming," the post reads. "Just look at the 'Limited Technical Alpha' they had. It was clear to everyone that it was a World of Tanks clone and the backlash from it convinced MailRU that being basically a Chinese knock-off wasn't going to cut it.
"So, they let Obsidian have a little more freedom- not much, it still had to feel like World of Tanks, but it didn't have to be World of Tanks. This, right here, is where you can say Armored Warfare died. The day MailRU made it clear (privately clear, this was never public knowledge) that they only wanted a cut of the massive amounts of money Wargaming was raking in with World of Tanks."
The post continues to assert that MailRU all but ignored the NA / EU market, and that many areas of the project were left unpolished as a result. Gatortribe claims that his design consultant team's feedback barely made it into the game.
"We began feeling ignored as much of our feedback wasn't bearing fruit in game, and that was when Obsidian finally cracked," the post reads. "They let us know that MailRU didn't want it, they were happy with the shit state the game was in. In fact, MailRU wasn't even aware of our existence (and they weren't very happy about it afterwards- we aren't Russian, after all)."
The post goes on to claim that Obsidian's contract was cancelled by MailRU, and that the former was prepared to go on developing the game. The news comes after reports in December that an undisclosed number of Obsidian staff working on the project were laid off. At the time, Obsidian was still officially working on the project.
While the game may prosper in its post-Obsidian guise, Ian Birnbaum couldn't help but draw comparisons to World of Tanks when he played it in 2015, though admitted it could go in some interesting directions. "Moving forward, I suspect that Armored Warfare will shine the best when it uses its new setting and tech level to introduce new ways to play," he wrote. "The closer it sticks to World of Tanks, the less interesting and more forgettable the whole thing will be."