The Russian company responded to the question of whether it is a “layer” of Wargaming.
Here is the press release from Lesta Games:
The thesis is now being actively discussed in the press that the Wargaming company, working in Russia and Belarus through Lesta Games, is organizing humanitarian aid for the residents of Ukraine. That Lesta Games is a “layer” of Wargaming.
Is it so? Let’s figure it out.
Lesta company was founded on December 22, 1991, by Malik Khatazhaev. There were no games about tanks at that time, and the company itself was more involved in video and computer graphics for cinema. Since the beginning of the 2000s, Lesta began to immerse itself in domestic game development, creating such projects as the Entente, Steel Monsters, 9th Company, Empire: Time of Troubles and the Cannon Strike series.
The game about tanks was invented in 2010 by Wargaming, which in 2022 decided to leave the markets of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus, closing its offices and relocating its employees to the West and transferring the rights to develop and operate its former games to Lesta Games. This is how World of Tanks, World of Ships and Tanks Blitz appeared.
Over the course of a year of independent operation, Lesta Games has established itself as a company that is strongly focused on domestic consumers and takes into account the cultural characteristics, interests and values of its audience.
Thus, Lesta even received the “Best Social Advertising” award from project Best Social Projects of Russia for a dramatic video that spoke about the correctness of the choice to “stay in the Motherland.”
Already at the beginning of 2023, when Lesta Games’ own development team was able to begin creating content in full, World of Tanks players saw the appearance of Slavic fairy-tale characters within the lore of the game about tanks! Somehow it happened that around the same time, the President of the Russian Federation, during his address to representatives of the IT industry, mentioned that when creating video games, film and video products for the domestic market, it is necessary to promote domestic folklore, Russian heroes and heroes.
So in the “World of Tanks” Koschey appeared with the Karachun tank, Baba Yaga, Ivan Tsarevich and Vasilisa the Beautiful.
At the end of 2023, just a few days ago, Lesta Games announced a continuation of this story.
In addition to fairy-tale characters, in April 2023 a special location-memorial, dedicated to the Battle of Stalingrad. When creating this location, the developers worked closely with the Museum of the Battle of Stalingrad and, at the same time, filmed a documentary about the museum itself.
On May 9, 2023, the World of Tanks team released two videos that were significant for the Russian audience: the Parade and a video about the importance of remembering the Victory.
In August, after long tests, Lesta Games released a full-fledged game map of Stalingrad. And she recorded an audio track for it, based on the well-known song “Holy War”.
Then, in August, in honor of the centenary of Leonid Gaidai, the World of Tanks and World of Ships teams added the characters “Coward, Dunce, Experienced.”
On holidays such as Russia Day, Belarus Day and Russian Flag Day, World of Tanks players could free get thematic styles – “skins”.
Judging by the large amount of marketing in Russia, Lesta Games is now actively interacting with various educational structures, supporting children, developing e-sports in the Russian Federation, as if trying to distance itself from the label “a game for old people” and become a kind of connecting link between gaming generations.
Well, it’s worth noting the work of Lesta Games with the current audience of the game. Among the players in World of Tanks there are people of completely different social statuses, professions and ages. There are schoolchildren, students, doctors, teachers, pensioners, and there are also famous personalities, such as athletes Alexander Sobolev and Mikhail Sidorov.
To make it clearer, here is a playlist of the documentary series of videos “About Iron and People”.
And here tournament for teenagers with unlimited possibilities.
Is Lesta an affiliate of Wargaming after all of the above? It seems not. Lesta has launched too many merger processes with the domestic gaming industry and domestic pop culture and has cut off too many connections with the Western gaming industry to be someone’s figurehead.