World of Warships is a global project with a multimillion audience around the world. However, this is not the only game developed and supported by Lesta Studio. Each period of the company’s existence is closely associated with a specific area, and the gaming industry has become that in the last few years.
How Lesta became Wargaming
Lesta is a big sponge that absorbs the competencies of all areas necessary for high-quality and timely content creation. We are talking about the gaming division, the video production team, and historians, programmers, PR specialists or data analysts.
Production studio Lesta Studio has existed since 1991. Until 2001, the company was engaged in the creation of computer graphics for television. It all started with 3D TV screensavers, but gradually, with the development of technology and the accumulation of experience, Lesta created special effects in blockbusters.
This gave impetus to developing their own game world, and a prototype was offered to publishers. Thus, the publisher company Buka, well-known to all domestic gamers, became an early partner.
Since 2000, the game page began in the history of Lesta Studio, which in 2011 led to cooperation with Wargaming.net.
The creators of World of Tanks were expanding their own game universe and looking for a studio that could develop a ship-themed game. The specialists from Lesta already had such experience thanks to their work on the Steel Monsters strategy simulator.
World of Warships was officially released on September 17, 2015, and since then, it has been systematically expanding, conquering more and more platforms and conquering more and more users.
What does a successful flagship product do?
World of Warships almost immediately became the studio’s most important project. Everything that bears this name is a priority. These are World of Warships and World of Warships: Legends. More than 200 people work on the PC game, and each one is engaged in different tasks. The process involves historical consultants who deal with fact-checking and working with archives. Engineers, designers. Many of them also have a history education, which greatly simplifies the task.
The work requires speed of reaction to changing trends and flexibility: retaining the main audience while attracting a new one. Now the project is completely independent, only partners are involved, and everything else is created.
In 2020, Wargaming partnered with the Warhammer 40,000 universe and the Transformers franchise. This made it possible to add new items and effects to the game, and fans of Warhammer and Transformers paid attention to World of Warships. Also, joint events were held with Arpeggio of Blue Steel and Azur Lane.
“Our players have other hobbies and hobbies, so we always think about how to entertain them in addition to historical cars and camouflages. The search for a suitable partner and the negotiation process are complex procedures that take six months or more. “
World of Warships: Legends is one of the few shareware projects for consoles. His success was the absolute merit of the team because the task was not easy. It was necessary to make Legends a slightly more dynamic and easy-to-learn version than a PC game. “Leste” managed to preserve the depth of the gameplay and historical accuracy, completely redesigning the interface and the progress system.
All this allowed achieving the fact that WoWS: Legends consistently ranks high in the rating of free games on PlayStation. So the game will continue to evolve and expand.
“World of Warships: Legends is one of the very few shareware projects developed specifically for consoles and, as a result, very successful. The interface and controls were completely redesigned, the progress system was only partially preserved, unique (compared to the PC version) solutions were added – a system for collecting commanders and their unique skills, Campaigns (battle pass), as well as Bureau and a number of others. ” , – notes Evgeny Shchukin, Publishing Director WoWS Consoles. “The results of the project have significantly exceeded our initial expectations and continue to surprise us, in a good way. We have big plans for the development of the game over the next few years, from additional functionality to a huge amount of new content. “
“Ships is a game that has proven its quality to the market over time. This is our core and our foundation, a project through which the studio grows, experiments and ensures quantitative expansion and qualitative development, ”says Valeria Tsygankova, director of WoWS publishing in the CIS.
It is World of Warships that allows the company to support itself and simultaneously develop similar and completely different games.
The radical change of subject
Currently, the St. Petersburg office of Wargaming is also developing and supporting the Bowling Crew mobile game.
“The mobile market grew rapidly in 2018 and already took over almost half of all profits (47% of revenue from the entire gaming market). The company already had a mobile project World of Warships Blitz, but we wanted more. The St. Petersburg studio had not yet developed mobile games, it was necessary to choose something fast and understandable – this is how the Bowling Crew project became a “trial balloon”, ”says Polina Malysheva, head of the mobile development department.
Bowling Crew is a vibrant and content-rich bowling simulator with high ratings on the Google Play and Apple Store.
A small team faced dynamic and active growth in the mobile games market. But on her side were the advantages of a large company and the Wargaming brand, well-known in the gaming world.
Bowling Crew seems to be a bit of an unusual project for a studio known for its naval combat simulator, but do not forget that Lesta has extensive experience creating games of other genres.
From 2000 to 2017, the studio released games such as “Elements of War,” “Cannon Strike,” “Empire,” “Pacific Storm,” “9 Company”, “Aggression,” “Steel Monsters,” “Entente,” “Empire Time of Troubles, “Warfare “and many others. These games were released on the PC platform and created the base, thanks to which the development of World of Warships and Bowling Crew became possible.
The result is 18 million downloads worldwide and huge popularity, especially in the US. The project fully paid for the development within six months after the release and was also nominated for the User’s Choice Awards.
The mobile division of Wargaming does not plan to stop there; representatives of the company promise that the times of high-profile releases are not far off.
How is the game created?
The game development process always starts with an idea. The idea is detailed, worked out from a technical and commercial point of view, and then the pitch is presented to the management. The company has a team of people with colossal experience in the industry, and it is they who give the go-ahead for the creation of a prototype.
A successful prototype must be mechanically interesting to become a full-fledged game. Since the selection is extremely tough, only the best and most potentially successful ideas reach the final.
The studio employs over 700 people, and it cannot be said that everyone is tied to one specific project. Depending on the need, employees can move between projects, often to transfer experience. The company also has employees of “service” divisions who work with all projects, helping to find solutions to problems.
Wargaming is one of the few domestic developers and publishers of PC games that are successful and well-known worldwide. Now the company is gradually beginning to feel the ground in the mobile games market, using the accumulated experience and resources of the company. This opens up great opportunities for the development of new projects on various topics.