More than 20 prominent members of the World Of Warships community program have left citing the Wargaming’s increasing reliance on loot boxes and randomized item unlocks. That’s in a title marketed to children and veterans.

World Of Warships’s USS Missouri official art (Image Credit: Wargaming)

For years, Wargaming has monetized Warships by selling unique ships and bundles, with players either grinding their way towards desired items or spending up to $100-120 on a single ship.

Since 2019, however, the title’s market place has been increasingly shifting towards more obscure schemes.

“This year’s recently announced summer sale entices players to buy doubloons [the game’s currency], which can in turn be exchanged for bundles that include summer tokens, which in turn can be exchanged for random crates that may contain a permanent camouflage (for a ship that you already own if you’re lucky) or spent on a chain of random crates at a discount – though a discount from how much is unclear,” MassivelyOP reports.

The trend towards obfuscating the cost of content in real-world cash has culminated in the reintroduction of WWII battleship USS Missouri earlier this month. First introduced in 2016, then removed in 2018 in the interests of the game’s economy, the ship returned to only “appear in random bundles that can be obtained in exchange for Doubloons.”

The USS Missouri’s comeback has aggravated the game’s official content creator (CC) community, with over 20 prominent members announcing their resignation last week.

YouTuber Paul Charlton, aka MightyJingles, who has over 600,000 YouTube subscribers, was among the departees: “Being in the CCTP was a privilege in the first two years when the contributions we made were respected and valued and the feedback in both directions was something I was happy to be a part of,” Charlton said. “In the last three years, and the last year in particular, this has become a toxic one-way relationship that I’m glad to put behind me. It hasn’t been any one thing… but a continued demonstration of the contempt in which Wargaming holds for this program, the increasingly aggressive monetisation and implementation of gambling mechanics into a game marketed to children as young as the age of seven [that’s according to the game’s Pan European Gaming Information (PEGI) rating — Ed.] and numerous other factors means that it’s high time I admitted that I’m in a toxic relationship and got out of it with some self-respect intact.”

Other content creators expressed similar frustration. “The WoWs community is made up of a high proportion of veterans. It is well recognised that veterans suffer much higher rates of problem gambling than the general population. Missouri is a much desired ship, a ship with great significance to many veterans. Marketing that ship to veterans through gamble mechanics seems to me to be exploitative and immoral.”

On August 17, Wargaming rolled out an official statement on the exodus of content creators. “We respect their decision and want to thank them for their contributions, devotion, and passion for the game and program over several years. We wish all of them best of luck and hope that they will stay in touch with us nevertheless, we will always be here to talk.” As for USS Missouri, the developer said it will be adding “an alternative way to purchase the ship.” The non-apologetic tone of the statement, as well as failure to address the specific complaints from the community has drawn criticism on the game’s forum.

We reached out to Wargaming for further comment.

Updated August 19: Wargaming has gotten back to us with the following statement: “We understand the interest in this topic and we already addressed specific complaints in our official community statement including the Missouri event and its economics in a separate devblog.

We are also aware that this issue raised some questions about the players’ feedback and players’ satisfaction in general, and we can assure you we are doing our best to address these issues in the near future and keep our player base satisfied. Our further plans on this will be communicated to our players transparently.”

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