It looks like Wargaming have pushed their World of Warships players one step too far this time. Especially when they start marketing gambling mechanics to children.

USS Missouri picture from World of Warships.
USS Missouri? More like USS Missed Opportunity to me. Image source: Wargaming.

To give you some basic World of Warships background information from Kotaku and Massively OP: Wargaming is attempting to make money by making the prized battleship USS Missouri available to players after previously removing her back in February 2018. The ship had previously been available for 1 million Free Exp, which could be obtained entirely for free. This is already bad. However, Wargaming state in their article for Update 10.7 that they would make her available for “purchase” only via “Random Bundles” (read: loot boxes) you can purchase only through in-game currency called “Doubloons” that requires real world money to purchase. This is basically a gambling mechanic designed to make players spend vast amounts of money, hoping that they get Missouri in as few rolls of the dice as possible, or continue spending money to roll the dice to ensure that they get her, allowing Wargaming to make vast amounts of money.

Note that the Terms of Service for World of Warships requires you to be at least 13 years of age to use their services, and the game itself has an ESRB rating of T. This by itself is bad enough. However, in Europe, the game is marketed as PEGI 7. This means that Wargaming can market the gambling mechanics for Missouri to children as young as 7. Does that sound right to you? I hope not.

World of Warships: When CCs Jump Ship

Another USS Missouri picture from World of Warships.
Yes, Wargaming is definitely in a storm now, but they don’t seem to want to get out of it. Image source: Wargaming.

So naturally, World of Warships players had had enough. It all started with a member of World of Warship‘s Community Contributor program named LittleWhiteMouse. Wargaming was already on thin ice with her for asking her and another CC named Chobittsu to design a ship called HMCS Yukon, making them spend 18 months designing Yukon (without paying them, I might add), implemented it looking nothing like the ship they had worked on, and then verbally abused them and pretended that the CCs had nothing to do with it when they had the nerve to complain about it.

HMCS Yukon in World of Warships.
The Canadian ship in question. Image source: Wargaming.

Wargaming apologized to LittleWhiteMouse over her treatment over her treatment by them in June 26, 2021, and promised to do better. Then 6 weeks later on August 12, 2021; they broke that promise. A Wargaming employee contracted and belittled LittleWhiteMouse, all while ignoring evidence she provided. She approached Wargaming to try and repair matters, and Wargaming refused to do anything concrete to apologize. It was the straw that broke the little white mouse’s back. She decided to resign from the CC program.

This however, was just the beginning for Wargaming. Other CCs heard about how they treated LittleWhiteMouse. This, combined with the Missouri gambling debacle, a general aggressive monetization of World of Warships over the past few years, constant communication issues between Wargaming and the player base, extreme levels of condescension towards that same player base, and a stubborn refusal to resolve any of these issues; caused a flood of CCs to exit the program. As of this writing, 24 CCs in total have left the program. This list includes the famous internet personality The Mighty Jingles, who currently has over 645,000 YouTube subscribers. Jingles left a Tweet explaining his reasons.

Wargaming: The Master Of Making Things Worse

Wargaming's apology on the World of Warships forums.
This is their idea of an apology. What. Image source: World of Warships forums.

After a grand total of 3 days of silence, Wargaming finally responded with the apology above on August 17, 2021. For those of you who can’t read the text above, it starts:

We are awfully sorry that AprilWhiteMouse and other CCs are no longer a part of our Community Contributors Program, and we’d like them to know they will be missed. 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. 

And it just devolves from there. First off, they got LittleWhiteMouse’s username wrong in their “apology”. Secondly, this isn’t even an apology. Wargaming are only sorry that their CCs are leaving, and don’t apologize for anything they did to make the CCS leave in the first place. They don’t even admit any fault. The fact that this post has 301 Meh responses should also indicate to you that no one is buying this.

But the most damning thing is that Wargaming are still retaining the loot boxes for the Missouri. Their “alternative way” to purchase the ship is just that: an alternative way. Wargaming then release a Development Blog on the same day outlining one of their “alternative” ways to purchase the ship. To summarize: Wargaming will grant you the privilege of being able to buy the Missouri at full price after grinding a campaign that will only be available for a short time on a web portal on World of Warships‘ official website. Not in-game. Only on their website. How is this anything but a way to make the loot boxes more attractive?

Wargaming: Shooting Themselves In The Foot With An Automatic Shotgun

Wargaming making Missouri as difficult as possible to buy with Doubloons.
I think no response at all would’ve been better than this.

To add further fuel to the fire, Wargaming released a Discord statement on August 18, 2021 with yet another “alternative” way to purchase Missouri. LittleWhiteMouse posted the statement here. If you wish to purchase the ship for 19,500 Doubloons (over $75 USD, or over $15 more than the standard price of a AAA game), you need to contact World of Warships’ customer support tab and submit a ticket. In short, these convoluted ways to alternatively purchase the ship are designed to make the loot boxes, sorry, the “Random Bundles” the most attractive option.


World of Warships Community Contributors exit the program en masse to protest, among other things, the extreme monetization of the game and gambling mechanics within the game marketed towards children. As a regular World of Warships player for over 2 years now, I believe that this game is definitely not suitable for children. There are too many intrusive and predatory gambling mechanics aimed at getting the player to spend as much money as possible. This game is not suitable for people vulnerable to gambling addiction. If I can’t recommend this game to adults, how is this game suitable for children?

If you too are a World of Warships player and agree with me, please contact ESRB (or PEGI if you live in Europe) to file a complaint.

Source: Kotaku, Massively OP, World of Warships Update 10.7, World of Warships Terms of Service, ESRB, PEGI, World of Warships forum, Potato Quality, World of Warships forum, World of Warships forum, The Mighty Jingles, Twitter, World of Warships forum, World of Warships Development Blog Update 0.10.7, Missouri Event and Economics; World of Warships forum