Wargaming closes Seattle operations

World of Tanks

Wargaming, the company behind multiplayer juggernaut World of Tanks, is shuttering its Redmond, Washington offices and laying off the location’s 150 employees, who were working on an as-yet-unannounced title.

The news came in a surprise all-hands meeting Wednesday morning, during which CEO Victor Kislyi informed the staff that their studio was shutting down.

A Wargaming representative confirmed the news to Gamasutra in a statement, saying that the closure was part of the company’s “restructuring process.”

“Every member of the 150-strong team that has been working on an unannounced MMO project will be offered a severance package,” the representative said.

World of Tanks isn’t going away. Here are the best free games you can play on PC.

Wargaming Seattle employees have spoken about the closure on Twitter. They seem surprised, but largely happy with their experiences with the studio. But the closure certainly seems to have come as a shock.

In their statement to Gamasutra, Wargaming said the company “will be assisting the current employees of the Redmond studio, if they decide to apply for open positions in other offices within the company.”

Wargaming is currently based in Cyprus, and was founded in 1998 by Kislyi in Minsk, Belarus. The company’s flagship game is World of Tanks, and its success has made Kislyi a billionaire. The company was making more than $500 million annually in 2014. In 2016, reports had Wargaming valued at $1.6 billion.