Good day everyone,
Been a long time since we’ve posted a real World of Tank Console (sorry, “Mercenaries”). Quite a bit has happened, which I may cover in a more in-depth article at some point soon, though it’s with the confession that I haven’t touched the game since April, mainly because I’m someone who wants to play something with tanks and not armored clown cars. That said, some things are worth coming back and writing about…
For those of you who don’t know, WoT Console has decided to focus most efforts (that aren’t porting PC assets) into the Mercenary theme: tanks and commanders based around a Mad Max style continuation of WW2 (but without any of the interesting aspects such a scenario could bring. It’s mostly an excuse to put a punk-rock aesthetic to a game that never needed it) and has been met with, at best, mixed reception from players. However, their most recent addition has raised a few eyebrows. Mercenary tanks come with unique commanders with a full backstory, which isn’t the worst idea really, but this is something special (taken from the WoT Console mobile German language site and translated):
(Now text from the original deleted English page)
“This Mercenary was a German chemist before the war demanded that his skills be used in the development of chemical weapons. Though he hated the thought of what his creations would be used for, he couldn’t help but push himself to make ever crueler and more inhumane creations. Agents representing an unknown employer approached him offered the chemist more money than he had ever dreamt to abandon his country and work as a freelance agent. Though his morals were strong, the allure of fortune was even stronger. As an initiation, and to prove that he could be trusted, he was tasked with killing an entire camp of Allied soldiers. He used a powerful sleeping agent of his own creation to render all the men unconscious before decimating the camp. With his descent into darkness complete, the Accursed Sandman was deployed as a one-man task force to wipe out even the most heavily fortified encampments.”
Yes folks, for actual money you can play as a German chemical weapons scientist who is also qualified to drive around in a brick-oven looking hybrid of an E-50 and IS-6 turret:
The fact that it was taken down as soon as the community gave it it’s well-deserved reception is proof enough they know the idea was a bad one. Though the fact that is was shuffled without any sort of response by WG Chicago-Baltimore owning up to the mistake certainly rubs people the wrong way.
More amazing is the fact that such a description got through several project and marketing leads (presumably if WarGaming Chicago-Baltimore is as professional and in control of things as they like to come off as) who actually had to sit down and not only come up with such an idea but then sign off on it over the course of several weeks or months. Assuming again that content creation in the game takes as long as WG staff have lead on.
World of Tanks is a war game, and horrible things happen in war. Many games have attempted to bring such things to light (with varying degrees of success) in a mature manner. The key difference is the horrific nature of such acts usually the focus, and no one is trying to make them out to be anything other than what they are.
This is a joke.
A lame attempt by marketing to try to be edgy in an effort to appeal to a younger audience that is in all likelihood playing other games with greater mass-market appeal. The fact that some in the community are trying to defend the latter by bringing up the former and trying to equate the two is troubling and really speaks to how WarGaming thought it could get away with pushing this sort of thing out. Especially when the rest of the Mercenary content consists of goofy content such as the Trinity:
Or whatever this is…
The more disturbing aspects of war have been portrayed in video games plenty of times before, but they were (ideally) never made into a feel-good aspect of a plucky hero character. And make no mistake, this was supposed to be a player hero just like the rest of the Merc crews.
As of this writing, WarGaming Chicago has yet to address the matter in any way other than quietly removing the commander description from the main portal, and the tank itself is up in the in-game store. It’s more than likely they’re hoping that the matter will be completely forgotten and drowned out by other topics in the limited places of discussion under their control, and would likely be drowned out by some other outrage from another WG office.
I’d like to thank the part of the WoT Console community who read this blog for bringing this to our attention.