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Belarusian Wargaming and Russian VRTech invest $16 million in VR gaming company

Wargaming, the famous Belarusian game publisher, has teamed up with VRTech to make the popular tank battles of the World of Tanks available in virtual reality (VR) format

Feb 09, 2018
To this end, the two companies intend to inject $16 million in a dedicated joint venture named Neurogaming, as reported in late January by the Russian business daily Vedomosti.

The JV is registered in Cyprus under the name of Derfina Management.

Designed for immersive virtual reality rooms, the game World of Tanks VR will be the first project developed by Neurogaming. In 2018, World of Tanks VR will be made available in Russia via CinemaVR – a network of 36 VR rooms in major Russian cities.

Neurogaming will design other VR games and develop related technologies. The company will also create games for the VR cyber platform PolygonVR. This platform is now available at the CinemaVR rooms among other locations.

Neurogaming plans to open offices in Amsterdam and New York in the nearest future.

Released in 2009, World of Tanks is the most popular game offered by Wargaming. According to Superdata, as of June 2017, it was the eighth most popular game in the world. According to the same source, the company’s revenue may have exceeded $590 million in 2015.

According to Wargaming, there are currently 180 million active World of Tank players, up from some 110 million one year ago. In early 2016, Bloomberg estimated Wargaming’s value at $1.5 billion, while Wargaming’s CEO, Victor Kislyi, who reportedly has a net worth of $1 billion, was named the first billionaire in Belarus.

Registered in the Netherlands, VRTech was created in 2016 by two figures of the Russian digital industry: Igor Luts, founder of BBDO Moscow, co-founder of The Untitled fund and a former Yandex marketing executive, and Georgiy Tushinsky, founder of Digital October and of several controversial music content projects. The latter also founded allofmp3.com, a platform which shut down in 2007 after the US trade representative called it "the world’s largest server-based pirate music website" and threatened to block Russia’s joining the World Trade Organization. Tushinsky also founded Moskva.fm, which was also sued for alleged content piracy.