Wargaming Community Manager Quits Alleging ‘Toxic Corporate Culture’

Source: Kotaku

Everything Wargaming touches at the moment seems to turn to shit

If you’ve been having a bad few weeks, and really in 2021 who hasn’t been, it’s important to sit back, take a deep breath, take stock of your surroundings, and realise that you’re probably making smarter decisions than Wargaming.

We’re going to need to recap before we go any further. First, last month, players went into “open revolt” after Wargaming released a fan-favourite ship then botched its implementation, the drop serving as a “last straw” situation for a fanbase fed up with the increasing levels of monetisation being forced on the game.

In the wake of that whole mess, a Wargaming employee was suspended for sending out an abusive message disguised as a promo code:

…an employee thought this would…be the perfect time to send an insulting message hidden in a promo code about a streamer (I’ll explain this in a minute) who has had a contentious relationship with Wargaming. That streamer’s name is Turry, someone who instead of leaving Warships’ community program voluntarily was actually kicked out for being critical of the developers.

The code, sent out as a freebie to some Russian fans watching a stream of the game, was “W0LAXU5FKUTURY5″, and it didn’t take long for English-speaking players to wonder whether the “FKUTURY” was actually saying “Fuck You Turry.” That question was soon answered by Wargaming themselves, who admitted it had been intentional. “This is unacceptable. We conducted an internal audit and found that this situation occurred due to the actions of a certain employee. The employee was suspended from this job and the most stringent measures were applied to him according to the results of the audit.”

Then earlier this week Wargaming fired an employee (known online as Gneisenau013) over an earlier community debacle, one involving a ship that was supposed to be designed in consultation with some popular players but at release used almost none of their suggestions.

Now, after that firing—which the community feels was a scapegoat situation—a community manager from Wargaming’s other big game, World of Tanks, has quit in solidarity, firing off one hell of a statement on his way out. Zachary “CabMech” Doig says Gneisenau013’s sacking was, “an illegitimate and incredibly persistent campaign to unfairly scapegoat him by the leadership of his former team,” who are, “desperate to have anyone at all to blame for the most recent incident of, what I perceive to be, a toxic corporate culture perpetuating a cycle of serious errors that stretches back at least 4 years – well before his time on that team and with causes well over his pay grade.”

Doig’s full statement is below:

Hey Tankers,

I am sorry to announce that I am resigning my position as Sr. Manager of Community & Events on the World of Tanks Americas Team. I will not be appearing on any more official streams, and sadly this means I will not be attending Aquino Tank Weekend at the Ontario Regiment Museum next week (but you should definitely still go, it’s going to be awesome). I have been with Wargaming more than 5 years, and I am proud of the work that we have done, especially in rebuilding our operations after the move from Emeryville to Austin.

I am fortunate to have been given the opportunities to advance my own career and interact with amazing and passionate people from around the world. I have so much love for the brilliant and resilient people of Belarus, Ukraine, Brazil, Argentina, and other countries as a result of my time at Wargaming that it is hard to put into words. Of course, the same is true of our marvelous CC’s and the general WoT Community – I will miss even the saltiest of you.

I am making this painful decision because of the recent termination of an employee on my team that I believe to be a kind and competent individual for reasons that I personally perceive to be an illegitimate and incredibly persistent campaign to unfairly scapegoat him by the leadership of his former team that in my opinion) is desperate to have anyone at all to blame for the most recent incident of, what I perceive to be, a toxic corporate culture perpetuating a cycle of serious errors that stretches back at least 4 years – well before his time on that team and with causes well over his pay grade.

The team member in question did make mistakes, and when asked to apologize for them publicly despite having left that team he stepped up and did so like the honorable individual he is. In spite of this, senior members of that team, in my opinion, waged an unrelenting backdoor campaign to get him terminated from my team. I can only describe this behavior as cowardly, contemptible, and shitbird-like.

There is more separation between our teams than is probably obvious to the public eye, and I sincerely hope that this incident represents a unique incursion of that culture into the Tanks team. I urge you not to judge the company as a whole by these actions, for there are thousands of dedicated employees at Wargaming truly working hard every day to bring you the best experience possible. Wargaming contributes a lot to the living history of armored vehicles, and at least in my experience treats employees very well. While my journey with World of Tanks is over, I am confident that my team will recover and begin a successful new era in short order.

Thank you all so much for letting me be a part of it,

Zachary “CabMech” Doig

If you’re gonna go out, go out calling your bosses “cowardly, contemptible, and shitbird-like.”

18 thoughts on “Wargaming Community Manager Quits Alleging ‘Toxic Corporate Culture’

  1. I read about this a while ago.
    Honest, this ‘stupid’ thought nobody would notice?

    For context:
    THIS insanity is what people figure out FOR FUN.

    Hiding a childish code in a message read by people who grew up writing SMS like this
    CMNGHOML8 … and people who see this: 0.0 not as ‘zero dot zero’ but a freaking face… and use this stuff to create their player names (which is a language they mastered decades ago)

    -I’m speechless as to how, lets call it “naive”- you have to be to think that one works.

    As to the ‘scapegoat’.
    Someone wrote this.
    Someone sent this.
    Someone got fired.

    Can any employer check every word and thing his employees do?
    – certainly not. Blaming all of WG is is brainless.

    Does that mean WG is a superfun place?
    – not necessarily. But that’s a ‘them’ issue to figure out.

    Can you simply draw a direct line from one issue to the next?
    – of course NOT! Those issues are not related. Good ppl can have bad jobs and vise versa.

    Every environment as buttholes, some more some less.
    My job has a few. Your job does. And if you want to see a lot more: open wot_public chat!!

    The ‘community’ certainly has no saying in this. They can have their opinion but none should claim “oh yes, we are the gold standard for being reasonable and friendly and inclusive!” -not after the sings i read in forums lol.

    I myself had plenty of (justified) chat bans, so~ yeah, i can be a jerk too.

    Shit went down. Some more will happen later. What else is new?

    ps. and just to trigger some trolls : they should take an example from BLIZZARD!

    1. Your context posted is totally wrong! You are talking about a different story (which is nothing more than a side note) happend in RU with a bonus code. But this article is about a Sr. Community Manager quits the job which is the latest piece of a big and long lasting story in WoWs. So maybe inform yourself better before posting some long text walls in favor of WG. Thanks. 🙂

    2. The “scapegoat” comment is an entirely different story on an entirely different server.

      That was such a long post just to tell the world that you can’t and that you are exactly the generation you are referring to. Interpretation and comprehension skills are seriously lacking.

  2. Watch the window lickers come and defend WG on this. No matter how constructive the criticism of the company is. No matter how valid the criticism is of the company the inevitable window licker will drop everything at a moment’s notice to defend the “honor” of WG.

    1. They’ve been doing this shit for like the last 5 years, surprised the community is just now starting to actually react to any of this.

      And yes they are doing an abysmal job, something most players can definitely agree on.

  3. Ha I wish some EU “community managers” whatever that means world quit or be sacked for being the useless pricks they are.

  4. Wargaming is awful . It must be so hard to be someone on the team who knows changes they make will be bad and just piss most of the players off but they do it anyway . Greed should know limits and i really think the wargaming devs need to be changed they seem to never listen to feedback and seem to do everything in the worst way . Crew 2.0 , nerfing HE could of been done way better , we waited a year for the bond shop update and all the players who bought those tanks get nothing out of the new update . Wargaming continues to not support the players who pay for the game so people can play f2p . Recently they made a mistake on during the rock nations or motor bike even it was completely there mistake and instead of giving the players compensation that was fair considering they made the mistake the gave the smallest one possible . I would of earned up to 3 wot 3d styles for 1400 points but bc we got locked out of the missions bc they always have glitched websites they gave us 100 points and most go no skins out of it i got one and nothing else . They are so greedy they even cared about giving something out that i would of gotten if they hadnt mess up building the website . This isnt the first time either every Halloween event people lost so many prizes bc of glitches . The people that call the shots simply dont care AT ALL about the community even more so the ones that pay the bills and keep the lights on at wargaming . That last event and the bond shop update as proof . Every event they do i geared to reward the f2p players witch if fine but they should also think about the people who bought the premium tanks who waited for a year to get a bond shop update and got nothing in the end just be we were stupid enough to spend money to support the game we love . But finally im done i have not spent another dime on wot since . Also even with some CCs saying crew 2.0 could be posted we worked as a group and got that done . With the support of many CCs that wasnt afraid to say the truth and take on wargaming .

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