The latest game to go live from Wargaming is World of Warships, and it is receiving rave reviews, both from critics and (more importantly) from users. Like World of Tanks, you’re thrown into multiplayer online battles with heavy weapons — but in this case, you’re sailing the massive ships of the US and Japanese navies into battle. There are ten maps, four classes of ships, and dozens of different ships, which you can either earn your way towards through game play or spend some money to get the ships you want. It’s all rendered beautifully on the PC, and the strategic gameplay will be appealing to a large audience of gamers.

Erik Whiteford

Erik Whiteford, director of marketing for Wargaming North America, spoke with [a]listdaily about the company’s plans for World of Warships.

Who’s your target audience for World of Warships Do you think it’s largely World of Tanks or World of Warplanes players who want to try something different, or do you think you can attract a player Wargaming hasn’t seen before

When it comes to World of Warships and our other titles, there will obviously be some cross over in players; however, we strongly believe that we will have a whole new audience to tap into. While there is some level of similarity with World of Tanks, everything in this game is different — from the strategy, to the pace, to the overall gameplay. These differences will bring a shift towards new players and yes, absolutely, we will be able to attract players Wargaming has not seen before. We’re excited about the new possibilities.

Where do you expect to see the most players for World of Warships Will that be centered in Europe, or the US, or in Asia

Our games have always enjoyed success on a global scale and we expect the same to be true with World of Warships. My primary focus is on the North and Latin American markets and we see World of Warships as a property that should great success in both regions.

What sort of marketing campaign is planned for World of Warships How do you plan to inform, attract, and engage players with World of Warships

Overall, our team has been heavily focusing on online and television campaigns. Online, we target gaming sites, militaria sites, and a few lifestyle sites. We are also very focused on social media, and online video outlets. With television, we have been efficient and very targeted in our market outreach — instead of doing massive marketing campaigns, we have chosen to be very surgical in generating awareness, focusing on targets who would be most likely to receive and amplify our game.

That said, while these outbound marketing tactics does a lot of heavy lifting, we also have been growing an influencer program in-house; tapping into the growing streaming and influencer community to use mediums — such as word of mouth — to generate awareness. Our games at Wargaming, especially World of Warships, are games that have never really been made or replicated before, and we want our players to be able to play these games for the first time, firsthand, and share their own experiences. Listening to the feedback from our community will help us to build the best experience possible and ultimately build our base of loyal, core users.

What role do you expect influencers to play in bringing players to World of Warships How important are influencers to marketing your games these days, and do you see their role expanding in the future

Perfect segue from the above — in this day and age, as media grows more and more fractured, we understand that means there are even more opportunities to find new players. Within these new opportunities, influencers stand at the heart of outreach. They are honest, they are real, and they will not lie to their community — in fact, they are one of the community. If you find the right influencers, you can find the right voice to spread your message. This is what we’re doing now, working with YouTubers, Streamers, bringing 10 influencers and 10 brand loyalists from all around the country and taking them with us to TwitchCon — this is a part of our core grassroots messaging, and we are going to continue to do it.

What are the eSports prospects for World of Warships Do you expect eSports to play an important role in marketing the game

We currently have not made any official announcements around eSports, but in general, any team-based MMO has an opportunity to be an eSports title. Overall, eSports is an incredibly important component to gameplay as it adds an incredible amount of engagement, excitement, and retention.

I only see eSports growing and becoming more and more important as time goes on — especially in the free-to-play MMO space.