Authenticity plays a part in World of Tanks, even though the free-to-play hit is a relatively fast-paced combat game.  The founders of the company behind it, Belarus-based, call themselves military strategy enthusiasts.  Their penchants for historical accuracy shows up in the visual realism and attention to detail in the hundreds of pieces of military hardware found in the game.

Matt West at Wargaming America says the company leverages that accuracy to target military buffs.  With its next game, World of Warplanes, that means promoting the game at air shows and military museums.

“While we focus on appealing and reaching that hardcore gamer, we also reach out very deeply into the military community,” says West.

World of Warplanes is now in closed beta testing and due to be widely available later this year.  Wargaming’s other announced game recently changed its name from World of Battleships to World of Warships.  It’s slated for 2013.

In our exclusive interview, West talks about branding and community initiatives planned for World of Warplanes, and how hopes to eventually create a single funnel that gets players into all of its games.