War Thunder vs History: “US and British tanks fighting each other in Stalingrad. Which were better?”

A quick Q&A with Gaijin Entertainment about their War Thunder series. Questions answered by Viacheslav Bulannikov, War Thunder Producer.

Is it important to have a relationship between gaming and history?

Videogames are a wonderful interactive medium that engage the user like no other type of entertainment. So it’s one of the best ways to learn something from history while having fun at the same time. In turn, history of mankind provides so many exciting events and settings worth recreating in videogames format – and is some cases, the topic itself could be an important selling factor, like World War II.

How important is it to make your games historically accurate?

It depends on the type of the game you’re making. It’s one thing when you make a single-player game about some historical event, and another when you have hundreds of World War II planes and tanks and allow players to use them against each other in multiplayer battles. Such is the case of War Thunder: all of the vehicles in the game are recreated as close to reality as possible based on historical documents. But in-game scenarios in which these vehicles are used are in some cases fictional, and serve as simulation of conflicts that never happened in history. For example, US and British tanks fighting each other in Stalingrad. It’s an interesting thought experiment for military enthusiasts – what if this happened in reality? Which tanks were better?

Another example is game locations – we use real photographs and maps when creating some of them but we recreate only significant landmarks or general “look and feel” of a real place. Great examples are war-torn Berlin or Normandy beach maps – in reality, these battles involved thousands of soldiers, tanks and planes, but in War Thunder it’s only 16 vs 16 players.


How can gaming get people involved in history?

We see it with War Thunder – people are coming to the game because it looks like fun, but over the course of time they turn into real history buffs. War Thunder is a realistic simulation game, so studying some historical tactics used by famous aces or tankers is a good way to become better in the game. Players also try to learn more about vehicles they like the most and start suggesting some new additions to the game on our forums.

What upcoming projects are you focusing on that have ties to history?

For now, War Thunder is the main historical title we are developing. Crossout, the new post-apocalyptic car combat action we have annouced, doesn’t have ties to history, but it is developed by Targem Games, while Gaijin Entertainment is a publisher.


For more on World War II, check out the latest issue of All About History here and subscribe now and save 25%!