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Is 'World of Tanks' the Belarusian 'Farmville?'

The phenomenal, record-breaking success of the multiplayer war game that's taking Europe by storm.
Is 'World of Tanks' the Belarusian 'Farmville?'
Courtesy World of Tanks

This very moment, all around the world, there are 800,000 mostly male gamers pretending to be American or Soviet or maybe German tank commanders in a bloody firefight filled with rockets, explosions and towering plumes of smoke. They are a fraction of the hordes of gamers—24 million and counting—who are flocking to World of Tanks, the online video game that’s turning the whole industry upside down.

Wargaming.net, the company in Minsk, Belarus, that created World of Tanks, has accomplished this feat in two ways: First, it created a so-called massively multi-player online, or MMO, game that enables hundreds of thousands—or even millions—to log on simultaneously. (In February, according to Wargaming, World of Tanks broke the Guinness World Record for most players online simultaneously on one server.) Second, unlike most MMO’s, which have a fantasy-world or medieval theme, World of Tanks targets a specific audience—World War II enthusiasts and military-hardware aficionados.