While War Thunder is growing in player-base, it must still keep growing in its vehicles. One way Gaijin has announced to achieve this is by adding more nations than the 10 we have currently in game. This has, of course, been criticised by the community. I would like to look at the positive changes this could have and bring for/to the game.
Let’s start with the one most important to Gaijin:
As any other Free-to-Play video game, Gaijin has to keep growing to make a profit and keep the servers operating, even with the enormous rise of new and active players since 2020. This means for in-game terms that we need the following:
new researchable vehicles
new buyable premium vehicles
keep up engagement of the playerbase
These can all be currently achieved by adding new indigenous vehicles in game of the Host nations we currently have, but this growth isn’t sustainable. Not all Host nations in game could indefinitely expand at the rate that is currently being handled by Gaijin. Should Gaijin wish to expand at these rates, they would need more sources to add vehicles from. This is where ‘minor’ nations come in.
More expansion potential
Not only could nations such as Poland, The Netherlands, Turkey, Belgium, Spain, South Korea, Switzerland, Austria and others be key to expand the game, they would also make the game more accessible for players of these nations to play with their ‘own’ vehicles. There are at least 300 ‘unique’ vehicles in the most extreme sense of the word in these suggested nations alone (modifications not counted, nor are locally licensed produced variants). Some of these nations have/had independent defensive industries, with a broad range of modifications of foreign equipment and unique designs.
There are several ways to integrate these new nations in the game.
new tabs in a tree (sub-tree in essence)
event- or premiums in a current host tree (for licensed or slightly modified vehicles ex.g. Leo 1A5BE)
Examples for such suggestions include:
- BeNeLux (Belgium, Netherlands & Luxembourg) Air Forces Techtree
- BeNeLux (Belgium, Netherlands & Luxembourg) Ground Forces Techtree
- Yugoslav Combination Tech tree (ground)
- Independent Yugoslavian Aviation Tree
- Argentine Air Tech tree
- Norwegian Air Forces Subtree
- United Korean Aviation Tech Tree
- Alpine Aviation Tech Tree (Switzerland + Austria)
- Czechoslovak air tree
Benefits of such an expansion of nations would thus include
more unique vehicles (in absolute numbers)
more choice of trees for new and old players
longer lifespan of War Thunder
Player retention and activity
The last important variable to look at is player retention: are minor nations consistently played by the playerbase to warrant the investment of new vehicles, regardless if some of the current ones are having a hard time finding more unique ones?
To answer this we would have to do some data crunching, but as most of this data is protected by Gaijin we’ll have to base ourselves from public available data (such as War Thunder Data Project, or Thunderskill for the popularity of nations, BRs and premium vehicles).
All minor nations tend to develop a stable and daily playerbase, regardless of how many Copy-paste they have according to some (which is not the topic of this thread, I suggest threads such as Reduce the research points of copy paste vehicles or as touched upon in this thread).
What can be said though, is that players in minor nations tend to relatively spend more on the game than players, as can be seen from the popularity of their premiums relative to playerbase. Some minor nations, such as Sweden, can even become very popular (it seems like Sweden is currently the 4th most played nation in the Game, at some BRs even overtaking Germany).
New minor nations are an exciting aspect of the big mixed combat game and I hope to see more nations and defensive industries represented in the game in the years to come. Let us hope to see Wat thunder thrive in the years to come.