World of Tanks

A letter from Markus Schill – Closure to #FochGate

Hello everyone,

We, Community Contributors just received an email from Markus Schill, Head of Publishing & General Manager Europe. I can’t express how much we wanted this to arrive on our email inbox. Over the last few days, specially after PHJ and Jingles left, Wargaming has been communicating a with us a lot more.

I’m happy for this, we all have expressed the the wish we have that Wargaming talks and communicates more with us, because to a certain extend, we are their gateway to players, also we can be players point of contact to give feedback, requests and other information to Wargaming directly.

Can this be a closure to #FochGate? It can, at least for me. Foch himself published a video explaining what he believes to be wrong with the game, and admits the video was made very unprofessionally and that he is over this matter.

Without further delays, here’s what all Community Contributors received on their email.


Dear Contributors,

Last week’s controversy about SirFochs video and my team’s threat, that Wargaming would go through YouTube directly to take down the aforementioned video if he did not remove it himself, has left many of you wondering what the official stance from Wargaming is.

Florian Mentl – Head of the European Community Team – has consequently clarified that this threat was indeed made – he and Ph3lan both apologized for this clearly unacceptable threat and have re-assured you that Wargaming will not take such action under any circumstances involving your opinion (or that of anyone else) on publicly released content. I would also like to add my personal apologies for this misstep.

When it comes to the contributor program itself – we do want to work with you as very important and committed members of our game communities. Your content enriches the community experience and gives players a space to discuss and share their passion with yours and our own.

More than that we look at the contributor program as a place where we can openly and actively discuss and engage your own and your fan base’s opinion about new features released into the game. As such we give you regularly early access to content for review and feedback. We never wished to censor your opinions and if that was the impression you had last week – I sincerely apologize for that. In fact we are more than interested in your honest opinion and we wish to have an open dialog about it with you.

It is very important for me to make this absolutely clear: Wargaming will not take copyright action against opinions based on our publicly released content. Before writing this letter I have clarified Wargaming’s global position on this topic with the Product Director for World of Tanks – Thaine Lyman, North American’s General Manager Jay Cohen, the Head of Global Publishing – Evangelos Georgiou and our Chief Executive Officer – Victor Kislyi.

Lastly I also want to apologize for the statement which was given to some media outlets over the weekend – this statement contained unsubstantiated allegations towards the content of videos from our previous Community Contributor SirFoch – this statement was ill-advised, false and while it cannot be undone, we do want to apologize for it.

We have been taking a hard and thorough look at how much went wrong in our actions and reactions in this situation and in conclusion there are many takeaways for us to learn from and improve our processes. While we do take these learnings, I hope to be able to count on your support in keeping us honest.

In closing I wanted to take a moment to thank you personally for your contributions over the past years. I am looking forward to meeting many of you in June at the Tankfest Contributors Day.

Kind regards

Markus Schill
Head of Publishing & General Manager Europe
Président – Wargaming Europe SAS

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14 comments

  1. Hope is just a town in Arkansas.

    More seriously, and this is in regards to the WGNA “admonishment” about “hate speech,” their trigger word was apparently when SirFoch compared the Chrysler’s gun to AIDS. If the folks at WGNA had merely made a low-key statement about how folks are too ready to invoke AIDS or cancer or Ebola as invective that would have been more helpful and a lot less inflammatory. To put it another way, there’s nothing wrong with WG reminding folks that this is a PG-13 game but if it looks like a veiled threat and sounds like a veiled threat it’s going to be taken as a veiled threat!

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    1. You do realize that in USA they are more sensitive to stuff like that? Books like “The Diary of Anne Frank” have been banned from some schools.

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      1. and yet a 12 year old child in the USA can carry a loaded gun, but lets not corrupt that child’s with literature.

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    1. The general idea is that WG threatened Foch with a Youtube copyright claim. As it stands, per WGs own announcement a while back allowing any- and everyone to use their content without need to ask publication rights, Foch has not actually broken copyright law.

      However, Youtube makes it possible to claim copyright infringement without presenting evidence, which forces the video down until a counterclaim is raised (Which leads to a court case, see Jim Sterling vs James Romaine), or until the copyright claim is automatically revoked if the claimant doesn’t act on his claim in a 2-week frame.

      Regardless of what the claim ends up doing, Youtube keeps track of claims, and unless you’re willing to engage in frustrating and quite lengthy exchange with Youtube legal department, your channel and all videos on it are deleted, and you are technically forbidden from creating a new channel, which means that if the channel gets taken down, any new channels made by the original creator aren’t eligible for Youtube support.

      So basically, by threatening Foch with a copyright strike, WG simultaneously threatened to permanently destroy Foches Youtube channel and thus eliminate hims as a Youtube content creator with dishonest misuse of Youtube copyright systems. I hope you see why that is kind of a big deal.

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  2. Too bad Jingles and PHJ and SirFoch (and others?) won’t receive this email.

    No mention of allowing former CC members (see previous line) to return. Will WG take the high road or have a “they’re dead to me” attitude?

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  3. I commented yesterday to Jingles that he should have contacted Schill to clarify what Wargamming Global’s view on the NA email. As per this post, Wargamming are globally apologising and confirming no action on copyright etc. If he had clarified with Schill first then he would not have had to resign. I agree with Jingles action but believe it was premature. Hope Wargamming invite him back.

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    1. I did try to convince both PHJ and Jingles to stay and wait a bit longer… But their decision was theirs and WG is still in contact with them.

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