When we were first told that players trying the new Gravity Force mode in World of Tanks Blitz would have a chance of winning a slice of real estate on the Moon itself, we had a good chuckle and got on with our day. It turns out, however, that the promotion was real.
The limited-time Gravity Force mode being added to the free-to-play game is set on a map that is loosely based on the Sea of Tranquility. Fuelled with a desire to know more about how we might own a chunk of moon rock, we sent out a handful of questions to Wargaming and waited to see what would come back.
First up we heard from game designer Sergey Plyashchenko, who told us why the team had decided to take the fight to the Moon:
"A big part of our team is Belarusian, and so for us, Cosmonautics Day is a great celebration of the first manned space flight by Yuri Gagarin - and we wanted to celebrate in space," he wrote to us. "As the Moon has been the first celestial body to be conquered by humankind, we wanted World of Tanks Blitz to follow the same route."
When asked whether there are any gameplay changes as a result of the new setting, such as things relating to gravity, Plyashchenko explained that "gravitational differences will mean that recoil can send tanks shooting up into the atmosphere, depending on the weight and type of tank. For players, this will mean as much time-fighting motion sickness as fighting the enemy!"
He also explained how they "used visual references of the Moon's landscape while creating it," before adding that "the bigger the gun - the heavier the push [...] it takes some time to get used to the new gravity."
Those who play the new mode (which is actually available across a number of maps, not just the new one) between April 10 and 16 will be in with a chance of winning a piece of lunar real estate, a strange prize by any measure, which has come via a company called Lunar Embassy, fronted by a chap called Dennis Hope.
Apparently these are "the guys who first found the legal loophole that allowed them to own all celestial bodies." That's quite the loophole if you ask us. Still, they'll even provide you with a certificate to prove your ownership, in lieu of you actually being able to visit your new acre of space turf and plant your own flag.
Check out the new Gravity Force mode in the trailer below.