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Client: Wargaming.net LLP, Nicosia, Cyprus
Design: The Trade Group Inc., Carrollton, TX; Wargaming.net LLP, Nicosia, Cyprus
Fabrication: The Trade Group Inc., Carrollton, TX
Size: 136 by 84 feet (11,424 square feet)
Estimated Cost: $971,000
Estimated Cost/Square Foot: $85

 
Dark Shadows
By Charles Pappas with photos by Jiri Dosoudil

A maker of strategy games played by more than 100 million people around the world, Wargaming.net LLP charged its exhibit house, The Trade Group Inc., with a task that would have strained the strategic skillset of Napoleon or Hannibal. Known best for its "World of Tanks" game, the company wanted a booth whose "battlefield" encompassed all its brands at the 2016 Gamescom show. Visitors approaching the massive 11,424-square-foot exhibit were greeted by hostesses who invited them to take a selfie in front of a nearby model of the world's first tank, a Mark 1. Made of wood and hand-carved foam, the mock tank seemed to burst through a freestanding section of wall. Meanwhile, speakers hidden in a pile of hand-painted rocks blasted out the sounds of tank warfare.


The Art of War
Wraparound fabric graphic panels measuring as large as 15 by 85 feet broadcast Wargaming.net LLP's presence across the 2016 Gamescom show floor. Attendees battled at any of 102 gaming kiosks and enjoyed intermittent performances of live and animated dancers on stage, complete with a light show, costumes inspired by the World War I era, and the music of George and Ira Gershwin.

After staffers explained where the guests could locate sections for the five games on hand – e.g., "World of Warships" and "Gods & Glory" – visitors charged at them across a floor outlined in blood-red LED accent lighting. While engaged at any of the 102 gaming kiosks, players also enjoyed the spectacle appearing on a nearby stage.

Up to six times a day, Wargaming fired up almost 180 Sharpy lights positioned on the ceiling structure, overhead truss, and the stage itself to create a laser-bright "roof." Down on the stage, a quintet of performers, dressed in outfits inspired by the World War I era, boogied to a five-minute sequence inflected with notes of Gershwin and the big band age. On a 115-by-16-foot screen behind the dancers, animated backdrops and silhouetted performers appeared, such as swank night clubs and saxophone players wailing on top of tanks. The action then shifted to a screen directly across from the main stage, where two live dancers closed the presentation by jiving to "Puttin' on the Ritz" with their animated partners. With thousands of guests swarming into its booth, Wargaming won an unconditional surrender of attendees' hearts and minds. E



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