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|Owner||Network N. Ltd.|
|Created by||Mario Kroll|
|Alexa rank||165,200 (Global, April 2019[update])|
The Wargamer is a website specializing in war and strategy gaming in both digital and traditional 'table-top' formats. It is currently owned and operated by Network N Ltd. It has two sister sites, Pocket Tactics and Strategy Gamer, which respectively cover mobile titles and the strategy genre in general.
The Wargamer was founded in September 1995 by Mario R. Kroll originally with the purpose of being a website to facilitate matchmaking play-by-email opponents for computer wargames. Its initial support included the Panzer General, Steel Panthers and the Close Combat series, although it quickly expanded to cover titles like Norm Koger's Age of Rifles, TalonSoft's Battleground series, and a number of HPS Simulations games. Eventually, Wargamer.com evolved to provide editorial coverage, game reviews, news reporting and served as a custom scenario repository for nearly all war or strategy video games that supported custom scenario creation.
It suffered an outage for about ten days and data loss when hackers used a Microsoft FrontPage vulnerability for its defacement on 7–8 December 2012. As Kroll later said, the hacking incident was "the final straw" in his decision to sell the website after facing nearly two years of financial hardship. He contacted Matrix Games' owner David Heath, with whom he had cooperated in the past for making The Gamers Net (which Wargamer.com was briefly part of), to arrange a deal with Shaun Wallace of MilitaryGamer, a website belonging to Heath. On 19 February 2003, Kroll announced that his site to be acquired by Virtual Business Designs, Inc. owning MilitaryGamer; it was merged with the latter in March.
In 2015, it was paired with mobile-strategy website Pocket Tactics when the latter was acquired by the Slitherine Group of companies.
The Wargamer has received recognition for excellence in content, including several mentions via PC Gamer's military gaming column, authored by William R. Trotter. At its height of popularity, The Wargamer enjoyed over a million monthly visitors and had incorporated Pie's Tactics, which at the time was the leading website for the tactical video game series Rainbow Six and Rogue Spear by Red Storm Entertainment. In spring 2001, it was ranked 66th out of the 100 most popular gaming websites by Hot100.com.
The site also achieved recognition outside its niche around 2002, when it was recommended by PC Magazine and the generalist gaming book The Rough Guide to Videogaming. The site's importance for the computer wargaming genre, usually deprived of reviews in the traditional wargaming media of the time, was academically recognized in the same year.
- "Wargamer.com History". Wargamer.com. Archived from the original on 2003-02-01. Retrieved 2019-04-04.
- Kroll, Mario (9 December 2002). "The Wargamer's December Outage". Wargamer.com (Press release). Archived from the original on 2002-12-28.
- Kroll, Mario (22 December 2002). "General Site News: After the Hacker Update..." Wargamer.com. Archived from the original on 2003-02-12.
- "The Wargamer's March '03 Newsletter". Wargamer.com. March 2003. Archived from the original on 2006-11-28.
- Kroll, Mario (19 February 2003). "Virtual Business Designs, Inc. to Acquire Wargamer.com". Wargamer.com (Press release). Archived from the original on 2003-04-10.
- "The History of The Wargamer". Wargamer.com. Archived from the original on 2008-02-28. Retrieved 2019-04-04.
- Martin, Matt (7 May 2010). "Slitherine and Matrix Games complete merger". GamesIndustry.biz. Retrieved 2019-04-04.
- "About Us". PocketTactics.com. Retrieved 2019-04-04.
- Dring, Christopher (12 February 2018). "Network N acquires Slitherine's media websites". GamesIndustry.biz. Retrieved 2019-04-04.
- Carroll, Sean (26 February 2002). "The Wargamer". PC Magazine. Retrieved 2019-04-04.
- Berens, Kate; Howard, Geoff (2002). "Websites". The Rough Guide to Videogaming. London: Rough Guides. p. 508. ISBN 1-85828-910-6.
- Sabin, Philip A.G. (2002). "Playing at War: The Modern Hobby of Wargaming". In Cornell, Tim J.; Allen, Thomas B. (eds.). War and Games. Studies on the Nature of War. 3. Boydell Press. p. 199. ISBN 0-85115-870-6.