Development started in 1949. The vehicle entered service in 1953 under the designation T-10. Subsequent development yielded several modifications of the tank, the most mass-produced being the T-10M. Approximately 2,500 vehicles were produced.

The IS-8 is a Soviet tier 9 heavy tank

The IS-8 is a departure from its "parent", the IS-3, as instead of being a hands-on assault tank, the IS-8 is a "softer" but faster heavy tank, comparable to the IS. It drives more like a "super medium" than a heavy. The front armor is slightly increased in thickness compared to IS-3, but it is far less effective in the front due to the worsened angles and increased height of the tank, and the side and rear armor are decreased. The turret is very hard to penetrate and the center of the front hull is capable of bouncing shots from the direct front, but shots from other tier 9s will often go straight through. The top gun, however, has enough penetration to easily take on other tier 9 and 10 heavy tanks, and does a lot of damage with a quicker reload than the IS-3's BL-9 gun. Using the IS-8's speed to avoid damage and pick on other heavies makes this tank an extremely formidable opponent.