When the West thinks of the Russian games market, PC and piracy may come to mind. That couldn’t be further from the truth.
For one, consoles are beginning to rival PC for players’ affections.
Gamers love PlayStation,” says Sergey Amirdjanov, marketing director at Russian distributor SoftClub.
Xbox did a very good job with 360, and they’ve managed to have an install base that is comparable with PS3, although PS3 was ahead at the time.
"Xbox had a very nice spike when they introduced Kinect: it was very successful.
"PlayStation Move was very successful in terms of attach rates; Russia is the number one territory for Move in the world for Sony.”
Maxim Maslov, the organiser behind the local Comic Con Russia and Igromir event, adds: The biggest change in the industry is gaining a lot of people who have never played games before. They actually choose either mobile or console.
"The PC audience is huge, but it’s stale. Consoles and mobile are growing very fast.”
One of the toughest challenges in Russia is covering the biggest nation in the world. The difficulty in physical distribution has led to a thriving digital market. However, smaller brick-and-mortar outlets continue to exist.
Amirdjanov explains: Russia is too big for even the biggest retailer. There is always space for these little guys to come in and be effective.”
Thanks to the success of free-to-play titles like World of Tanks, the eSports sector is also flourishing in Russia.
Russia is one of the few territories in the world where Dota is more successful than League of Legends,” observes Maxim Samoylenko, head of marketing communications at SoftClub.
Capital City: Moscow
GDP (Per Capita): $8,184
Ulmart, Notik, Technopoint, Enter, Ultinet, Techport, Sotmarket, Svyazno, Eldorado, Holodilnik, Citilink, DNS, Steam, Softkey
1C-SoftClub, Akella, i-Jet Media
ZeptoLab, Gaijin Entertainment, Dynamic Pixels, Aggro Studios, Ice-Pick Lodge, Nival, Lesta Studio, 1C Company, Eagle Dynamics, Game Insight
PUBLISHERS IN THE REGION
EA, Ubisoft, Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo, Activision, Wargaming, 1C Company