My Games acquires Minsk studio Swag Masha

My Games has acquired Swag Masha, the studio behind mobile game Love Sick: Interactive Stories. Reporting “more than three million registered players around the world”, My Games says it has turned the one-title studio from “a three-man team to a fully-fledged studio” since it began working with the developer in July 2018.

The Minsk-based studio in Belarus – which focuses on story-driven games – says it works in collaboration “with leading screenwriters from the movie and TV industry”. As part of the acquisition, Swag Masha will now have access to My Games’ “multifaceted marketing and operational support on all stages of project development” as well as “access to the company’s unique ecosystem, with training and talks offered on a range of topics from art and game design, to business strategy and industry trends”.

“We’re really pleased to have Swag Masha join the My Games family,” said Ilya Karpinsky, director of My Games Investment Division. “It’s the latest step in our long-term strategy to grow and support innovative new developers around the world. Swag Masha is a great example of our hands-off approach to investment, helping a team with an idea and passion through the first stages of a project. Offering our expertise and resources, with the studio leading development, can create fantastic games and a great working relationship between developer and publisher.”

“At our first meeting with My Games, all we had was a presentation and three people – producer Dmitry Nikiforov, lead developer Kirill Nadezhdin, and me,” said Alexei Korneyev, managing director at Swag Masha. “With My Games support, we founded our own studio and made Love Sick: Interactive Stories better than we ever could have imagined. Exciting times are ahead!”

“We’re extremely proud of Swag Masha and everything they have achieved in the last year,” added Karpinky. “We are always looking for new and innovative developers to partner with. Applications are currently open for My Studio, our investment initiative to fully fund a new AAA shooter developer. If this sounds like you, then get in touch.”

Mail.ru Group recently announced My.com was rebranding as My Games, a new international gaming brand that will develop, publish and fund new games. All of the company’s existing gaming projects published under the Mail.ru Group brand in Russia – or My.com internationally – will “now be united under My Games”.

The company says the change comes after “rapid international growth” and a Q1 2019 revenue of more than $100 million. In 2018, 63 per cent of the firm’s gaming revenue came from international markets, making it “one of the top 50 global gaming companies in the world by revenue” with more than 540 million players – 90 per cent of which are based outside Russia.

The Warface publisher announced last December that the game had hit the 5m registered players landmark for its console edition. Since launch, Warface console players have played more than 2.5m PvP matches missions and 126,000 co-op special operations – clocking up 10.3m hours of play in the process.

About Vikki Blake

It took 15 years of civil service monotony for Vikki to crack and switch to writing about games. She has since become an experienced reporter and critic working with a number of specialist and mainstream outlets in both the UK and beyond, including Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, IGN, MTV, and Variety.

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