Russia’s Mail.Ru launches $100m gaming division

One of Russia’s leading internet companies is making a bigger move into video games.

Mail.Ru is the largest player in the Russian speaking internet world and already has a stake in the MMO and smartphone games scene in Eastern Europe, as well as in the global Russian games market.

Now it has confirmed that it has established a new division designed to invest in games and development, with $100m being thrown into the pot.

VentureBeat reports that the company says it will work with both existing developers and younger studios, and that its investment strategies will be diverse.

It is also prepared to step into the publishing world in an effort to bring games to market, and has indicated that its efforts may not be exclusively restricted to Russia-based studios, opening the door to potential overseas investment.

Games remain one of Mail.Ru Group’s top priorities,” Russian CEO Boris Dobrodeev said. We believe that combined development in that sector offers significant opportunities, both through internal game development and through M&A. Starting a games investment fund will expand the potential of Mail.Ru Group’s investment platform.

Fund MD Ilya Karpinsky added: With this fund, we aim to discover and develop promising games on the global market, and drive international expansion of the local products.

Not only will the fund offer financing to the teams, it will also help them develop their businesses, particularly by providing access to Mail.Ru Group’s internal resources and services. The companies will be able to get all-round support, leverage our software solutions, extensive analytics and unique marketing opportunities on a global scale.”

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