Russian internet giant Mail.Ru Group has revealed plans for a new publishing platform to help developers launch their games on the Games@Mail.RU portal.
The company's games portal boasts 14 million monthly players, many of whom feel left out by an industry that thinks only of Asia when it speaks of “the east”.
"Our gaming platform opens a unique opportunity for independent developers looking to expand their market reach to a large, active audience; as many as 90 per cent of our game portal visitors download a game title every day,” said Mail.Ru group vice presidentVladimir Nikolsky.
“The platform program also benefits our game portal customers bringing them new, exciting games."
Part of the reason Western developers tend to stay away from Russia is the culture of piracy within the extremely tech-literate country – which one Russian games expert tells Develop is a hangover from the Soviet era and the economic collapse of the 1990s.
Services like Steam can help prevent loss of sales, but there are frequently workarounds, so online portals like Mail.Ru's gaming arm that focus on free-to-play are one of the most popular solutions from Eastern European developers to reach their compatriots.
The Games@Mail.Ru API will make it possible for developers to deploy both client and browser games to the portal, with access to administration tools, unified authorization, performance statistics, and promotional opportunities.
Interested developers can contact the Mail.Ru Group via e-mail.