Russian Video Game Industry 2013 Overview

Research shows that Russian gaming market has exploded in the past 2 years. Xsolla has partnered with some of the country’s biggest games and developers such as: World of Tanks, War Thunder, Infestation: Survivor Stories, Valve, and much more for several years now. We are analyzing the market to find out what trends developers might want to consider when they enter this booming market.

Russian gaming market

With a population of 144 million and steadily rising industry revenue currently at 1.1 billion, Russia’s video game market is quickly becoming the largest European market in the video game industry.  Market studies have shown that Russian video game audiences mostly play F2P (32.6%), Social (29.7%), Mobile (15.6%), P2P (7.9%), and Console (6.1%) video games. These recent genres have allowed the Russian audience and revenue to grow tremendously over the past years. Xsolla’s partner World Of Tanks  is one of the most recent examples of a popular F2P title, and the game has had one of its most successful launches in Russia. It seems that many consumers in the country like the F2P model, and it can be expected that games will have more financial success if they implement similar methods. This can also be seen in the mobile and social sector which usually implements payment mechanics that come from F2P.

Biggest Genres In Russian Market

F2P

While some may not like the F2P model it cannot be argued that it doesn’t bring certain benefits to the Russian video game industry. Piracy has been a major issue for the country, but that issue may have gone down thanks to the popularity of F2P, Mobile, and Social titles. Games in this genre offer the core experience for free; which lessens the incentive to obtain the game illegally. Outside of piracy, this is also attractive to the everyday consumer who doesn’t have the money to buy a full retail game on a regular basis. Consumers can obtain most of the experience for free, and they can pay for the rest of the game at their leisure. Usually games in this genre allow players to achieve the entire package through standard gameplay, but the consumer needs to invest a considerable amount of time into the game. While this model may be unattractive to some, that clearly isn’t the case in Russia. The Russian F2P Market is 16.6 million strong, with users paying an average of $15.79. Xsolla has also helped the convenience of paying for these transactions by offering robust payment options through our service.

The F2P Model also stays in check with the economy. While Russia may be going through an economic boom as of now, this may not be the case in the future. However, the popularity of F2P games should still stay high due to their price of admission being free. It can be expected that consumers won’t be investing as much money into the experience, but it can still hopefully be enough to keep the developers afloat. While things are looking very bright for the F2P market, the future is not so positive for the console market.

Console

Whether or not the console market will remain popular in the country may depend on if developers are willing to adapt their experiences. Games such as Killer Instinct and the episodic titles brought by TellTale Games do a great job of offering a console experience with F2P mechanics. Killer Instinct for the Xbox One recently implemented a new way to play which might become the next biggest trend in the country. At free admission, the fighting game offers the player one fighter which rotates every month. The consumer can then decide if they want to buy certain characters, or possibly the entire game. If players eventually buy the entire game, or enough for their liking, the game then adopts the console model: You no longer need to invest money because you own the product. The price is set by how much money the consumer deems is worthy for the experience. Whether this will become the next biggest model has yet to be determined, but it just may become the best way to present console video games to the Russian market. In addition, consumers around the world may prefer this because they only have to invest the max amount of money to get the full experience (in Killer Instinct‘s case it is $40.)

Social

Social network games are the second most popular genre in Russia, and they seem to be successful  for similar reasons as F2P titles. Most of these games make profit off micro transactions, but they also use advertising to acquire some revenue. Some of the most popular social game titles are Farmville, Zuma Blitz, Candy Crush, and more.

Mobile

Mobile games have become increasingly popular in the country as well; especially on android devices. Some of the biggest titles in the country are Cut The Rope, MewSim, Paradise Island, Plants vs Zombies 2, and many more. While a lot of popular games on the mobile sector use F2P pay mechanics, many titles seem to be able to survive without them due to their cheap price of admission.

The future seems to be very bright for the Russian video game industry, and hopefully developers are able to achieve financial success in the aspiring market. When looking to start development on a new game, especially F2P, developers should look at this rising industry. Many Xsolla partners have found success in the booming market, and other similar markets around the world.

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7 thoughts on “Russian Video Game Industry 2013 Overview

  1. […] “With a population of 144 million and steadily rising industry revenue currently at 1.1 billion, Russia’s video game market is quickly becoming the largest European market in the video game industry.”, says the report. PC is the number one platform in Russia, with 98% of gamers playing on PC. Free-to-play MMO games dominate, and the F2P market is worth an estimated 16.6 million with an average of $15.79 spent per user. Social games, which use a similar microtransaction based payment model, follow on second place. Console gaming is not that popular in the land of Putin and it holds a market share of 6.1%. Some more handy info is below and a full report is available on the Xsolla Blog. […]

  2. […] to give a lot of advantages to paying players, it doesn’t make consumers happy.  Games like World of Tank focused on not creating a “Pay to Win” atmosphere with their main focus being to give incentives […]

  3. […] “付费胜利”是免费游戏一直受到的质疑。这是典型的免费玩模式,但给那些不愿意付费的玩家来说是很重的问题。许多玩家不喜欢这样,这些游戏最终因客户满意度不高而告终。尽管看起来,给玩家带来了很多优势,但没有让玩家愉快。像World of Tank这样不关注付费而赢,而是给游戏者创造更多去赢得胜利的契机,反而能带来更多优势。这样的游戏大多数都能成功,因为他们一直在听取玩家的声音。当一个游戏广告说自己是免费游戏时,玩家想知道他们不用投入金钱,也能玩的愉快。当玩家不想被迫买微交易,他们会更愿意支付更多。 […]

  4. […] 한편으로 좋은 생각 같지만, 많은 부분에서 유저의 불만으로 이어집니다. World of Tank와 같은 게임들은 “Pay to Win” 환경을 제공하지 않고 있는 대신 […]

  5. GTA 5 says:

    There is nothing more exciting than games, personally I love them and I hope to be able to meet Russia someday. Thank you

  6. niks says:

    Tanks is cool :)

  7. Luis says:

    I don’t know much about Russian gaming industry but I really hated what they have done to Heroes of Might and Magic V, that’s when one of Russian Dev company acquired the game, I really loved HMM series, probably the only video game I used to play and 5 was a total failure.. nowdays I enjoy playing Ice cream making papa’s Freezeria game and that’s all… and good old Disciples TBS game lol

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