Over the past year and a half, at least 50 new independent computer game development studios have opened their doors in Russia, subject matter experts and market participants told Izvestia.
Among the new players are mainly small and medium-sized studios, all trying to fill the niche of Western companies and publishers that have left Russia, said Vasily Ovchinnikov, head of the Video Game Industry Organization (RVI).
Most studios work for the domestic market, almost all of them have projects in development at various stages of preparation.
Despite focusing on Russian players, the studios are also considering entering new markets. China is one of the most promising countries in this regard, notes Ovchinnikov.
One of the difficulties is obtaining a license to release games in China, which often requires localizing the product according to local legislation and cultural characteristics. One of the latter includes, for example, the inadmissibility of depicting bones and skeletons, which is considered a lack of respect for ancestors.
RVI is currently negotiating for Russian developers to receive 15 licenses to publish their products in China each year.
In this South American country, publishing conditions are more favorable, says Ovchinnikov. According to him, Russian studios have already established partnerships with the local association of game developers. In 2024, the participation of some Russian players in the specialized SouthSummit festival is planned.
Additionally, some companies are considering entering the markets of South Korea, India, Iran, Indonesia, as well as the markets of some African countries.
Among Russian developers, the most popular are visual novels, two-dimensional action and platform games, as well as strategies and all kinds of simulators. Some products are already available on the Steam and VK Play platform.
In summer, the Association of Game Operation and Development Industry Professionals presented an industry development strategy until 2030. According to the document, only those developers using Nau Engine, created with investments from VK, should receive state support.
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