MCV has published a fascinating fact file on the games industry in Russia on its website. For your convenience we have summarised the article in a few bullet points:
- Russia is one of the biggest markets for video games in the world, and is slowly overcoming its long-held issue with piracy. The latest Global Software Survey from the Business Software Alliance estimated that 62% of software in the country is unlicensed. However, SuperData counters this with its observation that console revenue increased 23% during 2014, with the increasing popularity of credit card payments driving consumers to legitimate retailers.
- According to market tracker SuperData Research, Russia comprises half of the Eastern European digital games market, generating €1.03 billion revenue during 2014.
- Pay-to-play MMO titles have seen a slower decline in Eastern Europe than the rest of the world, with Russia among the most resilient markets. Despite this, free-to-play titles such as World of Tanks are becoming more popular. The free-to-play market in Russia was estimated at a value of €428 million last year by SuperData, and is expected to accelerate to €492 million by 2018.
- Other firms have been quick to capitalise on the Russian interest in free-to-play. Microsoft and 343 Industries launched a free-to-play version of Halo, Halo Online, exclusively in the region earlier this year.