The Russian role-playing game DISTORTION from the young Game Art Pioneers team has a budget of $ 100 million

Actually, this is not news. Information about such a budget has already been passed, but we, for example, missed it. We are correcting ourselves.


The Moscow-based Game Art Pioneers studio, founded in 2021, is currently developing DISTORTION, a story-oriented ARPG with strategy elements.

In the project, the player will travel the world and fight monsters from a third person, but he will also have the opportunity to influence the infrastructure of settlements and participate in mass battles.

The officially announced budget of the project is more than $100 million (in an interview with App2Top, a studio representative confirmed that this is the "minimum budget" of the future project). But it's not entirely clear if the studio has that money.


This summer, it was reported that the studio had signed a deal with the AVC foundation on phased financing for a period of 14 years. The first tranche for 2023 amounted to 114 million rubles. It was mentioned at the time that these funds would allow the studio to "scale steadily, systematically expanding its staff to create and promote products, both within our universe and in new, yet-to-be-announced franchises."

There was also news that one of the partners of Game Art Pioneers is RTA Technologies, which develops software products and consulting, including for the Moscow government.

Information about $100 million first surfaced in August. Then Nikita Korolev, a journalist from Kommersant, published slides of Game Art Pioneers for investors on his telegram channel. The budget should be distributed as follows:

  • $1.4 million — prototyping;
  • $2.5 million — creating a vertical slice;
  • $50.4 million — main production;
  • $8.4 million — content creation;
  • $26.6 million — promotion (including offline);
  • $5 million — PR.

Merged presentation slides

In addition to the astronomical budget by Russian standards, the presentation mentioned the following:

  • the potential revenue of the game could be $534 million;
  • potential profit — $329 million;
  • The developers plan to earn $ 320 million from the world, and another $ 180 million in Russia (this does not include earnings from DLC).

According to a recent interview with Dmitry Zdesev, the general producer and director of the studio, the company now employs 55 employees (a management team of 15 people). Mostly in the office.


Both Zdesev and the studio's executive producer Artemy Bolshakov, as far as can be understood from the information available on the web, had not previously been involved in development, but came to game dev from the music business.

It is not known which game projects other managers and line staff of the studio were previously involved in. As our colleagues from the Cyber edition, who also reviewed the presentation, noticed, "there are many new faces in key positions for the industry."

However, Alexander Gorbachenko, one of the main functionaries of the Russian Computer Sports Federation, is declared the GR producer (that is, those who are engaged in building relations with government authorities and public organizations).


It is assumed that the game will be released in stages. By the end of 2025, the first act has been announced for early access. Then, new campaign acts will appear in the game every year. The MMO version will be released in 2031.

By the way, as for the promotion of third-party products. Recently, Game Art Pioneers announced a strategic partnership with indie studio FrostLeaf Games. Under the terms of the deal, Zdesev's team will promote the two-dimensional Slavania metroidvania on the global market and in Russia.


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