Is it possible to continue making games while staying in Russia? Sergey Zykov from SoftClub answers

The first speaker of the WN Conference in St. Petersburg was Sergey Zykov, Account Director of SoftClub. In his report, he tried to answer an urgent question: “Is there a chance to continue making and selling games while staying in Russia?”Sergey Zykov

According to Zykov, the current situation in the gaming market is determined by the following factors:

  • 20-40% of specialists left the country due to the difficulty of working with foreign partners, panic and other reasons;the infrastructure of working with contractors has been destroyed — many outsourcers and customers are not ready to work with Russian companies;
  • Western investments are not available;
  • massive layoffs, layoffs and studio closures.

  • According to Zykov’s estimates, since February, the volume of the Russian gaming market has decreased from $ 2 billion to about $ 400 million.

At the same time, it is impossible to talk about the death of the Russian game master yet.

The fact is that there are still many highly qualified specialists in the local market. Also, Russia can still be called a promising market in dynamics – including for gaming giants from China.

As a result, the industry will cope with the current crisis. However, when exactly the market will cease to be in a “suspended” state, no one can say. According to Zykov, the transition period may take from six to eight months.

What should Russian studios and ordinary employees do?Decide on the main market for your games and act based on this.

  • There are three main ways now:The key countries for opening a legal entity are the UAE, the USA, Armenia, Georgia, Serbia, etc.

  • Think about changing the genre and the development vector of the studio — today it is impossible to develop large-budget games while in Russia.
  • Therefore, you can forget about creating “your own “Witcher” in the near future.Zykov notes that now most Russian companies have a planning horizon of one week.
  • Therefore, it is not possible to think about strategic development.We need to look for new channels to purchase traffic in conditions of recognition of Meta as an extremist organization.
  • Ordinary employees need to develop their skills, including soft skills to work abroad.
  • Also, you should not chase big salaries and risky income — at least in the perspective of the next 12 months.The gaming market in Russia will no longer be the same.
  • Realizing this, specialists need to moderate their appetites and, first of all, ensure stability for themselves.

What are the chances of success for indie developers?According to Zykov, indie studios have the highest chance of survival now.

  • The main thing is not to panic, clearly plan the processes and understand where to move next.
  • You should not start developing risky and overly ambitious projects.
  • Instead of AAA games, it is better to choose a product that can be made using local resources.An equally important aspect is to think about promotion in advance and find the right partners, including publishers.
  • Zykov believes that even in the current realities, it is possible to create a successful competitive product.

  • It is necessary to clearly understand your tasks and be prepared for the fact that today more stringent requirements will be imposed on Russian developers in the international market.
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