MY.GAMES Business Development Manager Dmitriy Byshonkov has shared some insights for international developers on how to sell and market video games in Russia. He detailed the importance of localization, regional pricing, and local marketing channels.

This talk was a part of PlayUK Russia, an online event for industry professionals organized by the Cultural and Education Section of the British Embassy in Moscow and the Department for International Trade Russia.

According to MY.GAMES data, Russian gaming market reached $2.21 billion in revenue in 2021, with PC accounting for almost half of it. There are also around 80 million players in the country right now.

Here are some sales specifics for the Russian gaming market:

  • Local users are used to regional prices on Steam, which are usually 2-3 times lower compared to the UK. So players always react negatively when publishers like Square Enix try to apply global prices for their games;
  • Localization is also crucial for this market as Russia is ranked 32th out of 35 countries by English language adoption in Europe;
  • Russian users also tend to resell physical copies of video games, especially when it comes to console titles as they are more expensive compared to the ones for PC;
  • As of 2017, 62% of software in Russia has been downloaded illegally. Although the piracy rate is now declining, it is still a huge problem for businesses.

Here is what you should know about marketing in Russia:

  • According to Byshonkov, it is better to use local social networks to build community for your game. With Facebook not being so popular among gamers in Russia, VK might be the best option. It is the most popular social network in the country with 72 million DAU;
  • Influencers work better than traditional gaming press. Byshonkov noted that only a few media outlets in Russia provide valuable PR results, so it is better to focus on streamers and content creators;
  • Russian players prefer competitive games like DOTA 2, CS:GO, and World of Tanks. There is also a strong esports community in the country. So if your title has competitive or multiplayer elements, it is better to show them in promo materials;
  • When it comes to mobile, it is worth remembering that Russia is an Android-first country, with over 72% of customers choosing Android over iOS.