In the first half of 2020, the volume of the Russian video game market grew by 21% year-on-year and amounted to $1.15 billion, a study by SuperData, a research company belonging to Nielsen, and Wargaming, the creator of World of Tanks, showed.
Russia’s video game industry continues growing: some statistics:
- Mobile games showed the largest growth — 37% year-on-year, to $498 million.
- The number of players increased by a quarter, to 66 million, and now this segment accounts for 43.5% of the entire gaming market in Russia.
- F2P (free-to-play) games, which generate income from in-game purchases, grew by 7% to $421 million. Last year, it was the largest segment of the industry. This year, its monthly audience still outnumbers that of mobile games — 76 million people (+4,1%).
- On average, one paying Russian player spends slightly more than $23 per year on F2P games. The top 3 most profitable F2P games in Russia in the first half of 2020 are World of Tanks, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Warface.
- The most profitable paid PC games in Russia in the first half of 2020 are Borderlands 3, DOOM Eternal, Red Dead Redemption 2.
“The growth was driven mainly by lockdown measures introduced in many countries, with cinemas, bars, restaurants, and other leisure facilities closed down. Games, in particular mobile games, besides always being at hand, are often cheaper than other traditional forms of entertainment. As a result, we have a significant gaming audience growth,” Alexander Filippov, the lead game designer for World of Tanks Blitz, commented on the situation.
- Learn more: Russian authorities are considering measures to regulate and support the esports industry.
Prospects for esports in Russia
In pre-COVID times Russians played games mainly on weekday evenings and at weekends, but during the pandemic many of them find time for games on weekday afternoons as well. Esports lovers started playing more. The average time they spend playing video games increased by 35%. The cloud gaming segment will be growing at a faster pace than the entire video game market in Russia, and therefore the share of the segment will gradually increase. The growth will be driven by releases of new games for cloud gaming platforms and audience interest in such games, which are accessible on-demand without the need to invest money in new hardware.