After talking about the gaming markets in Türkiye and Arabic-speaking countries, today we would like to mention the gaming market in Russia and the importance of Russian game localization. Russia generated a game revenue of 2.47 billion USD in 2022, and the projected number for 2023 is 2.89 billion USD.
An Overview of Russia and the Gaming Market
An interesting fact about the gaming industry: competitive video gaming is an official sport in Russia! So, you can understand the value given to gaming. In these circumstances, as a developer or publisher, it makes perfect sense to enter the Russian market. However, this tendency leads to competition in the market, and developers are looking for ways to reach the top. We have the perfect solution that’s going to shoot you ahead: game localization.
The number of Russian speakers is around 260 million, which makes it the most spoken native language in Europe. When you localize your game to Russian, you can reach players in Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Ukraine. That’s quite a large territory! Although game localization is nowadays valued more than ever, it’s still not the priority of most game developers and publishers. However, by not giving localization priority, they lose potential players and the possibility to generate more revenue.
The Importance of Russian Game Localization
Let’s showcase the importance of Russian localization with a statistic: the most common main languages of Steam in October 2023. After English (well, not shocked) and Simplified Chinese, Russia is the third most common language in Steam! This is proof of the large number of Russian-speaking players, and apparently, they prefer to use their mother tongue, not English.
Although English is considered a global lingua franca, it is crucial to recognize that a considerable portion of the Russian population does not speak fluent English. In fact, English proficiency in Russia is lower compared to most European countries. So, developers who don’t recognize this fact risk falling behind in the competition.
The Key Points in Russian Game Localization
1- Don’t forget that Russian uses the Cyrillic alphabet, which is quite different from the Latin alphabet. Ensure that in-game text, menus, and subtitles are correctly translated and properly formatted in Cyrillic characters.
2- Russia has cultural nuances that should be respected during the localization process. These include but are not limited to political situations, historical events, and customs. If localization is not handled carefully, the Russian-speaking players might get offended.
3- Also, make sure that your game complies with the legal requirements. Especially if you are not familiar with the Russian market, make sure to do proper research before entering this region.
In the dynamic world of gaming, where competition is fierce and player engagement is key, the Russian gaming market stands out as a vibrant and lucrative opportunity. As we’ve explored, the Russian gaming market is not just substantial in terms of revenue, but it also boasts an astonishing 260 million Russian speakers, which is why Russian game localization is not merely a suggestion; it’s a strategic necessity.
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