Make ‘Em Play! 10 Things to Know about Russian Online Gamers
A Stepan Zotov | 18 June 2012
Stepan Zotov

Make ‘Em Play! 10 Things to Know about Russian Online Gamers

Last year Russia overtook Germany and for the first time became the European leader in terms of Internet usage and total unique visitors. Along with growing popularity of mobile gaming and social networking that creates a fertile climate for online games. 
Putting business at first place online games are all about users: there will be simply no revenue if they don’t play and pay. Russian online games market embraces 25 million paying users by J'son & Partners estimate. But you can’t just come and get them without proper insight.
Who are they? What do they like? How to give them what they want? These are crucial questions for successful online games business. Let’s try to answer them with the list of 10 most typical features from generalized psychographic profile of Russian online gamers based on the recent survey carried out by NIKITA ONLINE. 

1. Don’t speak English
Not all Russian online gamers but fairly the largest part. Localization is conditio sine qua non unless you intend to narrow the audience to advanced and intermediate speakers (7% and 11% of analyzed population). 

2. Earn money by themselves
66% of Russian users have their own sources of income. This figure includes only employed ones while many Russian students have jobs as well. So, in reality the number of solvent gamers can be even higher. 

3. Don’t mind some F2P
8% of users regularly pay for bonus content whereas 53% would buy virtual goods if they find something really interesting or necessary.

4. Prefer fantasy RPG
MMORPG with fantasy setting is a genre of choice for most of Russian gamers — at least 76% think so. 

5. Moderate gamers
The majority of users spend from 1.5 to 4 hours a day on games. Russian gamers mostly employed prefer rather short but regular game sessions. 

6. Actively socializing
79% of users have accounts on social networking web-sites, 42% prefer to spend free time with friends. This correlates with J’son and Partners statement that soaring MMOG user base increase is due to social networks’ growth. According to comScore overview Russian social network “VK” has the highest average engagement in Europe. 

7. Growing up
Russian online games audience tends to be aging. 56% of them come from 19-24 age cohort. 30-39 age group has grown by 5% this year (from 8% in 2011 to 13% in 2012). 

8. Getting a taste for it
Russian MMOG users have relatively humble gaming experience — 80% of them play online games for less than 4 years. 33% are totally new-comers with less than a year experience. So, the online games are a hot thing here while the market is yet not over-heated.

9. Playing at work
Most of gamers as mentioned above are employed while it’s a common thing for Russians to have unlimited broadband Internet-connection right in the office. At least 57% of gamers apply computer and Internet for their professional purposes and thus have an opportunity to play during work days. That is great news for browser-based and social games.

10. Startegic masterminds
One of the most popular genres of social games is economic strategy — slow-paced elaborate games with strong social perks.