Video gaming in Russia

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Video gaming in Russia is one of the world's largest markets and was expected to be one of the biggest by 2015.[needs update][1] One of the greatest issues with the Russian video games industry is piracy.[2][3][4][5][6]

Russia has officially recognized competitive video gaming (known as “eSports,” or “computer sports” in Russian) as a sport.[7]


History of mass videogaming in Russia (back then USSR) takes its roots in the early 1980s when personal computers of different models (Atari 400/800, Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum 48/128) were brought to the country from United States, Europe, Japan and China.[8] At the same time, a local company, Electronica, released a series of portable game consoles which were mostly clones of Nintendo products. By the middle of the 80s Soviet programmers and enthusiasts began to try to develop their own games.[9][10] The most famous Russian game designer of that era is Alexey Pajitnov who created the worldwide megahit Tetris.[11]


The first Soviet arcade game machines did not contain digital graphics, and the games' interface had to be emulated with help of physical objects.[12]

Game press[edit]

There were many video game magazines in Russia from the early 90s to the mid 2000s. Their quantity significantly decreased due to the massive spread of the Internet and the following boom of illegal content downloading. As a result, most of the existing magazines were discontinued due to a massive commercial loss. The most known Russian video game magazine is currently Igromania.


  1. ^ "Russia's video game market to top $1.5 billion by 2015". Russia Beyond the Headlines. Retrieved 2013-05-07.
  2. ^ "Welcome To Russia, Where Most Of Your Friends Are Video Game Pirates". Kotaku. Retrieved 2013-05-07.
  3. ^ "Russian video arcade captures dying culture". Salon. Retrieved 2013-05-07.
  4. ^ "Video Games Drive Media Market Growth". Moscow Times. Retrieved 2013-05-07.
  5. ^ "Game Insight: Shedding light on Russia's game trends". Russia Beyond the Headlines. Retrieved 2013-05-07.
  6. ^ "Russia attempts to turn the patriotic tide by funding new video games". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2013-05-07.
  7. ^ "Competitive video gaming now officially a sport in Russia". East-West Digital News. Retrieved 2016-07-26.
  8. ^ Goodfellow, Cat (18 December 2014). "Beyond Tetris: a brief history of patriotic video gaming in Russia". Retrieved 2 January 2017 – via The Guardian.
  9. ^ Most popular Soviet videogames
  10. ^ Old Soviet videogames
  11. ^ Interview with Alexei Pazhitnov
  12. ^ The museum of Soviet videogame arcades re-opened at the new place