Video gaming in Russia

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Video gaming in Russia is one of the world's largest markets and is expected to be one of the biggest by 2015.[needs update][1] One of the greatest issues with the Russia 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 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 local company Electronica released a series of portative game consoles which were mostly the clones of Nintendo products. By the middle of 80s Soviet programmers and enthusiasts began to try themselves in developing their own games.[9][10] The most famous Russian game designer of that era is Alexey Pajitnov who created worldwide megahit Tetris.[11]


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

Game press[edit]

There were many video game magazines in Russia since early 90s to the middle of 2000s. Then their quantity significantly decreased due to massive spread of Internet and following boom of illegal content downloading. As a result, most of existed magazines were closed due to a massive commercial loss. The most known Russian video game magazine is currently Igromania.