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A List of Popular Video Games in Russia

By: Admin Posted on Thu, 07-03-2024

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Russia has a vibrant and diverse gaming landscape. One thing I noticed while covering the gaming industry is that game choices are very similar throughout the world. The main issue is usually accessibility or localization. For instance, there were many Russian video games in the early 2000s but the world has no clue because no one bothered to localize them.

Today our topic is popular games played in Russia. Russian gamers love to play a wide variety of gaming genres and popular titles. As the gaming industry keeps transcending borders, we begin to see how similar human interests are globally.

Table of Content

  1. Ranking Factors for Popular Games In Russia
    1. Community Size
    2. Cultural Relevance
    3. Platforms
    4. Ranking & Reviews
    5. Localization
    6. Advertising & Marketing
    7. Game Support
    8. Accessibility
    9. E-Sports
  2. Popular Games in Russia
    1. Counter-Strike - Global Offensive (CS-GO)
    2. DOTA 2
    3. World of Tanks (WOT)
    4. Minecraft
    5. FIFA Games (EA SPORTS FC)
    6. The Witcher Franchise
    7. Grand Theft Auto Series (GTA)
    8. Call of Duty Series (COD)
    9. Conclusion
  3. Looking for a Long-Term Game Localization Partner?

Ranking Factors for Popular Games in Russia

These are the metrics on which we have compiled the list of most popular video games in Russia:

Community Size

A game's success and profits are directly proportional to the size of its community. The community size is measured by online players, users registered, and sales figures. Merchandise popularity and sales can also be considered as a factor.

Cultural Relevance

It is kind of based on human psychology but it is true. Games that are connected to Russian history and culture are more likely to be popular in Russia.

Platforms

A game's availability and ease of access are also a key factor in its popularity. Even if your game is the best game out there, if it is not accessible it will not be popular. If your game is available on multiple platforms like PC, Consoles, Mobile, etc. It is more likely to have a larger user base.

Ranking & Reviews

Good reviews and rankings indicate that a game is well-liked by those who play it. This has a domino effect if reviews are consistently good. It will have a fairly large user base.

Localization

If the game is properly localized for areas where they are launched. It will increase engagement and user base. Because the barrier to entry is reduced. Russian video game translation services help ensure game success in Russian markets. Similarly, the strategy will also work in other markets. You can find many examples online that prove this statement.

Advertising & Marketing

This is particularly true for most industries. If you market and advertise your game correctly, you will have more popularity upon launching your game. Call of Duty for instance does localized marketing in Russia and many areas in the world.

Game Support

Video games that have regular updates and new content along with customer support representatives last longer. Take Fortnite for instance it has been going strong since its launch back in 2017. Most importantly it is the game server that needs to be active. If that shuts down, the game is virtually over.

Accessibility

This is the ease of playing the game. Users often want to but are unable to play games because of the barrier to entry. Such barriers to entry can be price, internet requirements, system requirements, etc. If the requirements are low, more people can join in on the action.

E-Sports

You can say that this type of gaming tournament is new. It has gained traction rather quickly, especially in Russia. Games that are played in E-sports events are boosted through higher visibility.

Popular Russian Video Games

Though preferences can vary with time. For now though the following are Popular Russian Video Games. These games are known as the most played games in Russia:

Counter-Strike - Global Offensive (CS-GO)

CS-GO is one of the most popular games in the world. It is also the most played game on Steam. The case is similar for Russians. They absolutely love Counter-Strike games, and currently, it is CS-GO’s turn. To give you a better idea of how popular the game is in Russia, let me give you some math. It is reported that Russians account for 1/10 of all CS-GO players. That is a staggering number considering the game can be played by anyone in the world by minimum system requirements.

DOTA 2

The game has a solid fan base and is enjoyed by many Russians, especially in the Independent Commonwealth States. To give you an idea of how popular DOTA 2 is in Russia, over 20% of all matches are played by Russians. Moreover, even in E-Sports, a large number of viewers are from Russia and many also partake in the tournaments. Given that DOTA 2 is a free game, and requires minimum system setups, it is easily accessible for anyone who wants to try the game.

World of Tanks (WOT)

World of Tanks has a somewhat mixed history with the Russians. It once had over 20 million Russian players accounting for nearly a quarter of its global audience. But since then the numbers have begun to drop slowly. However, it is still a very popular game despite all the political noise of the Ukrainian War. Though the game is not as popular as it once was in Russia and probably never will be. It still has a solid base of players.

Minecraft

Though Minecraft has never been on top of Russian gaming lists. It still enjoys a reputable position in the top 5 most played video games from Russia. 4% of Russian players regularly play Minecraft which is a big number given the active gaming community in Russia. There are many forums, social media groups, and dedicated servers for Russia’s Minecraft fan base. Given that Minecraft is basically free to play and requires very low specs to play the game. The number of players in Russia is ever-growing.

FIFA Games (EA SPORTS FC)

It is difficult to measure the popularity of FIFA in recent times. But the series was immensely popular until the Ukrainian War. After that, many have switched to free-to-play football games like PES. But despite the shift, there is still a considerably high number of FIFA players. Even if the new game did not sell as expected, we can see many Russians playing online for older versions. The E-sports scene for FIFA is also popular in Russia. I believe that when the Ukraine war situation clears up, we will see more inclusion in FIFA games by Russians as we did before.

The Witcher Franchise

Though this gaming franchise did not reach the heights DOTA and FIFA have. It is still immensely popular and loved in Russia. Especially considering the fact that most Russians are more keen on playing free games. The Salvic folklore of the game resonates highly with the Russian population. In-game monsters such as Kikimora and Leshy are easily recognized by Russians, given their relations to their folklore. Moreover, Russian translation services for games also plays a huge role in its popularity, as well as the season. The Witcher also has movies, games, books, comics, and other materials that aid in the game's popularity.

Grand Theft Auto Series (GTA)

While GTA 5 has mixed reviews in Russia it, like its predecessors, is very popular in Russia. GTA 5 and all released GTA titles have enjoyed top positions during their launch. Though sales did decline later on, but that was expected. Dark humor and car culture is ever popular in Russia. GTA also regularly places Russian characters in their game. Take GTA 4 for example, where Niko is the main character, who is Russian. The decline in online players for GTA only came about after Rockstar suspended sales in Russia because of the Ukraine war. Given the current political and social climate, it is difficult to predict what the future holds for GTA games in Russia.

Call of Duty Series (COD)

The Call of Duty series has been long-loved by the Russian people. But recent titles did portray Russians in a bad light that sparked controversy. Players also say that the excitement of this series is beginning to fade, with very similar gameplay and story narratives. Many competitors are beginning to take the COD fanbase into theirs. However, the mobile version of the game is free to play with regular updates. The mobile version is immensely popular and will remain popular for a long time to come. Despite the drop in popularity, Call of Duty easily ranks within the top 10 Russian gaming lists. Moreover, all hope is not lost as most players are open to giving Call of Duty another chance. Perhaps we will see another COD game with immense popularity in Russia.

These are just a few examples of popular games played in Russia. Though there are many popular games in Russia. We shortlisted games that are more towards the AAA side of things. The stats show us that Russians prefer free-to-play games more in 2024. Moreover, the number of mobile gamers is constantly growing. Hence, certain mainstream games are losing their appeal. It will be interesting to see how the social, political, and economic factors play a role in future game choices in Russia.

Looking for a Long-Term Game Localization Partner?

Mars Translation has a history of localizing a wide variety of games. Our experience in the Russian market is extensive enough to localize any game to their liking. Our team includes developers, industry specialists, and native-speaking translators. By fostering long-term relationships, Mars Translation has helped hundreds of clients like to localize their games. Contact us for a free quote and customized translation/localization services.