In a new Gamasutra feature
on the challenges and opportunities of selling games in the Russian market, 1C's Nikolay Baryshnikov says that a delay in releasing a fully localized product can have major consequences.
The country is viewed as a haven for piracy, but Baryshnikov, 1C's VP of interactive entertainment, says that gamers enthusiastically pick up PC games that are released, localized into Russian, and simultaneously with the rest of the world's launches.
"If your game is released here one week later than in the rest of the world, expect to lose 20 to 30 percent of your sales. If it's two to four weeks late, expect to lose 50 percent of sales," he says.
"Local gamers won't wait for a game; they would rather download a pirated version. So a simultaneous launch with the worldwide release date is absolutely crucial."
This echoes statements recently made by Valve's Gabe Newell, who said
the country is the company's second biggest territory in Europe, after Germany.
Success also demands full localization into Russian; non-localized games sell one-tenth as well, Baryshnikov says. Games that are badly translated and are obviously a product of some other country will not receive an enthusiastic welcome.
The full feature, which has comments from analyst Peter Warman and GamersFirst's Rahul Sandil is live now on Gamasutra