Organized this year by the Association of Professionals of the Operating and Game Development Industry (A PRIORI) together with the Institute for Internet Development (IRI) and the Foundation for the Development of Internet Initiatives (FRII) is discussing the possibility of creating an acceleration program for game dev. This was stated during the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum by A PRIORI CEO Alexander Mikheev. Here is an edited version of his speech.

But first, a little help. Mikheev is now the product director of VK Play, he is also the co-founder and former CEO of SberGames. Mikheev also previously headed the Finam Global investment fund.

Alexander Mikheev

We were created recently, a couple of months ago, but we have spent this time quite fruitfully. We have identified four main areas of work. Within each of these areas, we form working groups of market participants. The latter include both representatives of small indie developers and large companies that have experience in the production of AAA projects.

1) Technologies and software

A bottleneck in terms of game production. To date, there are industrial distribution products in Russia, work on the engine has begun. However, from the point of view of the production of the games themselves, in most cases software solutions are used that are licensed outside the Russian Federation and have rather weak Russian analogues. Do not forget that even in educational projects today, training takes place on software to which we have limited access. Therefore, now we are formulating how to replace this story.

2) Education

The number and quality of programs is very high. They are also very popular among young people and the population.

However, about 90% of the planned projects do not survive until the release. The problem is not that developers don’t know how to make games, but that they don’t know how to do business.

The problem is that all current educational projects teach game production, not business.

So we need to take the next step [in terms of education].

Together with the Institute for Internet Development and the Foundation for the Development of Internet Initiatives, we took the initiative to discuss the possibility and work out the concept of the first acceleration or pre-acceleration program for game dev. Now we are forming the main criteria, tasks and needs (both on the part of the industry, and from the side of educational programs, and from the point of view of the capabilities of the acceleration program itself), so that within this platform we can increase the level and competence of developers and thereby increase the chance that our games reach a potential release.

3) Interaction with the state

Everything is very transparent and clear here. We are now forming an expert group that will be able to assist all government agencies in informing them what needs, tasks and difficulties there are, and give feedback on what is happening now.

4) Import-export potential

Payback in the local market is difficult. Export potential is very important.

Now we are defining the areas within which it will be possible to build cooperation. This is done so that games made with us have the opportunity to be published outside the Russian Federation.

At the same time, while we are building the infrastructure to create a large volume of content on the local market, naturally, we need to provide certain conditions for importing from the same markets to the local one.

Simply put, we can say that the Association sees one of its tasks as helping domestic game manufacturers sell their product to East, Southeast Asia, Latin America and Africa. Only here the Association will not be engaged in direct exports. It will help to collect information (how to adapt the content, what kind of regulation in certain markets). We want to gather as much expertise as possible within the framework of the Association so that any developer can get the necessary knowledge in a single place to release games outside the Russian Federation.


Here are four areas that we are focusing on this year and are already taking certain actions. I hope the results will be very good.