We continue to summarize the results of 2023 together with the game teams. Next up is an interview with Albert Zhiltsov, director of 1C Game Studios.

What was the year like for the company? What have you done that I would like to highlight in terms of achievements?

It was a busy year, we worked a lot and with pleasure.

From the interesting: we do repairs in the office, floor by floor, without stopping working in it. Cool, I'm proud of the team in this sense. I was worried because this kind of team building would be tougher than any tug-of-war party. As a result, an updated office and achievements in work.

From creative successes: we released "Caliber" on Steam and on VK Play. Updates were constantly released for the Il-2: Great Battles series. Everything is stable and high-quality here. However, this year for the first time we felt the limit of efficiency. According to the "Caliber", for example, they made a mistake with plans by about 30%, which is unacceptable. We made conclusions and explained the reasons to the players.

Kalibr was actively preparing for the esports future. We tried to simplify and regulate the process of organizing tournaments as much as possible. We even managed to test it in practice — we held a tournament at the Russian State University. The scheme turned out to be quite workable. Next year we want to start exploring a new direction under the working name "Yard esports". The point is something like this: to return tournaments to the local level so that, as before, they play in computer clubs almost every evening. It's not necessary to shoot an entire arena for this.

Art for the game "Caliber"

Of course, I would also like to return sports competitions to Il-2 ... However, this is a really difficult sport, especially in pairs. It's not particularly spectacular, because it's difficult. Airplanes, three-dimensional figures of maneuvers in the air… Unfortunately, we do not have the budgets of the "Formula" to popularize all this.

This year we also announced two new projects. Both are already in different stages of development. The first is a dekbilber based on Roman Papsuev's "Tales of Old Russia". Moreover, Roman is directly involved in the development of the game. The audience, of course, wants something more. Tomorrow you can get the Witcher, for example, or at least Warhammer. However, to create large-scale projects, you must first build the right processes and assemble cool teams. As in other cases, the success of actions depends on the quality of the "logistics", otherwise bad games come out of good ideas. For this reason, we have chosen this path – to move from small to big. There are plans to release a PC version on the main sites next year. However, the creation of copyrighted art by artists is not the fastest process, unless you follow the path of minimalism, of course. Therefore, I would not like to name an approximate release date yet. One thing I can guarantee for sure – it will be very beautiful and unique.

Sketches for the game "Tales of Old Russia"

The second announcement is "War of the Worlds: Siberia". This is probably the biggest risk I've agreed to take all the time I've been making games. This is a really great adventure game. With battles, a complex adult plot, unusual locations. In general, all that is called a Game. For us, this is a challenge at the limit of knowledge and skills: actors, mockups, complex dialog voice acting, plot scenes, etc. We can do all this separately, but we have never tried to put it together in one project. Next year we will surprise you with more news about this project. This year we just started working: we wrote the script, created all the necessary descriptions, solutions, characters, etc. In other words, we were preparing, working on the technologies that we will need. We made the first prototype for internal use and shot a video. Next year we'll start talking about the game itself.

Sketch for the game "War of the Worlds: Siberia"

I can also talk for quite a long time about how internships take place in the studio, about how we go to lecture at universities, but then the monologue will take more than one page of text. All this may not be the most interesting, but it is definitely a very necessary aspect of our work. If you want to know more about it, subscribe to our social networks. There are almost all the details.

If we talk about economic successes, then, perhaps, it is too early to boast. We are actively "screwing" marketing to the "Caliber". This is a difficult and dark matter for us engineers. The audience for the project is very stable, the reviews even on Steam are very positive, but it's too early to talk about any windfalls. IL-2 traditionally shows good results during sales. Such niche projects have a fairly long life span. The next project in the Il-2 series is already in development. We want to not just add new planes, but seriously upgrade the game engine to really showcase the next generation of Il-2. I can talk about this project for a long time and enthusiastically, but it's too early to reveal the cards.

Art for the Il-2 game

How has the situation in the gaming market changed?

The situation has not changed fundamentally for us. We have been moving on our course, and we continue to do so. Nevertheless, some political changes did occur in 2023. I noticed a tendency towards consolidation of large participants in the domestic market. We met more often this year than in the previous five years. I hope this will lead to a more understandable dialogue between the industry and investors and the government. I would like to believe that a more constructive approach is possible, which will help to avoid the mistakes of the past. After all, they are the ones who now do not allow us to compete normally and force us to start a lot from scratch. In general, in the past year, there has been an intensification of various processes related to igrostroy. Let's see how it ends. It would be great if at least a small part of what was planned would eventually be implemented and beneficial.

What was the year like for the genres in which you work?

It turned out to be a very difficult year for studios, superstudies and microstudies: layoffs, layoffs, project closures. Personally, I didn't remember anything particularly so that I could say: WOW! General background events are much more saturated than genre ones.

What are the company's plans for next year?

  1. Continue to develop Kalibr.
  2. Continue working on new projects.
  3. Recruit another 50-100 talented employees. After that, you can stop.
  4. Continue internships and training programs.
  5. Finish the renovation in the office.