We continue to summarize the results of 2023 with the game teams. Next up is an interview with Ilya Vasiliev, CEO of Innova.

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

Innova ends the year with success and positive changes.

For us, 2023 turned out to be a very successful and productive year. The other day we celebrated the 15th anniversary of Lineage 2 in Russia.

At the same time, we strengthened the team, which led to a significant increase in key business indicators, improved operational metrics of projects, increased audience and strengthened market positions.

One of the most notable events was the opening of representative offices in the UAE and Cyprus, which contributes to strengthening our presence at the international level. In addition, we have launched the long-awaited Aion Classic project, which has attracted many new players.

During the year, the team was able to mitigate the sanctions risks, which significantly reduced their negative impact on the company's development not only in Russian, but also in foreign markets. This was another important achievement for Innova.

Thus, it is safe to say that Innova ended the year with positive results, strengthening its position as the leading publisher of video games in Russia. The company faces new challenges and prospects ahead, which it is ready to accept and use for further development.

How has the market changed for game publishers?

We look forward to the emergence of new IP and business models.

This year has been a period of major changes for the gaming industry. Large gaming businesses are undergoing restructuring and relocation, and studios and companies are leaving the market. As a result, the number of publishers on the market has significantly decreased, there has been a shortage of projects and competition for the gaming audience has decreased. There are a lot of professional staff on the labor market that were not previously available for hire.

The government is actively interested in the industry, working on issues of regulation, support for the export of games to the BRICS+ countries and the development of educational programs. Grants are also allocated for the creation of new game projects.

On the other hand, for publishers working in the Russian market, the search for new projects is becoming increasingly difficult, as foreign developers are afraid to cooperate with Russian companies due to the threat of sanctions and reputational losses. Domestic studios are not yet able to replace foreign ones in sufficient volume.

The situation resembles the difficulties faced by online cinemas, but unlike them, the gaming industry does not have film studios supported by relevant ministries and educational institutions that produce thousands of specialists per year.

It is worth noting that with the departure of foreign gaming platforms from our country, Russian platforms and stores are developing much more actively. Our 4game.com For example, he was able to significantly increase the audience in a short period of time.

Summing up, I would like to say that the global crisis of the gaming industry continues, the transition to sustainable growth is expected no earlier than 2025.

The decline in venture capital investments is observed in many countries. Many foreign companies are forced to reduce staff, close projects and gaming areas.

But we look to the future with a certain optimism and look forward to the emergence of new IP and business models.

Has the practice of working with developers changed, perhaps the developers themselves, their requirements, desires, and the level of proposed projects have somehow changed?

Recently, the following trend in the gaming industry can be highlighted: developers have begun to create more single-player premium PC games. Probably, the success of projects such as Atomic Heart, BG3 and the development of Steam in general affected.

We have also noticed an increase in the number of cross-platform projects combining mobile devices and PCs. Although not all developers can afford such a large-scale development at the start, for many games this has become a significant marketing advantage.

Russian developers face a number of difficulties related to promoting their products both on the domestic and foreign markets, making cross-border payments and attracting investments. They also need access to software and services to create games. Publishers, service companies and foundations that can solve these problems are now in high demand among developers.

What are the company's plans for next year?

The main focus next year will be on the development of the 4game gaming portal, increasing its audience and acquiring new licenses to expand the range of projects.

In addition, we plan to actively develop the direction of foreign operations so that our users can enjoy their favorite games, regardless of their geography. Solutions related to the promotion of games in foreign markets are now in particular demand among domestic developers.