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How Russia is looking to resuscitate local game development amidst current conflict

Titles like Escape from Tarkov could be running their own Russian engines (Image via Battlestate)
Titles like Escape from Tarkov could be running their own Russian engines (Image via Battlestate)

Video games have been one of the unfortunate collaterals in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. As tensions have soared since its start, the fallout has been vast.

Many western studios, publishers, and developers have pulled out of Russia, creating significant issues for its people. To address the pressing concerns of civilians, fresh news has emerged about the government's elaborate plan to solve the crisis.

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Following the conflict's start, many companies instantly decided to stop their services in Russia. This included those associated with video games, among other things, and naturally, it soon resulted in a complete blackout for Russian gamers.

Hardware giants like Xbox joined major publishers like EA to take their products and support away. With no quick resolution in sight, it appears that the government has decided to take the matter into its own hands.


Russian government in discussions with game companies to solve the crisis

The engine will be one of Russia's most significant problems in gaming development. While some publishers have in-house engines, the world relies on two major companies.

Unity and Epic Games were early to stop their services in the European nation, which meant a lack of gaming engines.

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According to sources, Russian officials have already conducted meetings with gaming industry representatives in May. It has been suggested that the country needs to build its own engine, allowing the companies to develop indigenous titles.

Massive funding will also be required, likely from the Russian Foundation for the Development of Information Technologies. The estimated costs could nearly reach $10 million in local currency, and it won't be an easy task.

Developing an engine won't be enough, and Russian authorities understand that quite well. A significant block will be to remove the ill-feeling with AMD and Nvidia for their graphic cards. Both companies have also halted their operations in the nation.

While developing the indigenous engine will be the first step, it's reported that the officials comprehend the difficulties. Russia isn't known for its ability to build video games, which will be a completely new step.

Having a local engine will be the first piece of the jigsaw, but there are certainly more pieces to the puzzle.

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Developing the engine won't be easy in light of all the sanctions the country is currently undergoing. This has dramatically hampered its economy, and it could be challenging to divert public funds into gaming.

What many will hope as a sustainable solution will be the end of the political tensions that have been plaguing the entire region. This will allow peace to be restored and could perhaps see the resumption of regular services by gaming companies and publishers.

The immediate future for Russian gamers looks quite uncertain as the tensions continue between the two nations. While an engine can be developed, churning out titles will take a lot more.

As for the western companies, their return will likely depend on Russia stopping its aggression at first.

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Edited by Ravi Iyer
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