Russian Gaming Market Continues Its Growth in 2019: an industry review from Yandex.Checkout

January 31, 2020

Russian gamers spent more in 2019, continuing the trend for market growth. Yandex.Checkout studied how residents of Russia paid for games and game-related purchases last year.

How Russians Pay for Games

Yandex.Checkout experts note that last year, the average revenue per player has increased by 11%, from $37 (2,226 rubles) to $41 (2,472 rubles). The number of purchases per player has also increased by 14%, from 4.8 to 5.5, while the average check has slightly decreased by 2.7% and is around $7 (451 rubles). The reasons behind the decrease of the average check are the rise of micro in-game purchases and the growing popularity of loyalty programs. The aforementioned data reflects the general public attitude: the popularity of F2P games, free trials, and bounty products. Meanwhile, the core gaming audience spends from 1,000 to 5,000 rubles ($15 to $85) every month on game purchases and donations to streamers. Notably, the number of people with above-average income is prevailing among the actively spending gamers.

In terms of payment methods, the most popular ones among Russian gaming audience are bank cards (45%), followed by invoicing at 40%, and e-money (with Yandex.Money e-wallet outperforming other similar services) with 14%. Also, the subscription model is driven by bank card and e-wallet payments due to convenient linking and top-up processes.

The average age of a Russian gamer is 36 years old, with 60% of men and 39% of women playing PC games and 21% of men and 13% of women playing console games, according to the NewZoo. The majority (81%) of paying gamers spent money on in-game items or virtual goods in the past six months, with 36% of men and 42% of women buying power-ups. 38% of Internet users watch gaming-related video content, 65% of which watch on their PCs.

Market Growth

“Gaming market in Russia has more than doubled in the last 5 years and now performs in accordance with the global trends. It’s been historically dominated by F2P PC games, but in 2019, the world’s trend for mobile segment outperforming PC becomes more and more visible. The revenue for the gaming industry accounts for $2B in 2019, adding more than 15% growth in comparison with 2018. We’re still too far from reaching the market capacity, so it’s going to be exciting to watch the industry evolvement,” says Oksana Korobkina, CCO at Yandex.Checkout. Notably, from 2014 to 2018, the overall turnover grew by 20-25% every year. Yandex.Checkout experts explain that the market has become more sophisticated and will now match the global growth pace.

Top companies by turnover, number of transactions, and number of customers are Valve (Steam), Wargaming, projects (Russian IT giant’s game division), Sony, 4game (Russian game store),, and Riot Games. Chinese Tencent games also started gaining an audience in Russia. Top titles by revenue are World of Tanks (still!), Fortnite, Call of Duty: Black Ops IV, League of Legends, Dota2, Fifa 19, Honour of Kings.

About Yandex.Checkout

Yandex.Checkout is the leading service for accepting online payments in Russia, according to a 2019 survey by MARC. Yandex.Checkout received the Best PSP Award in 2019 and the Emerging Payment Award in 2017 at the Merchant Payments Ecosystem conference (Berlin). With this payment solution, merchants from all over the world can offer Russian consumers the online payment methods most popular among Russians and CIS-citizens: bank cards, e-wallets, mobile phones, cash via mobile retailers and payment kiosks (there are over 250K cash-acceptance points all over CIS). Currently, more than 120K online stores across the globe use Yandex.Checkout.
Yandex.Checkout was launched by Yandex.Money in 2013. Yandex.Money is the joint venture of search engine Yandex (NASDAQ: YNDX), and Sberbank, the largest bank in Russia.