Game Insight is moving its HQ from Russia to Lithuania

Now it’s official, Game Insight decided to relocate its HQ from Moscow, Russia to Vilnius, Lithiania.

Interestingly, I’ve talked to several people from Game Insight around a month ago and they claimed that company wanted to relocate one of its studios first before deciding on moving HQ. Either I was misled, or something has changed.

In unrelated news: Bloomberg reports that Luxoft is relocating 500 of its programmers from Russia and Ukraine to Bulgaria, Poland and Romania.

4A Games is moving to Malta

4A Games, celebrated developer of Metro 2033 series, just announced its new office on Malta.

Well, I wrote about it before, so there are no surprises here. Current crisis in Ukraine isn’t helping games development much. Big publishers are simply afraid to sign projects from Ukrainian and Russian teams.

BTW, I’ve met with Andrew Prokhorov two weeks ago and their new projects look absolutely amazing.

Unity opens new office in Russia

Unity just announced a new representative office in Moscow, Russia. Headed by ex-Adobe Roman Menyakin, office will support local sales and marketing for Unity products.

Unity is widely popular among Russian and Ukrainian indies, so it’s no wonder company decided to open an office here. Unity already has an office in Odessa, Ukraine, but that particular office is doing software development, not sales or marketing.

Mail.ru Games EU head joins Crytek

ilyaIlya Mamontov, head of European Mail.ru Games division (known also as My.com) has left the company and now works for Crytek in Frankfurt.

That probably makes total sense, since Crytek’s Warface success in Russia was achieved thanks to cooperation with Mail.ru. It seems that Warface hasn’t enjoyed similar level of success anywhere else.

In totally unrelated news – Mail.ru’s own Skyforge is now called “an epic MMO from Obisidian”. At least it was called so in recent interview on Komsomolskya Pravda radio station. Mail.ru representative claimed that Obsidian was working on Skyforge from the beginning.

In fact Skyforge was announced in 2009 as “Project Sun” and Allods Team worked on it since at least 2008. Obsidian joined to help with story only in early 2013.

It’s obvious that Mail.ru tries to distance Skyforge from Allods Online legacy, but I wonder if people who spent 6 years of their lives on this project are ok with it?

How one businessman from France created a thriving gaming company in Ukraine with only $10 thousands in his pocket

Kanobu interviews Wael Amr, head of Frogwares studio, known for it’s Sherlock series of adventure games.

Wael talks about starting a business in an unknown country. He said, he always wanted to start his own game development studio, but with only $10 thousands in his pocket he could only dream about it. Until his Ukrainian friend recommended trying, well, opening a studio in Ukraine, where salaries back in 2000 were astonishingly low.

Frogwares spent two years working on their first game (about Sherlock Holmes, obviously), and Wael decided to stay.

He is also describing his relationships with publishers and brief foray into free-to-play, but there is nothing unusual: publishers usually are doing a bad job and F2P is evil, duh.

My.com hires new marketing director from Game Insight

Alexandra Pestretsova, former VP of marketing at Russian mobile game developer Game Insight joined Mail.ru European office as director of marketing. Mail.ru operates as My.com outside Russia.

Rumor has it after several years of unsuccessful experiments with B-class games on international markets, Mail.ru decided to go only for high budget free-to-play titles, namely World of Speed, Skyforge, Ground War: Tanks and one unannounced game from Obsidian Entertainment.

Obsidian Entertainment also helps Mail.ru internal team (called “Allods Team”) with Skyforge’s single-player.