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Vladimir Putin orders creation of Russian game consoles, Steam-like cloud delivery, and OS


In brief: With so many sanctions placed against the country over its invasion of Ukraine in 2022, Russia wants to develop more home-grown technologies. Now, President Vladimir Putin has called on the government to create Russian stationary and portable game consoles, along with operating systems and cloud-based game delivery systems for the machines.

Putin made the order following a meeting on the socio-economic development of Kaliningrad. The deadline for the government to come up with the plans is June 15, 2024. Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin has been appointed responsible for overseeing the task.

Putin’s dream of a Russian gaming ecosystem to rival the likes of Valve, Sony, and Microsoft isn’t going to be easy to achieve. As noted by Russian-language publication Kommersant (via PC Gamer), which spoke to industry figures including the product director at Lesta Games, it will likely take 5 to 10 years to create this entire system and it will still be around 15 years behind Western alternatives from a technical point of view. Being able to attain the necessary equipment will be difficult, too, though China will doubtlessly be willing to lend a hand.

Last month, Russia’s Organization for Developing the Video Game Industry (RVI) presented a five-year roadmap to the government that laid out an 83-point program for developing video games in the country. It included re-establishing relations with various funds and international gaming organizations with links to Russia. The RVI said the creation of a full-fledged domestic game console is planned for 2026-2027.

Soon after it invaded Ukraine, Blizzard and Epic Games became two of the many gaming companies to suspend their services in Russia. In 2023, Nvidia announced its streaming service GeForce Now would be shuttering in the country over quality concerns and the political situation. The sanctions have led to almost 70% of Russian gamers pirating titles.

It’s not just sanctions that are pushing Russia to expand its own gaming industry. The government is also concerned about “hidden inserts,” likely referring to perceived pro-Western themes, in popular games that could influence the conscious and subconscious minds of players.



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