According to Newzoo, the global games market is likely to generate revenues of $159,3 billion in 2020. Despite the horrific outcome of the pandemic, there has been an elevated demand for games due to COVID-19-related lockdown measures. Gaming has always been a form of a fun indoors activity and now people have more for that. Another contributing factor is the launch of the next-generation consoles toward the end of 2020.
Having said that, due to the delays in the production, the console market will slow down compared to 2018. Luckily, PC games are still on track for healthy growth. And mobile gaming will continue to be the fastest-growing segment. Why so?
- low entry barrier: more than ⅖ of the world population has a smartphone – and many games are free-to-play;
- alternative to PC cafés: the lockdown led to temporary closure of these cafés hence gamers turn to mobile;
- mobile development is less complex and, as a result, is likely to suffer delays from pandemic disruption.
As for Ukrainian game dev market, it is constantly changing and evolving. According to the research, 84% of game development companies work on games for mobile platforms, most often for iOS and Android. The centers are located throughout Ukraine with Kyiv, Lviv, Dnipro, Odesa, and Kharkiv being the most popular destinations. More than 50% of companies create or plan to create games for VR/AR devices. Unity remains the most popular game development platform (69%). The most popular genres in Ukrainian game development are Action (40%) and Adventure (42%). But did you know that around 800 million people across the world play games created by Ukrainian developers? Games like Warface, S.T.A.L.K.E.R, World of Warplanes, Cossacks. Let’s take a look at its most eminent 2020 GameDev market players in Ukraine.
Top 15 gaming companies in Ukraine
- Ubisoft is a French game development company which has development studios around the globe. It is the 5th largest publicly traded game company in the Americas and Europe in terms of market capitalisation and revenue. Ubisoft has two offices, in Kyiv and Odesa. Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed is one of the most beloved video game series of the decade.
- Wargaming.net is a video game company from Belarus with headquarters in Cyprus. The company has more than 20 offices and development studios globally. Wargaming initially focused on TBS and RTS games, but then switched to creating free-to-start online action games in 2009, e.g. the military-themed MMO game World of Tanks, and later World of Warships and World of Warplanes.
- Plarium is an Israeli game developer and publisher dedicated to creating the best mobile and social experience for the gaming community. The company’s portfolio includes over 20 games translated into 18 languages, from hardcore RPGs to casual puzzle games. Among the most famous are: Raid: Shadow Legends, Vikings: War of Clans, Lost Island: Blast Adventure, and the Stormfall franchise.
- Gameloft is a French-based video game publisher which operates 19 development studios worldwide, and has a special focus on the mobile games market. They have their own established franchises such as Asphalt, Order & Chaos, Modern Combat and Dungeon Hunter. Gameloft has offices in Kharkiv and Lviv.
- Playtika is an Israeli digital entertainment company which develops and publishes social games. The company has over 30 million monthly active users playing its game titles. Playtika is the world’s largest Social Casino games company. More than 500 people are employed in 3 Ukrainian offices: Kyiv, Dnipro and Vinnitsia.
- Playtech is the world’s largest online gambling software supplier offering cutting-edge, value added solutions to the industry’s leading operators. The company provides software for online casinos, online poker rooms, online bingo games, online sports betting, scratch games, mobile gaming, live dealer games and fixed-odds arcade games online. Playtech has an office in Kyiv.
- Crytek is a video game developer and software developer from Germany. The company’s games are known for their cutting-edge graphics and gameplay that are based on their own game engine, CryEngine. Moreover, it is used in a lot of external games under the company’s license. However, Crytek sold the license to Amazon.
- Eforb is a Ukrainian independent studio focused on developing both high load websites and also rich and engaging games in Unity3D. The company has at its profile a large number of game engines from casual mobile games to PC shooters.
- Innovecs is an American business technology outsourcing company, headquartered in Ukraine. The company has assembled its own GameDev studio that has already successfully created more than 50 games for players in 15 different countries. Among the most recent gaming projects are Real Horses Bet, High Orbit, Salsa Nights, and Bingo Cruise.
- Room 8 Studio is a Ukrainian game development and AAA games art production company, which provides full-cycle game development services as well as professional game art from concept to ready-for-release products. It is the biggest and one of the oldest studios in Ukraine, working with 80 different partners in 17 countries on such games as Family Guy, Independence Day, Kubo and 2 strings, Walking Dead.
- Murka is a rapidly growing European social and mobile gaming development company, originated from Ukraine, that specializes in simulated gambling. The company has a solid portfolio of social casino titles: S&H Casino, Scatter Slots, Infinity Slots, Slots Era, and many others.
- Playrix, originated from Russia, is among the TOP 5 most successful mobile publishers in the world. The company started off as a casual game developer for PC, but now it is developing free-to-play games for smartphones and tablets.
- GSN Games provides cross-platform entertainment, including social casino games and skill tournaments. Founded in Ukraine as a skill games site, the company has grown into a premier social, mobile and online games company. As the creator of GSN Casino, a top-ranked and top-grossing mobile app, the company delivers virtual casino experiences that go beyond Vegas.
- iLOGOS works in every major area of game development. With 14 years of experience on the GameDev market, the company provides a wide array of solutions from art production to full-cycle game development.
- N-iX Game and VR Studio specializes in full-cycle game production, VR solution design and development, and art outsourcing services. The company has developed a complex VR Solution for Training Simulation in American Football (Sports VTS), delivered high-quality game art for Stellaris (Paradox Interactive), worked on ComPet and many other games.
Why is Ukraine alluring for game development?
A lot of international GameDev companies come to Ukraine in search of the most valuable asset in this industry – a skilled workforce. According to rough estimates, more than 20,000 developers work in the Ukrainian game development industry, and several thousand of them are employed by large international development companies. Known for its qualified engineers and reasonable production costs, the country attracts more business each year.
In the current state of affairs, opening an R&D gaming centre in Ukraine is as relevant today as it has ever been: low taxes (5% only) and salaries, in addition to a big pool of skilled and agile specialists. Another tendency which is gaining popularity – creation of remote teams. DNA325 has already been entrusted to be a local partner of many global companies in the development of their businesses. However, in recent years, foreign investors and partners have begun to look at Ukraine not only as a source of affordable development, but also as a creative center.