Tech Stories June 21: Competition for gaming talent intensifies


Game developers Plarium and Game Insight are closing their Russian offices and relocating their teams abroad, Kommersant reports. Since game developers receive payments from AppStore and Google Play through a Western legal entity, the war in Ukraine and related sanctions have complicated their operations within Russia. [Source: Kommersant]

Game developer Hypemasters raised $3.25 million from GEM Capital, The Games Fund and Turkish VC fund Ludus to adopt its real-time, World War II-themed game World War Armies for mobile ahead of its worldwide release this summer.  London-based CEO Boris Kalmykov, who founded Hypemasters in 2019, said the new funding will fuel the company’s growth “beyond a single game.” [Source: VentureBeat]

The Russian state-run Internet Development Institute will invest at least $18 million into video game development. Previously the organization invested nearly $5 million in Cyberia Limited, which will develop a game named after a period in Russian history known as ‘The Time of Troubles’ (Smuta). [Source: TASS]


Crypto exchange Binance will allocate $1.2 million for Ukranians who are internally displaced due to Russia’s invasion, in addition to previously made payments to 1713 citizens who had been forced to leave the country. A monthly transfer of $75 per person will be made during three months to a crypto wallet. [Source:]

Ukrainian engineers from Delfast, a Kiev-based startup, designed a new model of an electric bike while being in the basement during Russia’s military attacks. The model is targeted at the US market. [Source: Bloomberg


Russian Internet giant VK is in talks with the Dutch tech investor Prosus to acquire Russia’s largest classified ads platform Avito, Bloomberg reports. Prosus is also considering selling its 25.7% stake in VK itself. [Source: The Bell]

The St. Petersburg Exchange and Tinkoff Investments, a subsidiary of Russian major bank Tinkoff, will begin providing access to trading on the Hong Kong Exchange starting this week. The number of options available for Russian traders will be expanded to 200 by the end of 2022 and further to 300 by the end of 2023. [Source: Tinkoff]


Russian company Baikal Electronics may suspend the production of server processors Baikal-S, first presented in late 2021 as an alternative to products of foreign companies. The processors are being manufactured in Taiwan, but local company TSMS has reportedly refused to continue cooperation amid the war in Ukraine. [Source: Kommersant]

Russian airlines will turn to local booking systems instead of foreign-made software they’re using now. This transition is scheduled to be completed this year. [Source: TASS]


Nearly 15,000 millionaires will leave Russia by the end of this year, according to estimates by consulting firm Henley & Partners. The exodus accounts for 15% of the country’s high net worth individuals (HNWI). [Source: Henley and Partners]

German Gref, the former Russian minister of economic development and now CEO of the country’s biggest bank SberBank, said that Russia may need 10 years for its economy to return to the levels of 2021, if nothing will be done to overcome negative consequences of the sanctions. The bank estimated that the sanctions impacted 56% of the national exports and 51% of the imports, putting 15% of the national gross domestic product (GDP) at risk. [Source: Reuters]

Google’s Russian subsidiary, Google Russia, has filed for bankruptcy after Russian authorities seized the company’s bank account thus making it impossible for the organization to do financial operations. Despite the tensions, Google Russia will continue to provide the services of Youtube, Gmail, Maps, etc. [Source: Reuters


Russia’s IT services market can shrink by 10% in 2022 compared with 2021, according to an optimistic scenario. The worst scenario is a drop by more than 20%. [Source: RBC]

Users with Russian Internet Protocol (IP) addresses cannot download operating systems Windows 10 and Windows 11 from the website of Microsoft as well as some other programs. Changing an IP lets a user download the programs in a routine way. [Source: Cnews]


Russian Internet giant VK, an education company Skilbox, and Russian highest schools signed a memorandum to create an educational platform. Users will get access to online courses in various disciplines from Russian universities. [Source: Skillbox]

VK and Russian university Sirius agreed that 12 students will have their internships at the Internet corporation. They will be working at departments of design, coding, social media marketing (SMM), data science, machine learning, and deep learning. [Source: Sirius]


A state platform for storage of electronic documents will be launched in Russia this year. At the moment, all government bodies are required to send all their documents to state archives in a printed format, including even the duplicates of the documents that in fact circulate in an electronic mode. [Source: the Ministry of Digital Development]

The Russian government will spend $4.4 million on the establishment of co-workings at Russian high schools where students and professors will be able to implement their technological business projects. The grants will be awarded on a competitive basis. [Source: The Russian government]

CYBERSECURITYFor the first time in Russia, international cybersecurity exercises were conducted during the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. Teams from Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Vietnam, Azerbaijan, and Pakistan defended the digital infrastructure of a virtual energy object from attacks that mimicked ones that have been undertaken against Russian government organizations after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. [Source: TASS]

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