Recap: White Nights in St. Petersburg
I recently had a chance to attend “White Nights”, a conference that was held in St. Petersburg, Russia. The conference itself (“Белые ночи” in Russian) is named after the summer days in St. Petersburg, which require a good set of curtains if you want to find some sleep since the sun basically doesn’t go down at all. It also made for quite the memorable setting during one evening boat party overlooking the entire city.
The event was organized by NevoSoft and lots of influential companies like Playrix and Wargaming were there. Over the course of my year with AppLovin, this was my third White Nights event, so it was great to see a lot of familiar faces and enjoy the ties and friendships one can build over such a short period of time. I enjoyed catching up with my friends in the industry at the sparkling wine reception AppLovin hosted.
Our own Thomas Heinze also spoke on a panel that covered Game Monetization and Promotion. Together with other experts, the panelists discussed how to implement ads correctly and also talked about game streamers and their approach to community building, which was very interesting to hear.
But what the entire conference showed again is that Russia’s mobile gaming market is not only booming but also quite particular. Instead of Facebook and Google, the Russian market is dominated by local players like the social media giant Vkontakte (“В Контакте” in Russian and also known as VK) and Yandex, a search engine. This has given space to many local companies and also requires any foreign company going to market there to have a good localization strategy down first.
We’ve learned a lot from doing business in Russia. Here are a few more interesting facts about the Russian mobile market, culled from this useful article at Gamasutra by Dmitry Terekhin, founder of Nekki.
- Most Russians carry more than one phone.
- 75% of mobile devices in Russian run on Android.
- Russia’s mobile gaming revenue experienced 36% YOY growth last year.
If you’re interested in reading more about the mobile market in Russia, this post on the AppsFlyer blog offers some good insights, and this report by App Annie includes even more information on world’s fifth largest app market.