Russia is the largest country in the world, and as a result, there’s plenty of room for a variety of retailers.

In fact, no single group of outlets dominates the High Street. Independents still account for a significant chunk of sales, holding their own against electronics chains and specialist gaming stores.

Traditionally, the bulk of sales have come from the PC market, but the growing popularity of online and browser games has taken its toll on this sector. This means more people are buying console games than before, although PC?is still No.1.

The rapid decline of packaged PC goods was not offset in any way by digital sales,” says 1C’s marketing directorSergey Amirdjanov.

Console gaming showed increasingly good dynamics with both PS3 and Xbox 360 consoles reaching an installed base of 500,000. But Russia still remains mostly a PC territory.”

The handheld market isn’t without its troubles. While the PSP is one of the nation’s best-selling consoles, this is partly due to piracy and the popularity of its media capabilities.

And it’s a sorrier story for the 3DS, according to Boris Romanov, CEO of distributor Gametec.

3DS is the console that is struggling the most in the Russian market, as it lacks trade marketing support for Nintendo,” he said. Also, there’s a problem in that the Nintendo brand is well-known only to hardcore gamers.”

That’s not to say there are no mass market successes.

Growth in the boxed market is being fuelled by the high level of success of Move and Kinect, and the continued active presence of both Microsoft and Sony,” says Catapult Business Solutions founder Chris Stanton-Jones.

Population: 143,030,106
Currency: Ruble
GDP (Per Capita): $13,235
Capital City: Moscow
Language: Russian

1C-Interes, Eldorado, Euroset, Gamepark, Gamezone, Game Republic, Hitzone, MediaMarkt, MVideo

1C-SoftClub, Akella, Buka, Bureaucrat, Gametec, Noviy Disk

Crazy Bit, DiscusGames, Eagle Dynamics, Gaijin Entertainment, KranX Productions, MADia Entertainment, NevoSoft, Nikita, Nival Interactive, SkyRiver Studios, Targem Games, Vogster Entertainment

1C Company, Disney, Electronic Arts, Microsoft, Nintendo, Sony

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