Flyer |

Russia: Online Games: Legal Issues

The online gaming market in Russia demonstrated growth of 9% in 2021, reaching RUB 177.4 billion (approximately EUR 2.9 billion).

However, the situation changed dramatically after February 2022. According to experts, the regional share of Russia in the structure of consumer spending on mobile games has contracted from 50% to 10% since then. This decline is primarily attributable to the suspension of payment processing by Google and Apple, as well as the refusal of some services, such as Steam, to accept payment made using Russian bank cards.

In light of these developments, the state authorities have taken steps to assist the video games sector.

In May 2022, a meeting was held behind closed doors between representatives of the Executive Office of the Russian President and Russian video game developers. They discussed the possibility of redirecting the industry towards the Chinese market in a bid to reverse current negative video game development trends.

With these challenges in mind, in this overview we will describe the most pressing legal issues arising in the online gaming sector in Russia.

1. Background information on online games in Russia

Under Russian law, online games are computer programs. Accordingly, online games (including the right of protection or right of commercialisation) are regulated on the basis of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation (“RF Civil Code”, “Civil Code”).

No special regulator (state authority) is responsible for online games in Russia. At the same time, the Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media (Roskomnadzor), which monitors the distribution of information of potential harm to children, may also within known limits exercise control over online games, as they are played more often by children, in other words individuals under the age of 18 according to Russian legislation. In addition, Roskomnadzor is authorised to block websites, which also makes this an important agency for the online games industry.



Online Games in Russia_Legal Issues_ADVANT Beiten EN.pdf