Russian gamers were not presented to piracy by the reaction to their nation's intrusion of Ukraine-- far from it. However piracy is increase, and it likely won't back down whenever quickly.
That's the takeaway from a study by Russian game advancement training platform School XYZ, covering the entire country and all game formats. Sixty-nine percent of gamers surveyed stated they 'd dipped into least one pirated video game copy in 2022, while 51 percent stated they're pirating more video games now than they did in 2021.
Piracy as a whole may be up, however interest and inspirations vary rather. Roughly 20 percent of those surveyed said they had actually pirated more than 10 video games, and 27 percent had grabbed a minimum of three in 2022. However 31 percent said they had actually pirated absolutely nothing, and nearly the exact same reacted that they were opposed to piracy. And just 7 percent stated they had actually not acquired anything through authorities channels, suggesting that 93 percent of surveyed Russian players, even admitted pirates, had actually bought at least something in 2015.
The survey (found by TorrentFreak) indicate a widening of Russian video game piracy, not always a deepening. The Office of the US Trade Representative stated back in 2013 that Russia was "dominating the field as the far-and-away leader in peer-to-peer piracy" of games. A 2019 survey by security company ESET discovered that amongst 2,000 Russians, 91 percent chosen pirated content throughout mediums, that split games were the most popular pirated content, and that simply 9 percent of participants purchased content solely from official sources. The study did not cover those who both bought and pirated content. [Update, 7:30 pm 7/21: An ESET representative tells Ars that the 2019 survey was conducted by ISET Softvea LLC, a Russian distributor with which ESET terminated its relationship after Russia's invasion of Ukraine.]
One reason Russian interest for piracy might be increasing is that there aren't numerous opportunities left for legitimate material. After Ukraine gotten in touch with all video game business to obstruct Russian and Belorussian accounts in early March 2022, a large number followed through. CD Projekt Red was early to respond, followed not long after by Microsoft, then Ubisoft, Take-Two, EA, Activision, and Epic. Sony and Nintendo joined Microsoft soon after. This was intensified by MasterCard and Visa suspending services, then PayPal, while Google and Nintendo have also since shut off payments in their app stores.
Pushback and exits from Russia have actually hit video game developers, too. Russian publication Kommersant (translated) recommends that, based on data from a Russian tasks site, vacancies at video game developers in Russia reduced by almost 40 percent in the first half of 2022. A great variety of those likely come from non-Russian-based studios departing after Russia's intrusion of Ukraine.