Russian e-commerce giant Mail.Ru Group is moving into games. The company’s My.com division announced it has created a MyGames division with four new games coming.
MyGames’ expansion is a sign of the growing attraction of the game business for international tech companies as mobile gaming takes off and becomes what MyGames calls “commutainment,” or a combination of communications and entertainment, for the masses.
MyGames is partnering with established game studios Obisidian Entertainment and Slightly Mad Studios. They plan to launch four new games in 2014.
My.com currently has a lot of experience operating the largest Eastern European online entertainment market. Each new title will be free to play and offer optional in-game purchases.
Mail.Ru could be a formidable competitor in the games market since it is already the largest Internet company in Russian-speaking countries with more than 100 million users. It is publicly traded on the London Stock Exchange.
The titles include Armored Warfare, unveiled during the Game Developer Conference Choice Awards on Wednesday evening at the GDC in San Francisco. The game is being built by Obsidian Entertainment as a massively multiplayer online modern tank-battle game. The title will compete with Wargaming’s World of Tanks title.
Another title is Skyforge, developed by Mail.Ru’s Allods internal team in cooperation with Obsidian Entertainment. This title is a next-generation action MMO role-playing game where players can become gods.
The third title is Evolution, developed by ITT Studios from within Mail.Ru’s games division. Evolution is a science-fiction role-playing game with high-end graphics, solo combat, and player-versus-player missions.
The final game is World of Speed, which is under development at Slightly Mad Studios. The title is a racing MMO with strong social elements such as team play and auto clubs.
“In My.com games, we are bringing a new set of eyes to an industry that hasn’t had much shake up in its short existence,” said Dmitry Grishin, the CEO of Mail.Ru Group. “We knew that doing so would be hard, so we partnered with two of the top studios in the industry, Obsidian Entertainment and Slightly Mad Studios. We’re thrilled to show these games for the first time and can’t wait to have them in gamers’ hands across the globe.”
My.com’s first game was Jungle Heat, which had 10 million installations and nearly 90 percent revenues outside of Russia, Grishin said.
Mail.Ru Group’s My.com division launched in November with applications such as MyMail, MyChat, and now MyGames. Mail.Ru Group has 30 online games already, and games are nearly 25 percent of its annual revenues.