Russian publisher Game Factory Interactive (GFi) (Officers
) and distributor Russobit-M have announced that the two companies have begun a merger process that will see the creation of a new holding company and a move into new areas of development.
The two companies combined will result in a new entity with annual revenues worth over $45 million and with a staff of more than 350 people. Newly created company BestWay will oversee the new holding but the individual companies will remain “relatively independent”.
Russobit-M president Irina Mizrakhi has indicated that the main reason for the merger is the desire to enter the massively multiplayer online (MMO) market, as well as console and casual game development. The company also intends to focus on PC games digital distribution, building on the success of game-on-demand service www.GamePitStop.ru
– now the market leader in Russia.
GFi has previously partnered with a number of major publishers including THQ and Namco to bring titles like Full Spectrum Warrior, Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War
, and Street Racing Syndicate
to the region.
According to the company’s press release the Russian PC games market was worth an estimated $430 to $450 million in 2007, including a $60 million market for MMOs and a $10 to $15 million market for casual games. Recent growth has been of up to 100 percent a year.