1C seeks Russian government investment

IL-2 Sturmovik publisher asks Kremlin for 11m to boost "patriotic" products

Russian publisher 1C Company has requested that the Russian Communication Ministry help to fund the majority of a new game project, to the tune of 500 million roubles (11m/$16.5m).

According to a Russian newspaper report translated by website RIA Novosti the project is intended to increase patriotism amongst young people and promote the Russian perspective of World War II.

The Communication Ministry highlighted its interest in creating low cost educational and professional simulators for pilots, as well as promoting Russia information technology exports.

1C has suggested a project consisting of six flight simulators, one of which has allegedly already been demonstrated to president Dmitry Medvedev.

Russian presidential aide Arkady Dvorkovich categorised the games as "interesting" but failed to back the proposal, indicating that he was unsure whether it needed government support.

The total cost of the project is put at 720 million roubles (16m/$24m), with 1C contributing 200 million roubles (4m/$7m) of its own money and the final 20 million coming from the government of Russia's Khanty-Mansiysk region.

1C has estimated global sales of 10 million, with a return on investment within four years. The company also predicts that Russia's share in the videogame market will grow to 10 per cent.

Although the article mentions the popular IL-2 Sturmovik series, which has seen more than half of its 2.3 million sales occur outside of Russia, other 1C products such as a MiG-29 and submarine simulator are also referenced.

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