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Russia & F2P MMOs dominate eastern European digital market

But Turkish players play and pay for longest, says Superdata report

A comprehensive new report on the digital games market in eastern Europe has reconfirmed Russia as the region's biggest revenue territory and free-to-play MMOs as the dominant way to play.

The paper, available for free from Superdata, paints a rosy picture for the markets of Russia, Turkey, Poland, Belarus, Czech Republic and Ukraine, estimating a combined total value of $2.2 billion for their digital games revenues. Of that total, Russia provides a huge $1.12 billion, Turkey $434 million and Poland $311 million.

As a whole, the digital market in the territory showed a year-on-year growth of seven per cent, with social games growing most quickly by leaping 16 per cent to a total revenue of $451 million - helped largely by the growth of localised social networks.

Although social showed the largest monetary gain, it was actually digital console which grew by the largest percentage, flourishing by 23 per cent despite the piracy concerns which still trouble the local countries. Nonetheless, a preference for multi-use gaming devices like smartphones and PCs means that console is still the area's smallest digital opportunity.

Somewhat more predictably, the region's free-to-play market is booming, with F2P MMOs raking in an estimated $800 million in 2014. Players in the region have a higher-than-average conversion rate compared to Europe as a whole and only slightly lower spend. For that spending, eastern European games have to contend with a low level of local trust in payment providers due to high rates of fraud. Online card payments make up only 20 per cent of revenue, with e-wallet transactions leading at 31.6 per cent. Mobile and offline transfers are also popular, but credit card payments are on the rise as trust and security increase.

Whilst the region is on-trend with growth, it's also bucking some trends. Paid-for MMOs, both subscription and one-off, are still popular, contracting at a smaller rate than they are elsewhere.

For the full report, including information of country by country conversion rates, growth potential and revenue across all digital categories, head over to Superdata's free download.

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