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Mastering How to Promote Mobile Games in Russia



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Promoting games in the oversaturated Russian mobile gaming market can be a long and complicated process. Its niches are divided between large publishers offering more or less identical games. It is time to talk about it in detail, as new inputs are appearing in the game industry. 

What figures and trends should we focus on in 2024?

Statistics of mobile games audience in Russia

In Russia, there were 130.4 million internet connections recorded by DataReporter analysts earlier this year. By January 2024, the share of mobile traffic in Russia and the CIS countries had increased to 42.30% from 31.7% in 2023. Currently, 95.1% of Russian users access the internet via their phones, with Android being the leading operating system chosen by 70.99% of Russians compared to 28.71% of Apple iOS users. The statistics show that people spend almost four hours a day on their mobile devices, with a significant 34.2% of the population choosing to spend this time gaming.

Russian gamers spent $1.8 billion on games last year, with estimated spending exceeding the previous year by almost $200 million. Despite the challenges in determining exact figures due to payment workarounds, this amount is still impressive. 

Google Play and AppStore initially blocked payments with Russian cards within their services due to the sanctions policy towards Russia after 2022. However, they have since allowed external payment methods for Russian citizens, such as payments from Russian cards via AppGallery (for Huawei smartphone owners), RuStore (for Android owners), NashStore (available for iPhone and Android), and others. Alternative payment systems, gift cards, VPN region change, foreign bank cards, and mobile phone account payments through service providers are all viable options for users. iOS and Android users can easily pay through their mobile phone accounts. Pay Easy! allows you to purchase products on AppStore and GooglePlay, as well as Adobe Photoshop, GPT, and other foreign products that do not accept Russian cards. Remember that you will have to pay a commission of 20% or more for this service. 

The Russian mobile games market may not be the largest in the world, but it is still a significant player. It is important for foreign publishers to take this market into account, as the number of installations from Russia exceeded 2.73 billion units in 2023, with a predicted increase in 2024. 

Top mobile games in Russia

In 2023, the top installations have shifted from the previous year. The leaders now include both brand-new projects and 'old-timers' who have been given a second chance. The majority of the latter are life-killers, which make up 60% of the total number of downloads.

The most popular game genres downloaded from Russia are strategy, match-three, hyper-casual games, and puzzles. Simulators are of interest to only 20% of users. Due to the drop in the value of cryptocurrency in 2023, Russian gamers are not interested in blockchains. Although interest in cards is also low, this is temporary: this segment is expected to grow steadily over the next few years.

promoting mobile games in Russia 2024

Of the "time-killers" and "sandboxes" at the beginning of 2024, Subway Surfers, a game about endless running in the underground, and Melon Sandbox, an arcade simulator where you can invent characters and then kill them in a fun and fun way, showed particularly significant growth.  

The rating of games by downloads from Russia for 2023 was as follows:

  1. Roblox, a virtual platform game, was the most downloaded in Russia with over 10,000,000 downloads.

  2. Gacha Life 2, an animated editor role-playing game, has been installed more than 9,360,000 times.

  3. Royal Match, which earned over $2 billion from in-game products in 2023 and became the world's most profitable game, gained 8,930,000 downloads. 



Mobile Game




Gacha Life 2


Royal Match


Subway Surfers


Standoff 2


Going Balls


PUBG Mobile


Durak by RS Technologies


World of Wonders


Melon Playground

Mobile App ranking: Downloads, 2024 by DataReportal


The success of these games can be attributed to promotion quality. Otherwise, all the development work would have been in vain.

How were mobile games promoted in 2023?

The political changes in Russia since 2022, fluctuations in inflation, and changes in sanctions policy - all these factors have caused a decline in advertising budgets. Among them is also the sphere of mobile games. But as before advertising continues to be the most expendable part of the mobile gaming budget: still, 20-25% is spent on operating costs and the rest on their advertising. 

Despite the political changes in Russia since 2022, fluctuations in inflation, and changes in sanctions policy, advertising continues to be the most expendable part of the mobile gaming budget. In fact, only 20-25% of it is spent on operating costs, with the remainder being allocated to advertising. 

In 2023, publishers prioritized retention over acquisition by reallocating their budgets. Users in their turn showed more cautious and deliberate behavior when making purchasing, downloading, or subscribing decisions.

Sources of Russian gamers' traffic

Mobile gaming is an extremely competitive industry, and attracting players requires strategic advertising. Publishers promote their games by placing ads in various channels, such as social media and app stores. Effective triggers and mentions are used to entice players to follow the breadcrumbs and discover the game.

What channels do mobile gamers use?  Compared to 2022, the distribution of traffic sources has slightly changed. In 2023, Yandex, Rutube, Vkontakte, and Telegram were added to the list of platforms used for game promotion, alongside the already established Google, Youtube, TikTok, and social networks by META*.

promoting mobile games in Russia 2024

Until February 2022, there were only two key stores, AppStore and Google Play. Today, there are alternatives in the Russian market.

promoting mobile games in Russia 2024

As we can see, there have been changes in the sources of traffic. What's changed in the advertising tools?

Effective tools for promoting mobile games in Russia in 2024

The promotion of mobile games differs significantly from that of console games. While successful news hooks are key to recognition for console games, optimisation is fundamental for mobile games. App Store Optimization (ASO), for example, plays a crucial role in determining a game's ranking within the market. The higher a game's position in the store, the greater the chances of it being found and installed. Note that other marketplaces have similar systems. 

In 2023, ASO underwent changes thanks to artificial intelligence. Publishers were no longer restricted to text and visual optimization, as voice search optimization (VSO) was added. By 2024, VSO had become a necessity to reach the target audience and boost organic traffic.

In-app advertising in 2024

The mobile game market is highly competitive, with many games sharing similar features and target audiences. By promoting a game within other apps, publishers can differentiate their title from the saturated genre niches in mobile games, resulting in a more diverse user demographic. This strategy enables targeting of a specific audience, particularly those who are already engaged with similar content. Publishers are expected to increasingly utilise in-app promotion in 2024, as the beginning of the year saw a 7% increase in impressions per user unit, with advertisers spending 10% more on in-app promotion. Profitability increased as a result, particularly for casual games that are usually promoted through in-app advertising.

Gambling ambassadors

It is difficult to use the images of ambassadors in mobile games, but game characters can serve as effective ones, as demonstrated by the success of the butler character in Gardenscapes. The game featuring the quirky butler about whom Zemfira, a popular Russian performer (recognized as a foreign agent on the territory of the Russian Federation) wrote a song, ranked fourth among female players in 2023 and the character became a popular meme subject that same year.

promoting mobile game in Russia 2024

Streamers and bloggers

Independent influencers always yield better results as they make the advert more active and appealing to users. In the mobile gaming industry, bloggers and streamers are considered opinion leaders. 

Youtube bloggers played a significant role in promoting the game Genshin Impact by creatively sharing their playthrough experience with their audience. They showcased their gameplay in unique ways, such as playing in a Chernobyl dugout or voicing cartoon characters. Genshin Impact has consistently maintained a top position in Russia for several years, thanks in part to RMAA's skilled attraction of influencers


Genshin Impact collaboration with YouTube channel Vlad Reznov by RMAA


Due to streamers, the Russian-speaking audience has warmly embraced the mobile version of the Call of Duty shooter. The international championship #CODMCHAMPS23 played a significant role in bringing together renowned players to compete for in-game awards. This event was narrated live and proved to be a great success. As a result, it is no surprise that Call of Duty Mobile ranked fifth in 2023 among 16 to 25-year-olds.

Game events

The most effective promotional events for the mobile games segment are external cyber sports championships. These events receive extensive media coverage and attract the attention of even those who have never downloaded games from the stores.

The IESF World Championship, for example, has successfully introduced many gamers to popular titles such as PUBG Mobile and Mobile Legends: Bang Bang. The last one recently hosted a separate event in Kazan at the Games of the Future (note - a multi-sport eSports tournament in Russia), with a prize pool exceeding that of the World Championship.

promoting mobile game in Russia 2024
Results of the Mobile Legends: Bang Bang tournament, Games of the Future, Russia, 2024



We have already written about the collaboration of console game developers with gaming and non-gaming brands. In the context of mobile games the situation will be identical. Collaborations are highly sought after to share costs and promote brands. 

It is common for mobile games to feature well-known products from other genres. Russian gamers had the opportunity to play games based on the anime 'Tokyo Gul' and 'Word of the Patsan: War of the Districts' in 2023 and 2024, respectively. The game 'Word of the Patsan' gained popularity due to the interest in the “gop culture” of the 90s, sparked by the TV series of the same name. Moreover, a new mobile game set in the Walking Deads universe will be released this year, promising an engaging storyline in the match-three genre.

promoting mobile game in Russia 2024
‘Word of the Patsan: War of the Districts’ mobile game on RuStore


In early 2024, MLBB collaborated with 'Attack of the Titans' with original replicas of anime characters, skins, and equipment such as the 'rittai kido sochi'. Additionally, Fortnite partnered with Disney to merge the world of Fortnite with the universe of famous cartoon characters.

It is important to note that collaborations between brands outside of the entertainment industry and mobile games are rare and do not generate much hype. However, it is common for gaming brands to partner with clothing brands. Gucci, Louis Vuitton, and Balenciaga collaborated with Roblox, League of Legends, and Fortnite respectively, creating virtual collections of equipment for the games' most popular characters. Although these collaborations were highly anticipated, they did not result in any significant improvements.

Localization features

Adapting the game to each region while considering their cultural traditions and mentality will undoubtedly gain the loyalty of local gamers. Neglecting these factors, on the other hand, risks leaving them bewildered. In Fishing Clash, a fishing simulator developed by Polish creators, carp is often featured as a symbol of Christmas during New Year events. This association may not be immediately understood by players from other countries.

Despite being peculiar, the Russian mobile gaming market ranks sixth globally and has the potential for significant growth in the future. To effectively promote it, you must consider the specific mentality. Understanding marketing and speaking the same language with the users is crucial. This will prevent issues like the publicly available Polish version of Fishing Clash.

RMAA acts as a promotion expert between developers and the Russian audience. Our extensive experience in promoting mobile, console, and cross-platform games allows us to identify trends and develop highly effective strategies based on them. We are proud of our numerous successful cases. Furthermore, we have created a comprehensive Guide to Video Game Promotion in the Russian Market, which is available for free. 

Stay up-to-date with the latest news on digital marketing in Russia and the CIS by subscribing to our blog. RMAA publishes fresh insights every week to help you gain a better understanding of the market.


*The organization is recognized as an extremist and banned in Russia. 

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About the Author

Digital Strategist. Head of one of the project groups at RMAA. Maria started her journey in digital marketing in 2009. 

Author Maria Romanenko

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