Russian government looking to develop “national game engine” to rival Unity

It comes after a “tech exodus” in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

It’s been reported that the Russian government is looking to develop its own “national game engine” to rival Unity or Unreal Engine.

It comes after a “tech exodus” from Russia, with several companies pulling out of the country in protest of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

According to a report by Kommersant, Russia’s Ministry of Digital Development and State Duma deputies are discussing state support for the development of a domestic game engine with various Russian IT companies including the homegrown Facebook alternative VKontakte, which currently boasts hundreds of millions of users.

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The Ministry Of Digital Development confirmed to Kommersant that they are “discussing with relevant market players the issue of the need for state support in terms of creating their own game engine and its relevant forms.”

It’s claimed the project can be funded through grants secured using the Russian Foundation for the Development Of Information Technologies (RFDIT) with experts saying a Russian game engine would be expensive, but technically feasible.

According to insiders, the project would cost “billions of rubles over many years” but the RFDIT has yet to receive any applications.

Insomniac, Unity
Insomniac Events has teamed up with Unity. CREDIT: Press

However, the report also states that Russia will face issues with creating its own ecosystem of ready-made logical blocks (graphic and sound cores, file system), assets (ready-made models of game items) and plugins, which allow you to integrate third-party software into development tools. “The new project will not have all this, so the main question for the government is: is it ready to invest billions of rubles over the years in the development and improvement of the ecosystem,” said a source.

Additionally, it’s unlikely companies like Nvidia or AMD will want to adjust their products to work with a Russian-only engine, considering they both stopped sales in Russia over their invasion of Ukraine.

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Earlier this week, Unity announced a “merger agreement” with Ironsource, a company that helps users scale their apps into businesses. 

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