Playrix (the developer of Gardenscapes, Homescapes and Township games) decided to leave Russia and Belarus. This is stated in a letter published by its founders, brothers Igor and Dmitry Bukhman, informs Ukrainian portal Ain. The same information was confirmed to TMT by a source in the company.
Businessmen noted that “since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, the company has undergone many changes”: they no longer conduct commercial activities in Russia and Belarus, opened offices in other countries and began relocating employees.
And now, in connection with the “new round of escalation”, it was decided to stop the operations of Playrix studios in Russia and Belarus, close all offices there, and also move employees to other countries.
Whether the developer’s games will remain available for Russian and Belarusian users is not specified.
The Bukhman brothers founded Playrix in Vologda in 2004. In 2021, the company became one of the top three mobile game publishers with the highest revenues in the world. In Russia, it has 16 offices and 1,500 employees. Playrix, with annual revenues of $2.7 billion, is named the fourth game publisher in the world after Tencent, NetEase and Activision. The total audience of its games is 180 million users per month.
According to the AppAnnie analytical platform, the Russian market for Playrix was the second after the American one – it accounted for 15% of all downloads, and the profit, according to various estimates, ranged from 7% to 40%.
In 2016, the Buchman brothers moved to Israel, and in 2020 they moved to the UK. Their total fortune is estimated at more than $16 billion. In a March interview with Forbes, Igor Bukhman named what is happening in Ukraine is a “tragedy” and called for an end to the war. In April 2022 the brothers asked publication no longer call them Russian businessmen.
In the summer, the Game Insight and Plarium studios left the Russian Federation.
Previously reportedthat after the announcement of “partial mobilization” in Russia, video game developers began to massively evacuate employees from the country. Some even bought entire charter flights for this. Studios that do not have the opportunity to organize relocation are trying to get included in the register of accredited IT companies so that employees can apply for a deferment.
Specialists working in foreign companies in Russia, as well as individual entrepreneurs (IE) and the self-employed, remain at risk. A large number of artists and designers fall into the latter category.