Another merge, another big competitor on the marketNival Online, IT Territory, Time Zero and Nikita Online have announced that they are joining into a holding - Astrum Online Entertainment, becoming the largest online entertainment provider in Russia. The recently created "Actiblizzion" has probably proven that the truth is: "United we stand, divided we fall", regarding such companies.
"The creation of Astrum Online Entertainment - is the first, but long-awaited, large consolidation in the Russian gaming sphere", said Sergey Orlovskiy, president of Nival Online. "Currently, the combined companies' market share in Russia is 45%, which makes Astrum Online Entertainment the leader of this sector by any measure. Our short-term plans through the end of 2008 will include increasing that share to 65%, as well as strengthening our position in neighboring CIS countries and internationally", he continued.
So, yes, the comparison between Astrum Online an Actiblizzion might be a little exaggerated, but it's surely a proof that this is the tendency and it won't be long until there will be 3 huge companies producing games (hopefully, this will never happen, for the sake of the gamers). But let's get back to our own business...
Nikita Online was the first game company in Russia that released an internally developed online client-based game - Sphere. At the moment, the company has 3 more titles on the market - Sphere: Rebirth, Dom-3 (no, not Doom!) and a browser based racing game - WebRacing. TimeZero focuses on developing browser-based games. Even though the company was founded back in 2004, their first online games will appear in 2008: Destiny, FunnyWar and Ordalia and all the three of them will be MMORPGs. IT Territory, another company created in 2004 brought to the newly formed Astrum Online their 4.7 million registered users and their casual-games. In 2008 the company will launch about 40 online games from different categories and aiming at different market segments. Nival Online, the youngest brother, was founded in 2006 but it has already produced some Asian hits, like Espada, Perfect World and Pirate King Online. They have also developed the winner of "Best Mobile Award" in Russia - Entis Online.
If we do a little Math, the newly created Astrum Online Entertainment comes with about 100 online game plans and already has over 5 million users. We can already call it an empire.