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Game Insight moves out of Moscow

0 2 June 2014

Successful Russian game-creator Game Insight has switched its headquarters from Moscow to Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania. 

Game Insight was founded in 2010 by Alisa Chumachenko and is funded by Igor Matsanyuk’s investment fund imi.vc, along with a number of other undisclosed private investors. In a relatively short time it has grown into one of the world’s biggest mobile gaming companies, with more than 250 million users worldwide and revenue for 2013 in excess of $100 million. 

While the timing of the move has inevitably led some to connect it with the current political situation in Russia, Chumachenko gave different reasons:

“Our relationships with app-platform developers - Apple, Google, Facebook, Amazon etc - are very important for the company… it is much easier to send people to their head-offices in London, Dublin and Luxembourg from Vilnius than it is from Moscow. It will also be easier for their staff to come to us for meetings and conferences.”

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Furthermore, salaries in Moscow are twice as high as they are in Vilnius, and many Lithuanians have excellent language skills, speaking two foreign languages in addition to Lithuanian and Russian.

Chumachenko is also impressed by Vilnius as a place, describing it as “a much more comfortable and eco-friendly city”.

However, in addition to praising the Lithuanian capital Chumachenko also acknowledged that being based in Russia is not necessarily a good thing for a global company.

“We have been a global, and not just a Russian, company for a long time, and Russia accounts for less than 10% of our revenue. Unfortunately being “Russian” has quite a significant negative effect on the company’s valuation. Some of the reasons behind this are objective, relating to the business climate in the country, but others are based on prejudice.”

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At the moment Game Insight employs more than 900 people, most of whom are in Russia. 250 of these work at the project’s Moscow head office. As responsibilities are transferred to Vilnius over the next couple of years some of these will be moved across. 

Game Insight is not the first company founded in the former Soviet Union to move its headquarters.  Belorussian company Wargaming, which created the popular War of Tanks game, is now based in Cyprus, while last week software developer Luxoft announced plans to move its 500 most experienced developers from Russia and Ukraine to its offices in Eastern Europe. 

Source: Vedomosti

Top image via Shutterstock

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