Cyberclub software developer Langame entered the UAE market
At the end of May, Langame software implemented the True Gamers network to manage the work of the cyber club at one of its arenas in Dubai. Langame founder Dmitry Lukin told Vedomosti about this, the information was confirmed by co-founder, True Gamers product director Vladislav Belyanin.
Langame software is used to distribute power consumption on the network, prevent unauthorized access to computers and consoles, automate the process of booking seats, control the seating of players, etc. The company's solution is used by the largest federal networks of cyberclubs in Russia - True Gamers, Colizeum, as well as CyberX and EZ Katka. According to its own estimate, the company occupies about 50% of the software market for cyber clubs in the Russian Federation. In addition to Russia, the company also operates in the CIS countries, including Belarus, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan.
Entering the UAE market cost Langame $1 million, Lukin said. According to him, this amount includes both the IT part, that is, the refinement of software, the creation of separate applications for the region, etc., and the solution of related issues, including the organization of technical support in foreign languages, work with local payment systems, terminals, acquiring etc. At the moment, the company is in the process of opening a headquarters in Dubai, which will promote the project in the international market, added Lukin.
Langame plans to scale in the UAE and other Gulf countries. By the end of the year, the company plans to roll out its software to nine more True Gamers arenas, as well as to several sites of other Russian partners, Lukin said. “The UAE is a testing ground for us, where we, together with trusted partners, want to test our work in order to expand into foreign markets, where the cyberclub industry is more developed,” he explained.
The number of clubs in individual emirates of the UAE is different, Belyanin said. In Dubai, according to him, there are seven sites, in Abu Dhabi - eight, and there are no chains of clubs in the country, he explains. “The market for cyberclubs in the UAE is just emerging and does not look like Russia; in principle, in the world this market is developed only in Asia,” he said. Emirati clubs currently use Chinese iCafe Cloud software and Ukrainian Senet, Belyanin knows.
Nevertheless, the situation is actively changing, experienced teams from Russia are entering Dubai, and the city itself is quite comparable to Moscow and can accommodate 300-400 venues, Lukin believes. Including other emirates, the total number of clubs in the country could exceed 1,000. In addition to the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region, the company is thinking about exiting and is working on requests from clubs in Spain, Thailand, Cyprus, Indonesia and Brazil, the CEO of Langame listed. According to him, the company has ambitions to enter the "original club regions" - China and South Korea.
Game clubs in the UAE are not yet as developed as, for example, in South Korea, but this market still has huge potential, says Vasily Ovchinnikov, head of the Video Game Industry Development Organization. On the one hand, the cyberclub market in the UAE is part of the investment interests of the emirates, which have allocated billions of dollars in investments for the development of the video game industry, said Konstantin Sakhnov, a senior lecturer at the Higher School of Business at the National Research University Higher School of Economics. On the other hand, many local clubs are in demand mainly by expats from the post-Soviet space, and their number is significantly inferior to the number of clubs in Moscow, for example, he added.
The Russian market of cyberclubs at the end of 2022 amounted to 20 billion rubles, while in 2019 it was at the level of 13 billion rubles, Vedomosti wrote, citing Langame data. The total number of sites in Russia increased from 1,000 to 2,300 last year.
The UAE market, according to Sakhnov, is friendly to all projects that promise high returns, including Russian ones. Now it is extremely difficult to get investments for the development of new games and launching projects in Russia, Western investments are also not available to Russians, the expert continued. Therefore, in his opinion, one of the key areas in the search for investment in game development, including the currently popular area of esports and cyberclubs, is Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
The Emirates is open to Russian entrepreneurs and technologies, one of the proofs is the opening of the My.Games regional hub in Abu Dhabi in partnership with the local gaming company AD Gaming, agrees Gadzhi Makhtiev, owner of the Kanobu and Igromania video game portals. Examples of such cooperation, he predicts, will multiply through projects requiring investment or presence in the MENA region. Esports in general and clubs as part of this ecosystem are "highly respected" by the youth of the emirates, the expert added: "They are like no one else" drown "for everything related to the ownership and management of clubs, whether it be the clubs of the English Premier League or the eSports team."