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How Stepico Games company lives and works during the wartime

Ukraine is currently undergoing very serious changes, both in terms of scale and speed. The gamedev industry is an industry that is considered to be one of the most dynamic and promising in the world. Over the past few years, more than 40 new game development companies have emerged in Ukraine.

According to the statistics published by UNIT.City, more than 80 companies in the Ukrainian GameDev industry employ more than 20 thousand people. Locally, the bulk (40%) of the developer companies are located in Kiev, (16%) in Odessa, Dnipro (12%), Kharkiv (11%), and Lviv (6%).

New mobile games created in Ukraine are not inferior in number to traditional computer games. Today, the most popular platforms for game development among Ukrainian developers are Android (82%) and iOS (79%).

For the first time, profits from mobile games exceeded 50% of the entire market in 2018. But as of 2021, its share is already more than 60%.

Currently changes in the IT and game development market

Since the invasion of Ukraine began, several gaming companies have been forced to re-evaluate their position in russia. With each passing day, russia faces increasing international isolation, and as a result, these firms are increasingly feeling the pressure to distance themselves from the Kremlin.

The russian gaming market was expected to reach $3.6 billion in 2025; however, with current trends, that figure will likely be significantly smaller. Amidst the war, the Ukrainian government pleaded for gaming companies to pull out and cease any business in Russia. In response, Russia has threatened to legalize the piracy of software and other economic retaliation against companies.

In spite of these pressures, many gaming companies, developers, streamers, and gamers have come to the aid of Ukraine, something that we think deserves recognition. 

Today, in such a difficult time for our country, we can observe how the global IT market is divided into three camps:

  • Trying to leave the “toxic” market as quickly as possible while reducing company’s loss (tipping projects to foreign companies)
  • They declare that they are apolitical and do not plan to leave the russian market.
  • Companies are defending their pro-russian position.

In general, we can say that the IT sphere behaves like any other typical business around the world. However, there is a very good example – JetBrains. The company openly supported the Ukrainians and condemned the aggression from the Russian side. We would like to have more such companies in the world.

There is an unofficial list of companies that are unique and boycotted, those companies that supported Ukraine, here.  

The situation is interesting now on the market of developers. Many of them reconsidered their position and priorities and in cooperation with the company realized whether they should work together or not.

Speaking of sanctions, they hit hard the employees who do not have the same resources as their companies. They cannot circumvent sanctions through cunning legal tricks. The range of available staff has also changed greatly due to the high level of migration of workers in the middle of the country. Now a lot of people go to remote work or look for additional resources at their place of residence for an hour.

How the game industry rallied around the war in Ukraine

Companies around the world support Ukraine every day in every way they can.

  • For example, Square Enix supported Ukraine in the confrontation with the occupation army of russia and donated $500,000 to the UN fund for the refugees of our country.
  • The creators of Cyberpunk 2077 and the trilogy of games about Geralt of Rivia will donate millions of Polish zlotys (more than 214 thousand euros) to “Polish Humanitarian Action” (Polska Akcja Humanitarna, PAH), which deals with the supply of humanitarian aid and has already organized fundraising.
  • Amanita Design (Czech Republic) donated profits from sales of Machinarium, CHUCHEL and Creaks on all platforms to the charity organization Chlovek v tísni.
  • State of Play (UK) donated all proceeds from the sale of all their games from February 28 to March 6 to the Ukrainian Red Cross.

In addition, most companies have imposed restrictions on users from russia and blocked their accounts.

Developers from neighboring countries have been supporting Ukraine in different ways since the early days of the war: some fund humanitarian aid, while others donate to the AFU support fund.

Working is about supporting the country’s economy and people

We all understand that the world will never be the same. This applies not only to the mentality of people and their perception of factors, but also to online job markets. The IT sphere has been steeply developing over the past few years all over the world and in Ukraine as well. It was first created in Ukraine, where it was equated to the physical online-passport.

Our state is constantly promoting the development of new professionals and companies on its territory through a simplified system of taxation, the creation of a large number of places thanks to the Ministry of Digital Economy, and the like.

But now, during the war, the market has changed abruptly. Many companies have begun to turn down Russian developers and look for alternative places to send their orders. If we talk about the situation in Ukraine, it depends entirely on how long this war will last and how it will end. 

With all the levels of support for Ukraine, business does not like risks and unpredictability. But our prognoses are comforting: when the war ends with our victory, we can expect a slight subsidence in the IT market and its gradual recovery within the next few months.

As for Stepico, we are responsible for the projects of some worldwide game studios, and we will not allow for any delays or deadline missed in our work. We continue to work and provide stable employment, a safe place of work, and regular salary payments, to our specialists. At the moment, our company takes an active part in different charity initiatives.

How we deal with projects during the hard times

We ensured the employment of 90% of the company’s employees, maintained cooperation with all efficient partners, and enlisted each of them for financial support of the humanitarian needs of Ukraine. Not only have we not lost any clients or failed any employees, but we continue to grow in both of these areas. 

Our main priority now is to keep the bar high and not to halt the projects. And as practice shows, we do it successfully. Not a single project has been stopped since the beginning of the war. We work remotely, but this does not prevent us from closing orders brilliantly and meeting absolutely all deadlines. 

We work with our regular clients and are ready for new and interesting projects. Our professionals are working at full capacity and do not plan to decrease the turnover, but even the opposite-to increase it. With a large team of specialists, we guarantee each of our clients timely and high-quality work.

Parallel work is going on at the same rhythm on dozens of game projects, among which blockchain mobile RPG Guild of Guardians, mobile farm game The Nile Valley, and mobile simulator Fishing Rival. These projects don’t stand still either. Our experts keep working on these games, and soon they will be seen by the whole world. 

Moreover, our development team on the Guild of Guardians project gave updates to our partner Immutable even before the deadline and faster than other worldwide companies. The Immutable team was so surprised that they took the initiative and gave the Stepico development team a financial bonus.

In spite of the war, Stepico is working constantly and growing. It is not uncommon for specialists who are looking for a new job to join our team now. Our team now includes people from all over the Ukraine, for some of them we have helped relocate to safer places.

These are the people who want to work even in these tough times. These are the people who don’t let Ukraine’s and the world’s IT sphere slump and support it in every possible way.

Why outsource game development to Ukraine?

Is it worthwhile to rely on Ukrainian IT specialists? Without a doubt, yes. Ukraine is a large IT outsourcing market with a great price and quality ratio. Our specialists are among the most qualified representatives of this sphere in the world market and in high demand in some rare technologies.

Stepico specialists are valued all over the world as some of the most responsible and qualified professionals in their field. Our customers can be sure of the results of the team because we provide client-oriented approach. 

If you consider outsourcing game development to Ukraine, feel free to contact Stepico Games to discover your options. We are always open to new and interesting projects and is ready to show you what the Ukrainian IT sphere is like and how it can work even in hard war times.

The Future of Ukraine

We, as well as the whole Ukraine, are holding up quite well, getting stronger every day in all sectors. We work hard, we cope with the new realities, we do not sit on the neck of the state and develop, we pay taxes, we support the economy of the country and we do everything right, as far as it is possible in the current situation.

In addition, we made a charitable donation of more than $20,000 to the AFU and helped volunteers with collecting and buying cars for the front. We constantly financially and morally support our employees who decide to defend the country as part of AFU or Territorial Defense. We help in any way we can: humanitarian aid, financial aid, and our own efforts.

Stay with us. Support and belief in us. Stepico encourages you to help the people of Ukraine. It’s essential we TALK about this war and highlight all putin’s regime crimes. You can donate money to the Stand with Ukraine Foundation or to a certified humanitarian organization.

Choose Stepico and step into the future!

Andrii Titov - Chief Executive Officer
Specialties: Game development, mobile (Android/iOS development), customer communication, team management.
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