It is very surprising, but the rather difficult year of 2023 was very successful for the Ukrainian game development market. Although there were no AAA projects from Ukrainian developers (we’ll leave out the divisions of large Western companies) this year (we’re waiting for S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2: Heart of Chernobyl in Q1 2024), there were plenty of A-games and indie projects. This can be easily seen in our materials dedicated to the 2023 Ukrainian Games, in the news, and in the number of applications for participation in Indie Cup Ukraine’23.
We decided to ask a few questions about the results of 2023 to representatives of Ukrainian studios whose games were released this year. Of course, this year’s goals are different from those we set for developers in 2021 and 2022.
1. This year, your new game/games were released. Are you satisfied with the result? Did you manage to realize everything you had planned, or was there anything you could have improved? Are you satisfied with the feedback from players and the media? Are you satisfied with sales?
2. How does the war affect the work of your studio?
3. Judging by the number of releases, announcements, and events, it seems that we are currently witnessing a kind of renaissance in the Ukrainian gaming industry. Is this true? If so, why is it happening now?
4. The year 2023 was rich in gaming hits. What three games of 2023 would you say are the most important for players and the industry?
5. What do you expect from 2024, besides victory, of course?
Game Labs, co-founder of the studio, project manager of A Twisted Path To Renown
Games released in 2023: Ultimate Admiral: Dreadnoughts, A Twisted Path To Renown (EA), Ultimate General: American Revolution (EA)
1. Yes, we are very pleased with the results of our new games this year. We have implemented most of what we planned, but as always, there is something to add or improve. We are always open to improvement based on player feedback, so we are actively communicating with players, who, by the way, have gathered almost two thousand in the first three weeks on Discord for A Twisted Path To Renown alone. The feedback from players is mostly positive, and we are very pleased with it. The media reviews are mostly still to come. As for sales, we are satisfied with the current results, although we always strive for their growth.
2. The war has definitely affected our work, introducing certain challenges, especially in terms of completing past games, logistics and the emotional state of our team. However, we are sticking together, even at a distance, continuing to work, adapting to new conditions and finding ways to support our team, community and the Ukrainian army.
3. Indeed, we can observe a significant growth in the Ukrainian gaming industry now. This is mainly due to the popularization of Ukraine in the world due to sad events, so, of course, it is even fashionable to publicly evaluate the work of Ukrainian developers as “Ukrainian”. This attracts attention and allows for additional hype.
Of course, this is partly due to the development of technology and Ukraine’s increased access to international markets. But the most important thing is that the talent of Ukrainian developers is being recognized on the global stage.
4. Щодо ігрових хітів 2023 року, для мене особисто і, я вважаю, для індустрії загалом, найважливішими були Baldur’s Gate III, Hogwarts Legacy, The Legend of Zelda: The Tears of the Kingdom and many different and interesting indie titles. These games showed a variety of gameplay, very good graphics, and still have a significant impact on the gaming community around the world.
5. For 2024, we are looking forward to additional challenges for us with the release of several very large and important updates and additions to our games, and, of course, we will continue to work fruitfully with players and all other partners.
And, of course, we are incredibly hopeful and look forward to Ukraine’s victory and further stability in Ukraine and around the world.
1. In January of this year, we released Sharded World in Early Access. It’s a mix of Diablo and Vampire Survivors, with a DOOM-like soundtrack. There is a lot in the game, just a short description without details will be more than my entire review of the year. It was hard at first, given the blackouts and lack of ads. But the game slowly accelerated and found its fans. There is still some work to be done, but overall, I am satisfied with the result. In February, it will be 2 years of Sharded World development.
I think that the attention of Ukrainian players is still not enough, for example, our game is bought more by Americans and Chinese, and only then by Ukrainians. The feedback from players is mostly good, especially those that are constructive. Sales are excellent even though there is no independent advertising.
We also released Machi: Above the Void for puzzle fans. It is something similar to Sudoku, but based on the popular Skyscrapers game.
2. In general, there is almost nothing, if there is light and communication, then everything goes on as usual. It was hard at the beginning of the year, when the power was on for 2 hours after 4. But we adapted. And now everything is fine. The recent problems with Kyivstar have made some small adjustments.
I think we are more influenced by the internal state of the team. For example, we lost a UI/UX designer for a long time, who broke his arm in 3 places because of a slippery floor. Or, in general, the fact that this whole situation with the war puts pressure on the team.
3. I think it’s more of an attention effect. We started paying more attention to it and it seems that there are more Ukrainian games. But I don’t deny that more people are getting involved in gaming, but not in a qualitative way.
I believe that Ukrainians should pay more attention to Ukrainian games, otherwise it will not go far. I don’t want players to expect super big budgets from Ukrainian games. It is difficult to develop games even in peacetime, and even more so now. Developers really need your support and understanding.
4. The most important for me personally was Lethal Company, it shows that indie is alive. The perfect combination of a cooperative, a clear goal, research, and unknown danger.
The second place for me is Baldur’s Gate III. This game impresses with its scale and variability. And also just a gigantic space for playing D&D for every taste. A titanic job was done.
The third game was supposed to be S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2, but it didn’t come out. I’m waiting for it anyway and hope it will be a good game. Everything I heard about it left only good impressions.
5. I am a realist, so I try to do my best and not expect anything. I would like to have a better understanding of the future and stability. Peace and prosperity. I wish everyone strong nerves and good luck in the new year.
And we will soon launch a demo of Sharded World: Backpack Adventure. The Steam page is already available for review. This is an inventory simulator with battles against other players. With a large set of items, crafting, character classes, and auto combat in a dungeon and fantasy setting.
We have also been working on the game Answenarium for a long time and hope to show it to people next year. This is a computer version of the Jeopardy game (“Jeopardy” in our latitudes). It is both an educational/developmental and entertaining game where you can create your own sets of questions and play with your friends. And at the beginning of next year, we want to release a full-fledged demo of this game, where you can already create sets using Steam Workshop, voice chat, and matchmaking. The game’s page is also available on Steam.
If you want to support us, add our games to the Wishlist
Ubisoft Ukraine, Studio Manager
Games released in 2023 (those where teams from Ukraine participated): The Crew Motorfest, Assassin’s Creed Mirage, Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora, The Settlers: New Allies, Anno 1800 (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S)
1. Ubisoft has a very strong lineup this year, and we are proud of the games that our studio teams have been working on. Despite the war and the challenging context in which we operate, the teams managed to complete all the tasks we had to on time and with the proper quality.
It’s important to note that over the years, Ukrainian teams have been taking on more and more complex tasks, working on engines, content, UI/UX design, and, of course, we continue to perform classic tasks such as PC platform support, accessibility, and testing.
Speaking of player feedback, I am sure that, given the variety of Ubisoft releases this year, everyone will find a project to their liking – players can leisurely explore the beautiful world of Pandora with Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora (by the way, this game was recently recognized as the most beautiful game of 2023, which, in my opinion, is definitely a fair assessment), immerse yourself in the atmosphere of ancient Baghdad with Assassin’s Creed Mirage, test your skills in car racing with The Crew Motorfest, or enjoy interesting strategies. In addition, we constantly monitor feedback from experts and the community and do our best to improve our product.
2. Of course, our Ukrainian studios, like any company that stays and works in Ukraine, feel the impact of the war. But in the almost 2 years since the beginning of the full-scale invasion, we can confidently say that thanks to the resilience and professionalism of our teams, we have not lost either the quantity or quality of the tasks we perform within Ubisoft projects. Moreover, our international partners are ready to expand the influence of Ukrainian teams and invite us to new projects.
We were able to adapt to the difficult conditions dictated by the war, fully restore productivity last year, and establish the necessary processes to support people, such as a policy on mobilized colleagues, reintegration of veterans, provision of necessary materials for remote work, and regular online meetings at the studio level to promptly inform about company news.
However, we have not only adapted, but also kept our focus on the long-term future in Ukraine. This includes moving our studio in Odesa to a new office and ambitious plans to develop our teams and partnerships.
3. Ukraine has always been rich in talent, both creative and technical, which is why our specialists are so highly valued in the market. The rejection of Russian content has created a space for new content, including Ukrainian content in many areas, and gaming is no exception. I am enthusiastic about the projects created by Ukrainian developers and I am confident that in the future our product will be in even greater demand far beyond Ukraine.
4. This is a rather difficult question, because, as I said earlier, it all depends on personal preferences. However, given the extremely high competition, each publisher makes every effort to give users an unforgettable gaming experience. That is why, in terms of product quality, we see a big leap and are watching the market development with interest.
5. Of course, winning is the main wish for the next year. I am also looking forward to even more interesting projects and partnerships for our teams in Ukraine. Ubisoft is preparing several important releases in 2024, and I’m sure the year will give us many reasons to be proud of our work.
1. This year we released two games – My Dream Setup and Catch & Cook. My Dream Setup was released on February 20, and the game has already received 1850+ reviews. This is a great achievement for us. Catch & Cook was released on July 14 and currently has 32 reviews. The game didn’t turn out to be as popular as My Dream Setup, but we are also pleased with the result.
We experimented a lot, tried to expand the team, tried a new genre. I think we achieved everything we planned this year: we released 2 games and one DLC (My Dream Setup – Pets). Both of our games received positive reviews from the media and players. We could have maintained our previous pace and released a new game or demo by the end of the year, but we decided to take a short break and focus on a larger project.
2. Like all Ukrainians, the war affects our work. During the development of My Dream Setup (winter 2023), we were often stopped by power outages that made it completely impossible to work, communicate with the audience, and market. In April of this year, fragments of an enemy missile severely damaged my own car. The recent hacking of Kyivstar also affected our work. We were left without communication and internet, and it was not always possible to connect to another network to respond to work messages. However, all these challenges have raised our consciousness to a new level. We are actively involved in donations to the Armed Forces.
3. In my opinion, there are not many more releases. It is the gaming community that creates this renaissance. There is a lot of support from our community now. People are waiting for Ukrainian games, discussing them. Someone makes game news, someone streams Ukrainian games, someone just looks for games with Ukrainian language support. We also started to organize many more events for games and developers, and this attracts more attention from players from other countries.
4. Baldur’s Gate III is the game of the year according to many publications, a phenomenon in the gaming industry, an incredibly diverse and extensive game.
The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is another masterpiece from Nintendo. The game is as good as all parts of this franchise.
Lethal Company is a year-end sensation, a game created by one person, a dream of every indie developer, and a very fan game.
5. In 2024, we plan to support our already released games, release My Dream Setup on smartphones, and release our new game Arcane Blast. It would also be cool to take part in some offline game expo with our own booth and have a live chat with our audience.
1. In 2023, we released Sherlock Holmes The Awakened, which has become a kind of symbol of the company’s strength. It was a project that we started developing right after the war started, and at that time we didn’t even know what was ahead, or whether our studio would exist in the future. We decided to abandon the more ambitious game we had been planning since 2021 for a clear and less risky development pipeline. Sherlock Holmes The Awakened is a remake of an existing game, so R&D and pre-production were not that important, and all the assets could be created in 12 months.
In general, it was a very difficult year for the company due to the war and the shelling of the energy sector, which fell on the most important period of development, when we were moving towards the finalization of the project. We are very grateful to all the players who supported us throughout this period, who made a significant contribution to the project on Kickstarter, and who sent us messages of support every day.
As for reviews and sales, they were within our expectations.
2. The situation is much better now than at the beginning of the year, thanks to our air defense forces. We still had to move all our servers to Europe, and some of our colleagues are currently serving in the Armed Forces, but we can say that we are more or less used to the war and no longer feel its effects at work.
Of course, air raids and rocket attacks do not improve the psychological state inside our studio. But we are not giving up, we are looking forward to victory and continue to donate to the army, volunteer, or, as I said, directly defend the state in the ranks of the Armed Forces.
3. I won’t say that it’s exactly a renaissance, because we’ve always had a very strong game dev community, and I think the war has made the desire to express ourselves and tell our story even stronger.
4. In terms of importance for the gaming industry, this is undoubtedly Baldur’s Gate III, a project of incredible scale, where everything is cool, especially the world’s response to the player’s actions. We should also mention the unique indie game Dredge, which proves once again that interesting game design can be created without a combat system. As a fan of the survival horror genre, I can also mention Resident Evil 4 and Alan Wake 2.
5. We plan to announce our new game next year, so we want everything to go well. In general, it’s hard to answer, because it’s very difficult to make any plans without the end of the war.
1. This year, AI Olympius was released in early access. The release coincided with the release of Baldurs Gate III, and a week later, Starfield nailed it, so the launch was rather unnoticeable. Compared to the previous early access release a few years ago with Cliff Empire, it became obvious how much difference the Steam algorithm itself makes in relation to EA titles. They took away the visibility that we had before, and of course they warned us about it, so now it’s hard to call early access a full-fledged release. Now we’re working with a small audience, and we have years of work ahead of us.
Feedback is not for pleasure, now it’s a kind of addition to the ToDo list, although sometimes it’s surprising when compared to other projects with which we have a 10-fold price gap, but with the same requirements. We had a feeling that our project was not yet up to the task, maybe it would be better to do something less ambitious, but now there is no way out. On the other hand, we wondered if we would make it to the finish line with 3 people.
2. The war increases the pace of work.
3. We just don’t have time to watch what’s going on around us, we just do our job quietly.
4. High-profile failures can teach a lot. A lot of promises mean big disappointments for the audience.
5. Victory, that’s all.
1. As you know, we released three games in 2023. I’ll tell you about the two that took the most out of me. The only game I am completely and utterly satisfied with is Cosmoodyssey 2. As for Son of Perun Kharkiv, it was supposed to be a diamond in our game crown. But I wanted to release it so badly, I was in such a hurry that I unwittingly repeated the fate of Cyberpunk. Only now does Son of Perun Kharkiv look like it should have on release.
As for the media reviews, I don’t agree with all of them. But Cosmo Odyssey… Even I, the developer, like this game as much as possible. That’s why others like it a lot too. And it’s quite deserved – it’s with my soul.
As for sales, I am quite satisfied with them. Son of Perun Kharkiv employs 670 people, and the second Cosmo Odyssey employs 1000. For indie developers from Kharkiv, who started with a pack of Mivina and Nescafe coffee in a stall, it’s quite good!
2. The war has a negative impact, like everything else. So, the programmer and I are in different countries, and we work only online. Moreover, because we are from Kharkiv region, the electricity was often cut off, and the Internet was also cut off. So it was very, very difficult to make games.
3. Renaissance is not a very good word. It’s more like a birth, not a revival. If we talk about old games like Cossacks, S.T.A.L.K.E.R. or Metro, these are not really purely Ukrainian games for me. For example, I can’t play Metro. Because for me, playing as a Russian is… well, not interesting. I can’t play S.T.A.L.K.E.R. because I have to shoot at the Ukrainian army. The reason for this was the time when these games were created. Back then, we still thought we had a “brotherhood”. Now, when the Ukrainian nation has woken up from its anabiosis, it has started to create its own, original things.
Anyway, as a historian by training, I’ll say what I think. Not only Ukrainian gamemakers are being born now. The historical Ukrainian nation is being born now. Unfortunately, nations are born in agony.
4. RoboCop: Rogue City. This game showed that AA is still alive. Probably only Sleeping Dogs showed this 11 years ago.
Alan Wake 2. It deservedly should have been the game of the year. It showed that horror can be super beautiful.
Diablo IV. The game, in my opinion, is still the same as when I was a kid. Interesting and scary.
5. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t looking forward to S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2. It would be a lie. Besides, I will be interested in the reaction to the project with the working title 22. It will be a game about Kharkiv at the beginning of the war. From the eyes of civilians. Otherwise, we can’t really make plans. There is still a war going on, and we, Kharkiv residents, live too close to the border with Russia. We can say that we are not sure what will happen tomorrow, so we are not really looking forward to anything. Although, in fact, in 2024 I would like to make sure that one studio that was in Kharkiv before the full-scale invasion never returns there, and we take its place. Because we don’t need an “RPG in the table of children”.
Games released in 2023: Farlanders
1. I’m very pleased that I was able to finish Farlanders, because over the years of development, the game became too large and ambitious for my modest capabilities as an indie developer, and I was constantly short of money for development.
I am more than satisfied with the quality of the game, except that now I realize that certain things could have been left out and saved a lot of time and money in development. Sales are generally good, although the game has not become a hit. If it had been cheaper to develop, it would have been great, but we need to release a new game faster! I was pleasantly surprised by the support from Ukrainian media, influencers, and players. Thank you all!
2. At this stage, there is probably no way, because the war has become commonplace and familiar.
3. The attention and interest in Ukrainian content makers (not only game developers) among Ukrainians has increased significantly, and such people and their projects are becoming more visible. Also, a large number of Ukrainian developers who used to be part of the Russians’ party at the notional DTF have distanced themselves from it and become part of the Ukrainian community. And when a community or a “scene” appears, it inspires people outside the industry to try to do something of their own, having examples of success stories. I think Ukrainian game development is still in its infancy, but the latest trends are positive, and I expect the first Ukrainian indie hits and the emergence of Ukrainian publishers who will give money to developers.
4. Personally, I’m not impressed by big, AAA games (except technically), and I don’t play them often. Because it’s all been done before. I don’t see any genre-breaking games. I can only think of Vampire Survivors and a lot of similar games that come out and out and are still insanely popular. For me, it’s a phenomenon, and I’ve come to the conclusion that players are looking for and appreciating simple games that allow them to play in the background and don’t require effort to learn game mechanics or dive into the details of the plot. So now I try to make video games that are fun to play within 2 minutes after the first launch.
5. I don’t expect anything, for sure. I don’t set personal goals either, because I don’t really believe in it.
strong>AGaming+, developer and founder
Games released in 2023: Z.O.N.A Project X VR
1. The plan was to release the game at the end of 2022, but the war made its own adjustments. As a result, it was released only in March 2023. Not everything could be realized before the game’s release, so content is being actively added to it. So far, the game has already received more than 49 updates.
In general, players have been very positive about the game and have responded warmly, which is good news. Moreover, they are actively involved in the process of polishing the game: they share their impressions, write what they would like to implement, and what of the implemented features does not work correctly on their devices. This feedback is very helpful.
I am only partially satisfied with the result. I am always critical of my work, it helps me to keep going and demand more from myself than I can.
2. The war has hit the team hard. Some of our employees are serving in the Armed Forces, including my brother, the studio’s second lead developer. In addition, we lost one of our 3D modelers who died at the front at the end of 2022. We are a small team of like-minded people and now we really feel the lack of everyone both morally and physically. We also had to close the studio office, hopefully temporarily.
3. To some extent, this is true. Previously, the fact that a studio was Ukrainian was not particularly emphasized, especially if it was small. But since 2022, the whole world has discovered Ukraine, which has sparked great interest in it and the popularization of this area in particular.
4. It’s hard to say because I don’t play much now. I’d like to single out Baldur’s Gate III as the cherry on top, and the “super hit” The Day Before. The last game showed how everyone can be deceived and disappointed. It is also an important and instructive event for both players and the gaming industry.
5. I’m waiting for two things: winning, of course, and S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2. I am a big fan of this game, as is my son, who follows all the news related to it.
A.M.Team, director and creative director
Games released in 2023: The Moon Hell
1. Our game, The Moon Hell, is really different from other games in its genre and we are proud to have created it the way it is. It can evoke different feelings – it can contradict your expectations or, on the contrary, satisfy your wildest desires. But let it be your choice. We just want to share our creativity with our players and give them the opportunity to immerse themselves in our unique universe. So, if you are ready for this challenge, let’s dive in together!
And don’t forget that there are no cards or health bars in this game, it was done on purpose so that everyone could feel part of the game or refuse to play it while maintaining their freedom of choice.
Are we satisfied? In general, yes. We have conducted our first experiment in the dark fantasy area. After the release, it became clear what exactly the players wanted in this setting. Since it was our first attempt to create a game with a dark fantasy atmosphere, we faced many difficulties.
One of them was that The Moon Hell was constantly compared to Souls-like games. Another problem was that when we started development, we didn’t think about a gamepad, and at release we realized that it was necessary, but due to the wrong design, we couldn’t add gamepad support to the game at all.
At this stage, our team knows exactly what to do in our next project and how to approach all aspects in detail to make the game better.
As for what was planned, everything in this project was done the way we envisioned it.
As for the feedback, we’re happy with it. Those people who didn’t play Soulslike games liked The Moon Hell. But those who have played Soulslike games, they compared it and wrote that it’s not Soulslike… But our game is not Soulslike, we didn’t make it that way. So yeah, we’re happy with the reviews.
As for sales, everything is fine, but we would like to do better.
2. The war gave us the push to complete the product. We worked at night because it was our personal project. When we were working, sometimes we thought: will you be there tomorrow or not? And we really wanted people to play our game.
Also, personal finances that could have been spent on development were spent on donations and survival when there were blackouts… War changes the rules.
3. Yes, Ukrainian developers have made a great start in creating new games and ideas. Why now? Because there may not be a tomorrow… but we believe in a bright future.
4. Baldur’s Gate III, Diablo IV
5. That Ukrainian developers will create more and more content for the gaming industry. We can do it.
And victory – light always conquers darkness.
1. This year, STONKS-9800 went into Early Access and this is probably the first time in my life that I am completely satisfied with the sales of a game on Steam. We are still working on the game – support in the Early Access is very cool when there is an audience waiting for updates and helping with feedback. On the other hand, I feel obliged to work hard because the players are already pinning their hopes on the game and its development and I can’t afford to rest much.
I hope that I can do everything to make sure that players are satisfied with the full release, but there is still a lot of work to be done.
2. It affects my mood and motivation. Last winter, I had to work at EcoFlow without electricity, but I still managed to get work done. But in general, I don’t have an office, I still spend most of the day at home doing something. I am disturbed by anxiety, in the summer they were very active in the city center, it was scary and after that it is difficult to focus on work. But in general, it’s a sin for me to complain, so I won’t. The main thing is not to forget to donate.
3. Unfortunately, until 2022, the Ukrainian gaming industry was closely linked to the Russian one. Many Ukrainian hits back in the noughties were published by Russian companies, we sat at the same forums, communicated on the same social networks, and generally shared the same information space.
The full-scale war changed this, and new Ukrainian unions, resources, and events began to appear that distinguish our games. Ukrainian games had been released before, but there were always a lot of them – they were just in Russian or at least Ukrainian, but it was difficult to find them and understand that they were Ukrainian. By 2022, I wanted to find some Ukrainian developers and offer them a console game publishing deal, but I couldn’t find anyone.
Now it is much easier and I think it will be even better. The main thing is not to go back to the Russian Internet after the war is over, because we might lose our own identity again.
4. Obviously, Baldur’s Gate III. This game showed the industry that hardcore RPGs can be massive rather than niche. I think that in the next 10 years we will see a lot of games in a similar genre, as was the case with The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, after which many studios tried to repeat the formula of success. But I don’t think anyone will be able to come close to BG3, because as always, they will try to copy the wrapper, not the essence.
Another game is Final Fantasy XVI. Yes, it’s been forgotten about, but it’s another game in the legendary franchise, and if you have a PlayStation 5, I highly recommend you try it. Incredible battles and a great fairy tale story.
The third game of the year is Alan Wake 2. I personally am not a fan of the series and the genre, but I understand that the game is quite unusual and experimental, again showing that author’s projects can be massive and popular.
5. On a personal note, I hope to be able to put STONKS-9800 into full release and work on other projects, and I’m looking forward to the results of the two Ukrainian Visual Novel Jams that will take place next year. And, of course, I have plans to survive, not to go crazy, and to rest more.
1. This year, we released the fifth installment of our World War II strategy game series, Strategic Mind: Spirit of Liberty. In it, the player plays as Finland in World War II and repels the invasion of the Soviet Red Army, first during the Winter War and then during the Continuation War. The game also covers the Lapland War, where the Finns fight against yesterday’s allies, the Germans, in 1945.
The events of that time are in many ways reminiscent of the events of 2014-2023 in Ukraine, so it was especially interesting and exciting for us to work on this project. Due to the war, the release was significantly delayed, but we are proud that we were able to bring the game to a successful release. Now the game has 84% positive reviews on Steam, but sales, unfortunately, are far from the best compared to previous games in the series.
2. We are doing everything in our power to keep working despite all the difficulties. The first months were the most difficult, especially for one of our employees, who spent a week under occupation in Bucha. But in June 2022, we returned to work in our Kyiv office.
At the end of 2022, we had major problems with electricity, so we had to temporarily switch to remote work and a free schedule, but in December 2022, we installed a generator and returned to the office. Since the spring of 2023, we have had nothing to complain about compared to the difficulties many of our compatriots are experiencing. We have also prepared well for possible power outages, so this year it will not be a big problem for us.
3. In my opinion, “renaissance” is too loud a word – Ukrainian game development was developing quite well before Russia’s full-scale invasion, and the war definitely did not benefit the industry – many teams have suspended their activities, some are now defending Ukraine at the front, some have left, many people have changed their priorities in life, and so on. I would say that the industry is alive and continues to develop despite all the difficulties, but I would not dare to talk about a “renaissance” until the war is over…
4. Speaking about the global industry, there are many great releases, I can mention Baldur’s Gate, Starfield and Hogwarts Legacy.
5. In addition to Ukraine’s success in all important aspects of the present, we are looking forward to the release of our current project – Headquarters: World War II on Steam. And not only are we waiting, but we are making every effort to do so.
Two Friends, programmer
Games released in 2023: Space Killer
1. For me personally, this is my first experience of creating a game from start to finish, and I’m actually happy with the result. Due to the relatively short development time, not everything that was planned was realized, mainly due to certain changes in the process. Some ideas were rejected, and some new ones were added to the project. There is always something to improve, but we reached the point where the main core of the game was working and nothing needed to be fixed, only new content.
To be honest, we sent information about the game to many streamers and YouTubers who review games and are involved in indie, but 90% of them did not respond to us, which is especially disappointing for the Ukrainian community. However, it’s not all bad, many Ukrainian buyers supported us, and some Ukrainian media and social networks wrote about us.
2. It’s not easy for all of us right now because of the war, but seeing how many people have Ukrainized, creating their own Ukrainian content and not giving up inspires us to create something of our own, Ukrainian.
3. Personally, I haven’t noticed anything like that. Yes, there are more Ukrainian games, but they are mostly from the indie segment. But this is happening not only in Ukraine, but all over the world, so I would definitely say that the indie game market has been actively developing over the past few years. It is indie developers who can afford to try to implement interesting concepts and experiment as big studios used to do in the early noughties. Maybe this trend has just reached Ukraine?
4. Baldur’s Gate 3 та The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom.
5. In the new year, we want to release an update for Space Killer. We also want to start working on a new project. And, of course, we’re waiting for Half-Life 3 to come out :).
In the end, we decided to count the best games mentioned by Ukrainian developers during the survey and compile a kind of Top Games from those who develop games themselves. The result is below.
The best games of 2023 according to Ukrainian developers
Baldur’s Gate III – 9
Alan Wake 2 – 3
Lethal Company – 3
The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom – 3
Diablo IV – 2
Hogwarts Legacy – 2
Dredge – 1
Final Fantasy XVI – 1
Resident Evil 4 – 1
RoboCop: Rogue City – 1
Starfield – 1
We thank all Ukrainian developers for their responses and their work. We wish you all inspiration in completing old projects and starting new ones. And, of course, victory to all of us. We believe in the Armed Forces of Ukraine!