This is a remarkable story -- a Russian version of an American success story -- when a few guys had a crazy idea, created something that took them to the top.
But it all started a long time ago...
In the early aughts, the video game industry in Russia was on the rise. At the same time the Internet was coming of age. The Internet and video games existed in different dimensions. Selling a game via the Internet sounded like a very weird idea. After all, given that people only had dial-up internet connections, it was only possible to download tiny unpretentious games like Tetris or Lines.
But at that time in the U.S., where the Internet was faster and more widespread, the casual games industry was in its early stages of development.
The four founders of Nevosoft - Vitaly Romanov, Pavel Ryaykkonen, Alexey Serebrov and Alexandra Ryabchikova were young and enthusiastic friends and decided to take a risk and start developing casual games in Russia.
The first thing they needed to do was come up with a name for the company. The first option, which they almost agreed upon, was ultimately rejected because a prediction program on the Internet (something akin to an online magic eight ball) that listed the company’s fate as “gravity and oblivion”. Even though they weren’t particularly superstitious, they decided to change the name to Nevosoft, which to this day has never been tested with this program.
“Nevo” is an old Scandinavian name for Lake Ladoga, from which the river Neva flows, and the company’s home city St. Petersburg stands on the Neva. “Soft” is a prefix denoting both "soft" and "software". So unpretentious, but with reference to the origins and power of the Vikings, Nevosoft appeared.
We would like to continue our story with “and then it started! games, money, success, recognition... “, but…
…But everything was not that good. The first game was, to put it mildly, not particularly good -- it barely sold any copies. Actually, the team was very close to throwing in the towel and considered looking for jobs. But the Nevosoft Quartet agreed to hack their way through the thorns and carry one.
The days were amazing! They ate soup, cooked from chicken bones (meat was expensive), and porridge (basically the Russian equivalent of instant noodles). Every evening ended with a debate, and the mornings was usually slow and difficult. ;) They worked out of an apartment and room that had the computers was like a cyberpunk room - living virtually, not paying attention to the torn, painted wallpapers, exposed wires, and broken furniture.
They were working on their next game, Dino and Aliens, for more than half a year. This game was the fourth project they released (probably the tenth if we count all the projects that were abandoned or frozen).
Here’s a typical dialogue towards the end of the project:
“Wait! There, on the 12 level, you can go through the fence! We need to fix that bug!” exclaimed Vitaly.
“Oh, % № #$!!!,” blurted Alexey..
The Nevosoft Quartet got some money for the game and even though it was not as much as they hoped for, it was enough to open the first Nevosoft office and hire the first employees.
Since then things have generally gone better. There were times when the four founders did not receive a salary because the company ran out of money. In the course of a year, Nevosoft made a few games and work was in full swing. Everybody had to work until late at night, sometimes sleeping in the office. But they got their reward: a series of games Nevosoft released one after another stormed the top of U.S. sites.
Nevosoft moved to a new office and increased their development of new games.
And then, things finally took off.
Today almost 100 people work together under the Nevosoft flag. All of them are real professionals devoted to the idea of making the world better by making and distributing great video games.
Nevosoft never stands still. Every day we challenge ourselves, look for new possibilities and reach new heights. We are always searching for better solutions to raise the already high standards in the casual game industry. The history of digital entertainment is being written today. And we are happy to be among those who write it!