DST Creates Russian Online Powerhouse By Merging Mail.ru And Astrum

Red Square; Moscow

Digital Sky Technologies (DST), the Russian firm that recently paid $200 million for a two percent stake in Facebook, is playing puppet-master yet again.

It’s merging Mail.ru, one of Russia’s most popular online portals, with massively-multiplayer online (MMO) game developer Astrum Online Entertainment, according to Vedomosti (via Quintura). It is not clear whether the two companies will retain their own branding as a combined entity.

DST took a majority stake in Mail.ru in January; the portal and Astrum initially started working together to promote the MMORPG Legend: Legacy of the Dragons in March. Astrum itself is the result of a merger between five online game developers over the course of 2007 and 2008, that together, launched more than 30 MMOs.

The deal will automatically pump up traffic to Astrum’s games, since Mail.ru reportedly attracts over 40 million users per month. The combined company will also be better at generating revenue than either property could on its own, since it will run on subscription fees and virtual goods sales from the games, in addition to online ads.

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