Russian giant Group launched as a US-focused subsidiary last year, focused on offering free email and messaging apps subsidized by the revenues from free-to-play mobile games. Now the company is expanding into ‘triple-A’ PC game publishing. is announcing today at GDC that it will launch four three free-to-play massively multiplayer online (MMO) games this year for Windows PCs. Armored Warfare is a tank combat game, Skyforge and Evolution are both RPGs, while the first to launch will be World of Speed, a social racing game with team play and auto clubs that players can join (update: has clarified to us that Evolution is an iOS, not Windows, game).

Speaking to us at SXSW recently, Group chairman and CEO Dmitry Grishin, explained that he sees a big opportunity in massively multiplayer online games in genres such as racing where there is less competition than in the role-playing game sector.

Developing original triple-A titles specifically for the notoriously flighty free-to-play market may sound risky for While it’s an increasingly popular model in the PC gaming market, the West is fresh territory for Group, which is used to appealing to a Russian-speaking audience.

Still, Grishin believes that he is on the right track versus a traditional upfront payment or monthly subscription model. “In our model, everybody can play the game… fundamentally, it’s a more democratic model.”

It’s not as if Group doesn’t have experience in this field – gaming represented nearly a quarter of its revenue last year. Still, is an unproven brand, so Grishin will have to hope that his successful Russian formula appeals to audiences further West.