Star Wars Gamers Choose the Dark Side — Especially in Russia
If you needed further proof that Russia has gone to the Dark Side of the Force, you’re about to get it.
Star Wars Commander, an iOS title that launched August 21, is Disney’s first major Star Wars game (and the first game to fall under the new Star Wars canon, having passed muster with the new Lucasfilm Story Group).
In its simple base-building strategy action, Star Wars Commander may remind gamers a little of Supercell‘s mega-hit Clash of Clans, although its producers told me they had something more like Starcraft in mind.
Certainly, it’s got a long way to go before it reaches the popularity of either of those titles. Disney announced Thursday that Star Wars Commander had been downloaded 5 million times in the last 3 weeks — most impressive, as Darth Vader might say, until you consider Clash of Clans has 30 million players every day.
But the more intriguing part of the Disney announcement? The company revealed what percentage of gamers choose to play as the evil Empire versus the Rebel Alliance — and how that varies country to country.
Most of the world, as you can see in the map below, leans slightly to the Dark Side. There are a surprising amount of Rebel sympathizers in South America, southern Europe, the Middle East, Africa and India. The Force is strongest with the Rebels in Peru, where more than 62% of players chose the Light Side. (Geopolitical essay writers, start your engines.)
The Dark Side dominates the northern hemisphere — some countries more than others. By far the strongest area of Imperial power is in Russia and the other former Soviet republics (yes, even Ukraine).
Russian gamers chose to play as the Empire nearly 58% of the time. Contrast that with American gamers, who are more mildly evil: less than 53% of them went to the Dark Side.
The game is free to download on iPhone and iPad, although there’s plenty of in-game purchasing that will speed up production. Check out more statistics below:
Russians may wish to recall the wise words of Yoda: “Once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny.”
Chris Taylor is the author of How Star Wars Conquered the Universe, the first complete history of the Star Wars franchise and its fandom. Published by Basic Books on September 30, the book is available for pre-order here.