Gaming has become a massive global industry in recent years, and Poland is one country playing a big role in driving it forward. Let’s take a look at some of the most important factors that have made Poland such a significant gaming hub.
The Success Found by CD Projekt
This Warsaw-based game developer and publisher was founded in 1984, becoming one of the first companies to localize games for the Polish audience. Its first taste of global success came with The Witcher series, which was released in 2007 and has since spawned two sequels. Known for the terrific visual style and ambiguous moral decisions offered to players, The Witcher is based on the book series of the same name by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski.
Cyberpunk 2077 is their other best-known game. Released amid a huge deal of hype in 2020, it gives players control of a mercenary named V as he goes through a dystopian open-world setting. Despite initial teething problems upon its release, it became one of the fastest-selling video games in history and had sold 22 million copies across a variety of formats by April 2022.
The company has recently revealed how the time of its employees has been split recently, with some of them working on a new Witcher game and others on projects related to the Gwent card game featured in The Witcher III. However, most of CD Projekt’s capacity has been allocated to work going on in the task of creating a Cyberpunk expansion in time for a release this year.
Some Statistics on the Industry
CD Projekt is now classed as the most valuable gaming company in Europe, with a valuation that has rocketed from $2.3 billion in 2017 to just over $4 billion at the start of 2022, having reached over $8 billion in between. Their stock is now traded on the WIG20, meaning that it’s one of the 20 biggest companies on the Warsaw Stock Exchange.
This isn’t the only big games company in Poland, though. Ten Square games is a Wroclaw-based firm that has carved out a strong position in the free-to-play hobby games niches. Formed in 2011, their shares are traded on the Warsaw Stock Exchange with a market capitalization that has climbed above $1 billion in the recent past.
According to the Polish Agency for Enterprise Development, the video game market in the country is worth €470 million, with the vast majority of games that are created here aimed at the worldwide gaming market rather than purely domestic consumption.
Naturally, the importance of the gaming industry in Poland has turned this into a solid career opportunity. For example, Ten Square Games currently have over 320 employees and CD Projekt has more than 1,000 people working for them. Overall, there are more than 400 Polish game development studios with close to 10,000 employees.
The iGaming industry gives us another example of how a growing sector in the gaming industry can lead to more career opportunities. In this case, we can see that Polish online casinos such as Betsson, Betsafe, and Rizk have added a new element. These sites have extensive collections of games and a safe setting, with a welcome bonus to get new players started. However, it’s the introduction of live casino games that has added a new career opportunity as croupiers are needed to present games such as blackjack and roulette.
What are the main reasons Poland is now such a big gaming hub? The fact that there are around 16 million gamers here is a sign that it’s something that a lot of the population has an interest in. More importantly, the education system helps, with an emphasis on mathematics and several dozen university courses focused on video game creation.
Poland seems set to remain at the forefront of the game development industry. This means that we can expect more acclaimed games to be made here and more career opportunities to arise for people who want to work in this fast-moving area.