The Rise of Gaming in Poland

Morgan is a writer, gamer, photographer, and heavy metal enthusiast. Her passion for gaming encompasses both AAA and indie, with a heavy focus on the latter. As AllGamers' resident indie expert, you can expect her to wax poetic about all the latest and greatest indie titles whenever the opportunity arises. 

Morgan's typical day includes an indie gaming marathon and several large cups of coffee. Even on the weekend, you can often find her perched in front of the computer browsing through Steam's new releases. Her current platform of choice is PC, but having grown up with Nintendo, she also has a soft spot for the Switch (especially thanks to its ever-expanding catalogue of indies). 

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How Poland is becoming a dominating force in the gaming marketplace.

Poland’s gaming industry has been seeing an impressive level of growth in a short amount of time. It almost feels like Poland took a firm (and likely permanent) step into the gaming realm overnight. As of 2014, the Polish gaming industry was worth an estimated $279.6 million.

The following year, the number continued to grow exponentially, tallying in at $400 million in 2015 according to Newzoo. This figure is comprised of hundreds of different gaming studios which employ well over 2,000 talented game developers in both the AAA and indie game sectors.

Two of Poland’s biggest AAA gaming studios are CD Projekt Red (The Witcher, Cyberpunk 2077) and Techland (Dead Island, Dying Light). Whereas on the indie side, you have 11 Bit Studios (The War of Mine), Flying Wild Hog (Hard Reset Redux, Shadow Warrior 2), and the Superhot team, to name just a few.

Furthermore, Poland is swiftly becoming a dominating force in esports, with several major tournaments hosted in Poland every year like the Intel Extreme Masters, which takes place in Katowice.

The 2016 Intel Extreme Masters in Katowice, Poland.

Many gamers are now starting to ask the question, why Poland? Well, the first reason has to do with Poland’s system of education, which is rated at #10 globally compared to the US, which falls in somewhere around #17. To summarize Poland’s stance on education, just listen to what Techland CEO Pawel Marchewka had to say:

"The biggest advantage to game devs in Poland as a whole is just how developed and accessible our education system is. Higher education is highly subsidized and programs focusing on science, medicine and maths are extremely developed here,” Marchewka explained.

"So we have an abundant talent pool of young people to pick from to help shape into game devs. These individuals are highly knowledgeable in their related fields and are often fluent in multiple languages."

The second reason stems from Poland’s indomitable spirit. The gaming scene began its upward climb in the mid-90s, but didn’t kick down the door until the release of The Witcher in 2007. By that time, Polish game developers had their spirits buoyed knowing that a game franchise as successful as The Witcher was created right in their very own backyard. 

When the world took note of CD Projekt Red, so too did aspiring Polish developers. Now, Poland is on a winning streak with no sign of slowing down. The future of the Polish gaming scene is bright, bringing with it the emergence of fresh talent in the indie sector, and high profitability in the AAA marketplace.

For more interesting gaming features here at Indie Obscura, be sure to check out how the gaming market generated over $91 billion in 2016.

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