The Rise of the Gaming Industry in Central Europe

Cyberpunk 2077, a Triple-A class title, created by Polish company CD Project Red, has become a worldwide success with over 14 million copies sold. It’s only one of a number of titles created by companies in the 3Seas region taking the world by storm.

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screen shot from cyberpunk game shows man in the future city
Central Eastern European gaming companies like Poland's CD Project Red, creator of Cyberpunk 2077 are taking the gaming world by storm. Photo: courtesy of CD Projekt Red

In recent years, some of the most talked-about titles appreciated by the global gaming community have come from Polish and Czech studios. Some have already reached legendary status. Older titles are remembered with fondness and are still, according to the players, a benchmark of “how games should be made today.” Recently announced titles raise hopes for new quality and variety in the global gaming industry. The following is a brief overview of just some of the Triple-A (made by large companies with large budgets) and Indie (made by independent developers) titles released in recent years by studios with a Central and Eastern European pedigree.

Triple-A titles

The Witcher 3 -CD Project Red

Frostpunk – 11 bit Studios

Dying Light – Techland

Mafia – 2K Czech (form. Illusion Softworks)

Arma – Bohemia Interactive

Indie titles

This War of Mine – 11 bit Studios

Samorost – Amanita Design

Botanicula – Amanita Design

Machinarium – Amanita Design

These titles have particularly captured the hearts of gamers with their high quality, grandeur, and stunning audio-visuals.

Simulators of Everything

An interesting phenomenon in the computer game market is the serially published, so-called ‘simulators of everything,’ such as Farming Simulator, Car Mechanic Simulator, Fishing Simulator – games that let players recreate quotidian activities on a monitor. These productions are commonly associated with relatively low budgets and, sometimes, questionable quality. Despite this, they are becoming increasingly popular, with the unassuming Polish leader in the segment – PlayWay – turning into a local giant. What’s more interesting is the fact that the quality of these products is steadily rising, and their content and entertainment value are increasing. And even more interesting – such studios are increasingly trying their hand at more ambitious production ventures with some success.

Full of potential with room for further development

There is no denying that the Central and Eastern Europe studios offer a completely different and fresh approach to the story and gameplay mechanics. This is stark in contrast to large companies like Electronic Arts or Ubisoft, which have fallen into the trap of serial, pattern-based repetition (not to mention the increasingly low quality of games released in poor technical condition). Also noteworthy is the excellent technical quality of the titles at the time of release. This testifies to the high potential and qualifications of our programmers, graphic designers, and 3D designers, who are already highly valued by Western studios.

Jakub Warzecha

Creative copywriter, archaeologist. Interested in history, technology and military matters. Specializes in marketing communications and application architecture design.

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