Video game market in Poland is currently one of the most dynamically developing economic sectors. Game industry, estimated at about PLN 1.8 billion, is growing by 10% per year and already consists of as many as 300 companies.
One may go as far as to call the economic situation of the Polish video game market nothing short of Eldorado. The international successes of games such as “The Witcher” or “This War of Mine”, great results on the stock market, and the acclaim of 13.5 million players in Poland alone are the reasons why the Polish game industry constitutes 0.6% of the entire global market, estimated last year at about USD 90 billion.
According to PWC’s report “Development forecast for Game and Media Industry in Poland in 2016–2020”, the projected value of game market should reach USD 573 million in 2020, an increase of 35% in comparison to 425 million in 2015. This significantly exceeds the global and European averages. Moreover, a 10% increase in this economic segment exceeds results in other countries that reached 6-8%.According to the “Condition of Polish Video Game Industry” report, Małopolska is home for more than 20% of video game developers. In Kraków, one can find the offices of, among others, the Warsaw giant – CD Projekt (The Witcher), Gamedesire (Snooker Live Pro) and Reality Pump Studios (Earth 2160). 80% of Polish companies have been operating for approx. 3 years, with 8% of them having a new game budget that amounts to PLN 10 million..
Kraków attracts game developers
Kraków’s place on the Polish gaming map is only made more significant by the “Digital Dragons” conference, one of the most important events in the video game industry in Central Europe. Over 1300 participants and 438 companies will take part in the conference held on 22-23 May in International Congress Centre (ICE). Its programme includes lectures, independent project shows and an award ceremony with Dragon Egg statuettes – prizes in DD Awards contest.
It is not the first time that Kraków has made an attempt to attract game developers. European Game Centre is a joint initiative of video game companies: AGH University of Science and Technology, The Jagiellonian University and Kraków Technology Park. ECG’s aim is to support the development of video game industry in the region, establish specialised post-graduate programme and European Games Academy, a game motion capture animation and sound studio.
The success of Polish games on the stock market
The growing video game market is also a great opportunity for potential investors. In spite of the bad situation on the Polish stock market and WIG20 in recent years, a considerable profit can be made on game shares. Although this market often suffers from significant fluctuations, there also exists potential for high gains. A good example is the company CD Projekt (The Witcher) whose shares have risen by 1000%
within 5 years since its debut and its price now exceeds PLN 3 billion.“The Witcher” is not the only game that has achieved such a great result. A considerable growth of 2300% in share prices was recorded by the company “11 bit studios”, which made its debut at NewConnect 5 years ago. The company owes its success to the game “This War of Mine”, that proved to be an international hit.
Government support programmes
“The Witcher”, “This War of Mine”, “Shadow Warrior 2” and “Dying Light” are some of the most famous Polish games of the recent years, whose international success was a major factor contributing to the recognition of this business sector by the Polish government.
Video game developers may now expect government support, such as the “GameINN” contest created in 2016. The National Centre for Research and Development founded 38 projects for a total of PLN 166 million in the first contest. Annual grants are planned to increase the competitiveness of Polish companies in the world by 2023.