Polish game industry in the shadow of a pandemic
This has been an absolutely awful year for many, many people – a real shocker. The Polish video game industry has exhibited a remarkable growth, the key driving forces behind this year’s growth include the COVID-19 pandemic, with games offering entertainment during the lockdown, the market launch of new generation consoles and some solid game premieres. The pandemic itself has, on the one hand, increased interest in games, but on the other, various companies suffer from delays and interruptions in their product development and launches. Cyberpunk 2077 from CD Projekt Red or Medium from Bloober Team are good examples. Some studios have completely switched to the remote working model, they had to adapt and lose time to get used to the new now. Furthermore, various press conferences, game industry events, game releases, got postponed. Despite everything, the situation is very good, and promises further growth in the coming years.
State of the game industry 2020
To pin down one number in establishing how much the Polish gaming market as a whole is worth is not an easy task, and as the head of business analysis says, it all depends on what aspect we take into consideration. Last year revenues of the Polish industry exceeded 2 billion PLN. There are ~450 studios in Poland, with almost 10k thousand people working in them. Their effort translates into about 200 premieres a year. The total value of 43 listed game producers exceeded 50 billion PLN. CD Projekt is worth 4/5 of this amount. Export generates nearly 96% of the revenue of the Polish game industry. The United States was the main export destination, with up to half of the Polish games being sold and monetized there. This tendency is further strengthened by efforts made by the largest and most salient producers. However, looking at small and mid-sized developers, these proportions are different, and sales in the States only slightly exceed these in the second-largest market, Europe. You can read more about it in The Game Industry of Poland report 2020
Poland is not just CD Projekt Red
The Polish gaming sector, however, is not only about CD Projekt Red. Polish companies are successful in virtually every segment of this market. We should also mention Techland. And we also have strong players on the mobile game market, namely Huuuge Games a company that has for years been creating ‘social casino’ games, as well as Ten Square Games one of the leaders in the development and publication of games shared in the F2P model.
Still, CD Projekt Red is considered to be a marker of success, and a role model for other studios. Of course, we cannot deny CDPR achievements - their huge contribution to the industry, Cyberpunk 2077 is the most anticipated game of the year and will surely achieve incredible success, yet in 2020 several other teams achieved some great success. Render Cube unexpectedly released Medieval Dynasty in early access which stormed the hearts of fans of the survival genre. Carrion from Phobia Game Studio also turned out to be a big surprise, with their unique anti-hero and fun gameplay. The list should also include Ghostrunner fantastic cyberpunk-action game delivered by One More Level and of course the whole Playway families, that floods the market with specific simulators games, which are extremely playable and are gaining great success all over the world.
Game industry trends for 2021
What are our forecasts for the future? They are very optimistic.
The increased engagement and revenues resulting from the pandemic will ripple into the next year and beyond. Polish studios are increasingly making their mark on the global stage. International successes and a good reputation of the Polish video game companies abroad are very impactful to the industry. The market is growing, it’s becoming more professional. We assume that next year will bring new companies to the table, the old ones will continue to expand and hire new specialists to make even better games. At this point, it is worth mentioning that the evolution of technology will result in the creation of new jobs positions. (Cloud gaming, AR, AI, Ray Tracing) The next-gen consoles will also help with that - new consoles provide new opportunities that have never been available before. They will need time and people to get to know all their capabilities. Augmented reality technology saw its record growth in 2020. We believe that this trend will continue because the technology has not been used up to its maximum potential. There are many games in production that will utilize it even more.
The next big Polish thing
2021 will be a strong year for the industry. Dying Light 2 from Techland, The Witcher: Monster Slayer from Spokko, People Can Fly Outriders, Shadow Warrior 3 from Flying Wild Hogs and a new Sniper: Ghost Warrior Contracts 2 from CI Games are the top of the iceberg there are plenty more to come!
Consider starting a Gamedev career in 2021?
These companies will still need highly professional engineers, IT specialists, game designers, pr teams, community management and so on. With growth, the search for new employees will begin, this will open new opportunities for job seekers.
If you haven’t already started your career, that’s certainly a good option to think about in the upcoming year! The number of game dev jobs is constantly growing and it doesn’t seem to change anytime soon.
If you are serious about working in the Polish Gamedev check out our advice on How not to waste your chance to get hired by your dream studio.