Why is “Cyberpunk 2077” born in Poland?

Open these Polish games and you will find yourself entering a small world full of history and humanity: “The Witcher” is like entering the medieval magical world of intrigue; “This is our war” is like returning to Sarajevo after the disintegration of Yugoslavia; Cyberpunk 2077 takes us to the future…

In the last month of 2020, a game maxed out all major social media platforms around the world.

The Polish video game giant CD Projekt Red (abbreviated as CDPR, also known as “Polish dumb donkey” in China) released the situational game “Cyberpunk 2077”, which suddenly became popular all over the world. Its sales on the day of sale plus the income from the 8 million pre-sold copies have already exceeded the cost of the studio’s investment in game development and promotion.

Time goes back to May 19, 2015. The game “The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt” developed by this Polish company made its global debut. It debuted in 15 languages ​​on PC, PS4 and Xbox one platforms. The “Witcher” series has been widely recognized today. Unfailing.

The popularity of these two large-scale games confirms the vigorous development of the Polish game industry. Like the rising Polish film industry, the Polish video game industry began to develop after the Cold War. It began with the outsourcing of American technology companies, relying on market forces, and with the support of the domestic government, and gradually became an international powerhouse.

Nearly 1/3 of Poles are game fans
At present, there are a total of 440 game studios in Poland, with more than 9,700 related practitioners, and industry revenues of more than 400 million euros.

In addition to CDPR’s “Witcher” series and “Cyberpunk 2077”, game projects developed by other companies such as People Can Fly, Cl Games or 11 bit studios are also worthy of attention. These games are not all 3A masterpieces, many of them are relatively simple simulation games or other mobile games. For example, the 3D fishing mobile game developed by Ten Square Games has also been a great success in the market. The revenue of unlisted game companies already accounts for 45% of the revenue of the entire game industry in Poland.

The vigorous development of the Polish game industry is inseparable from the audience base. Of the 39 million people in the country, about 12 million Poles are gamers, accounting for almost 1/3 of the total population of Poland. Each person spends an average of US$65 per year on video games, 30% of which are mobile games. This also explains the reason why many game studios on the market can survive-a wide audience of players, whether it is a large game or a simple mobile game, there is always room for survival. The competition among multiple studios has spawned more excellent games.

Retain domestic electronic talents
After the end of the Cold War, many countries in the former Eastern European camp experienced a massive loss of talent. In recent years, relatively developed Central and Eastern European countries such as Poland, the Czech Republic, and Hungary have stopped this trend of brain drain to the West. The progress in the teaching of information technology in Poland and the large number of local talents are undoubtedly the key factors in the rise of the Polish video game industry.

Marcej Matka, a professor of physics in Wroclaw, believes that the advancement of teaching in the field of science and technology has made Poland’s game industry among the top in the world: “Our mathematics, computer and physics are indeed among the top One of the disciplines.” Jagiellonian University in Krakow, the ancient capital of Poland, ranks second in the global ranking of programming disciplines-far ahead of the University of California, Berkeley, Georgia Institute of Technology or universities in other countries.

The popularity of these two large-scale games confirms the vigorous development of the Polish game industry.

The Polish government is also optimistic about the development of the game industry. In Katowice, Poland, the world’s largest e-sports event-Intel Extreme Masters is unveiled every year. In the three-day competition, a total of more than 100,000 spectators attended the e-sports competition with a total prize money of 750,000 U.S. dollars. With the maturity of the event organization system, the higher the player’s attention, the faster the overall game industry will develop. With the support of the Polish Embassy in the United States, Professor Maciej, mentioned above, went to the United States to communicate with colleagues in computer science and participate in coding seminars.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt game wallpaper

2020 Intel Extreme Masters

The expansion and efficiency of the Polish game industry has also injected new vitality into the development of the industry. In 2020, employment in the Polish gaming industry has increased by approximately 7% year-on-year. The most popular positions are game engine unity and unity 3D developers, game project managers and graphic designers; analysts, testers and product managers are also very popular.

The overall expansion of the Polish game industry has made each company’s own talent pool more adequate, and the internal division of labor has a higher degree of professionalism, and cross-border operations are natural. Take CDPR as an example. Its company is headquartered in Warsaw, with game development teams in two Polish cities, Krakow and Wroclaw, and overseas offices in charge of marketing in Los Angeles, Berlin, Tokyo and Shanghai. Place. In terms of the staff composition of the studio itself, the CDPR team has more than 750 people, covering the fields of programming, animation, graphic design, sound effect production, publishing and marketing, etc., and they are also sufficiently professional.

Turn the game into a “artwork”
Compared with the traditional art categories such as drama, literature, and painting, the emerging media has also given birth to new types of art. If the movie is the “eighth art”, then the game can be called the “ninth art”. In addition to technical talents in the development of games, the creative team’s understanding of history, humanities and art is also very important.

Some Polish game IPs that have risen to world-class levels have profound humanistic thoughts. CD Projekt Red was officially operated in 2002. In the second year of its establishment, the studio started to develop a role-playing game, “The Witcher”, which is rooted in the story of Andy Sapukowski’s novel “The Witcher”.

Some Polish game IPs that have risen to world-class levels have profound humanistic thoughts.

TV series “The Demon Hunter” stills

This “The Demon Hunter” trilogy novel was also made into a TV series and became popular in the North American TV market. Many of the scenes in this novel are based on Polish rural legends. Even in a village called Biskupin in the central west of Poland, you can find 1:1 buildings in games and TV. The Polish National Tourism Administration has also launched a field tour of the “Witcher” series.

For Polish game companies, games are more of an art form with a certain human value, rather than products lacking a spiritual core. Therefore, the games that Polish game companies are good at are non-linear, interesting, and open-world role-playing games with a deep storyline.

Conrad Tomskevich, the game director of “The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt”, once talked about the concept of open world games: “I feel like we are at the forefront of the industry trend, because I hope to have More companies choose this path to create more open-world games that focus on story depth and more meaningfulness.”

This belief has positive significance to the spiritual core of the Polish game industry. Many game manufacturers have also expanded the depth of the game when making games. “This is my war” developed by another Polish game company, 11bit Studio, is set in Bosnia and Herzegovina after the collapse of Yugoslavia in the 1990s. In addition to providing entertainment for players, this game also brought deeper educational significance due to its focus on civilian life in war, and was included in the official recommended reading materials for Polish schools. Games are not only a kind of entertainment, but also a spiritual exploration.

If the “Witcher” series of games are based on the novel “The Demon Hunter” adaptation, so what players explore, think and change is the story of another illusory world that has nothing to do with us, then “Cyberpunk 2077” Will the future social “night city” set up with highly developed technology, low quality of life of ordinary people and chaotic social order appear in a corner of the earth someday? Perhaps, the production and release of this game is also due to CDPR wanting everyone to think about what kind of future we want.

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