In fact, in Poland there are three main centres, in which there are clusters of the videogame companies. These are: Warsaw, Wrocław and Kraków with Silesia. It is hard to compare them. They all have local peculiarities, assets and drawbacks, characteristic for each localisation. Of couse Warsaw is the leader, because of headquarters of CD-Projekt and such companies City Interactive and Techland, but Kraków and Wrocław keep pace with it. I wouldn't be surprised if the leader changed in near future – says Mariusz Socha, Project Coordinator at Krakow Technology Park.
Currently in the capital of Lesser Poland there are about 30 companies from digital entertainment sector. You can list such studios as Artifex Mundi, CD-Projekt RED, Reality Pump, Ganymede or Teyon. Also activity of the biggest gaming website in Poland – Gry-OnLine, which is promoting Polish industry overseas, should be noted. There is also very modern recording studio in the country - Alvernia Studios.
What prompts videogame companies to invest in Kraków? Undoubtedly, the main asset of the city is its academic character. In Kraków there are about 200,000 students, 36,000 of whom are studying sciences connected to computer science. It is important to note, that videogame production means not only programming skills, but also graphics, gamedesign, business, marketing and many others. Thanks to the large number of higher education institutions, access to people specialising in these fields is a lot easier in Kraków – answers Mariusz Socha. There is also positive atmosphere for videogame industry companies, created by such institutions as Krakow Technology Park, Województwo Małopolskie, Miasto Kraków or higher education institutions – he adds.
Kraków for videogame industry
The potential of videogame sector was first noticed by Krakow Technology Park, which in 2008, together with the Jagiellonian University and AGH University of Science and Technology, have founded European Academy of Games and Europejskie Centrum Gier (European Game Centre) cluster. Additionally, a few months ago, KTP has become a coordinator of Digital Entertainment Cluster, a cluster with the most important companies in Lesser Poland.
Our biggest success so far has been organising Digital Dragons conference, for digital entertainment professionals In two years we have managed to create the biggest event of that type in Poland. Latest editions has attracted 600 participants from about 100 developing studios and 10 countries – says Mariusz Socha.
Videogame industry for Kraków
In the capital of Lesser Poland there is currently a large number of videogame industry companies, and more want to join. A proof of that trend is opening CD-Projekt RED office in Kraków. The office will employ about 20 people. What profit is there for the city from the development of this sector?
You have to think about videogame industry not only as an IT sector, but also as a digital entertainment branch, which is one of the fastest developing industry branches in the world. People with different education and skills can find jobs here, and the earnings often are bigger than the ones in traditional industry. This is why creating or drawing such companies to Kraków should be a crucial element of city and regional politics – explains Mariusz Socha.