AdAction - founded in 2007. This
company does various advertising-related stuff - including advergaming.
They claim to even be able to develop advergaming for consoles like the
XBox 360. I'll believe that when I see it ;). They also have a blog about
advergaming - AdGames.
Aidem Media - founded in 1997.
This company specialises in edutainment - they've developed a wide range
of educational games aimed at young children. Apart from that, they've
also made one or two non-educational games, also aimed at young children.
Unlike just about everybody else on this list, they do not publish their
software in English (which is unsurprising, given that most of their
brands are based on Polish cartoons).
Appendix Games - founded in
2001 in Stettin, currently based in Warsaw. This is a fairly large (around
fifteen people) independent team that specialises in games for the
Nintendo Wii and DS, although they have also developed some PC
applications. In the past, Appendix Games specialised in mobile phone
games, so their past titles include a huge number (41 titles, though not
all of them were published) of mobile phone games. They have also
published several titles for the Nintendo GameBoy Advance (GBA) and the
Nintendo DS (DS) - Urban Yeti (2002, GBA), Ultimate Book of
Spells (2002, GBA), Garfield: The Search for Pooky (2004, GBA),
Games Explosion! (2006, GBA) Professor Brainium's Games
(2007, DS) and Holly Hobbie & Friends (2007, DS). Both of the
DS titles, as well as Games Explosion! for the GBA, were developed
for Frontline Studios.
Arjaloc - this company was
established in 2002 as a publisher/distributor. In 2004, they started
producing their own software - mainly, various entertainment-oriented
applications, like Tattoo Studio (2006?) or Tuning Car Studio
(2007?). They've also developed one or two games, including Rooster
Booster (2007?) and Mr. Ball (2007?). It's hard to tell when
any of these titles were developed - the website doesn't mention it, and
I've never seen them in stores.
Artichoke Design - hmm, I wonder
if I'm going a bit overboard adding companies like this one. Artichoke
Design is a website developer - and one of the services they offer is web
games made in Flash, so I figure they deserve a mention.
ASSA - Tannhauser Gate -
established around 1989. This company is a developer, but of an entirely
different kind - they build buildings. I'm not sure if the company still
functions - the website doesn't appear to have been updated for a few
years. What do they have in common with computer games? Well, ASSA was the
parent of Tannhauser Gate - a games developer.
Tannhauser Gate - founded in 1998 by the son of the owner of ASSA.
I don't think this was ever actually a separate company, but they can be
considered a subsidiary. The company initially worked in a computer
graphics, with the intention of developing a feature-length CGI movie.
Unable to obtain enough finances for this project, they switched to
games development. A lot of the graphics developed for their movie
eventually found its way into their first game, Mimesis Online
(2002). This game also happens to be the only Polish
massively-multiplayer online game made thus far. They then completed an
action RPG for the Nokia N-Gage, The Roots: Gates of Chaos
(2005). Their final project was a Japanese-style RPG entitled The
Roots. Unfortunately, in July 2005 the publisher abandoned the
project. With no alternative financing, the project was terminated and
the company effectively ceased to exist. The company's old website
has been taken offline. Interestingly, the websites for both The
Roots: Gates of Chaos and The Roots are still online - check
them out here
and here. You
can also check out the company's original
website thanks to the Wayback
Machine internet archive. There is, additionally, a
"sequel" of sorts - Can't
Stop Games was established in 2007 as a partnership by ex-Tannhauser
employee together with Tannhauser's erstwhile CEO. This new company, as
far as I know, has no financial connections with ASSA.
Avantgarde BEE 3D - this company existed somewhere between 2005 and
2006. I only found out about it when I saw it in someone's profile on LinkedIn.
It appears that this company was founded by people from InterActive
Vision's MindBeacon studio, and following the death of this company, they
moved on to Gamelion and BLStream.
Well, MindBeacon was in Szczecin, then this company was in Szczecin, and
now Gamelion has a studio in
Szczecin - so clearly, this was the missing link :). This company only
developed one game - WWII: Tank Battles (2006) for the PS2,
published by Midas Interactive
(who also seemed to have something to do with InterActive Vision...).
BLStream Group - this
international company is... err, a "convergence specialist"? :P
Anyway, at the end of 2007, they merged with the mobile gaming developer Gamelion,
which in turn owns two studios in Poland. Although both companies are
owned by the same Finnish investors, they are, primarily, Polish
companies, with most of their employees located in Poland.
Gamelion - this mobile games
developer was founded in 2002, and has established various facilities in
Finland, Ukraine and Poland. Their Polish subsidiaries are
development-focused. Gamelion specialises in games for mobile phones,
including 3d games for next-generation phones. Their customers include
even EA. Gamelion is not restricted to
mobile gaming, however - they also develop small internet games.
Gamelion Studios Bydgoszcz - established in 2007, though its core
team members had already worked as mobile gaming developers earlier.
Although they do not have their own website as such, you can read a
bit about them in various Gamelion blog entries here.
Gamelion Studios Szczecin - established in 2006, this was
Gamelion's first Polish studio. Although they do not have their own
website as such, you can read a bit about them in various Gamelion
blog entries here.
Calaris Studios - founded in
1993 by the brothers Sebastian & Dominik Zielinski, under the name TSA
Produkcja Oprogramowania - Programy Autorskie. Their debut was the Amiga
top-down shooter Rooster (1994). Four more Amiga games followed - Rooster
II (1994), the critically-acclaimed (in Poland) Dan Wilder
(1994) and two FPS games - Intercalaris (1995) and Project
Battlefield (1995). They then switched to the PC, developing the
unpublished NetGuard (1997). NetGuard's engine was
subsequently used in Mirage
Interactive's Mortyr: 2093-1944 (1999), (although Calaris
itself was not officially involved in Mortyr, Sebastian Zielinski
was credited as the lead programmer). In late 2001, they begun working
with CD Projekt, setting up a
separate company (CD Projekt Red Studio, headed by Sebastian Zieliniski)
for this purpose. In 2003, Sebastian Zielinski returned to Calaris. Since
then, they have made the RTS/RPG The Mysterious Island (2004), the
action game Monkey's Adventures (2005, aka Tytus here in
Poland - the game is based on a popular Polish comicbook,), and a WWII
shooter called Wolfschanze 1944 (2006, aka Wilczy Szaniec in
Poland). More recently, Calaris has been working on projects for Frontline
Studios, though they remain an independent company. Because they work
for Frontline, they do not currently offer any information about their
projects on their website.
Can't Stop Games - founded
in late 2007 by Ziemowit Poniewierski and Artur Jaskolski (the latter of
whom had previously owned Tannhauser Gate). This rapidly-growing company
specialises in browser-based massively multiplayer online games. They
released the beta version of their first product, Tanadu,
in late 2008.
Carrywater Consulting -
previously known as IT Experts. This company specialises in various IT and
project management consulting services. They do, however, also own their
own mobile gaming development studio, Tequila
Tequila Mobile -
established in 2003. Tequila Mobile works on mobile gaming and casual
games. Like with all other mobile gaming companies, their titles are
getting too numerous to list :).
CD Projekt - founded in 1994,
this company is one of the giants of the Polish games industry. Above all,
they are a publisher/distributor - they localise, publish and distribute
various (mainly non-Polish) games, including many well-known titles like WarCraft
III (2002) or Europa Universalis II (2000). As a publisher,
they work outside of Poland, too - they have an office in Prague, in the
Czech Republic. In 2002, they set up a development team, CD Projekt Red
Studio, with the sole purpose of developing The Witcher (2007;
Polish title Wiedzmin) - see below for an extended history of this
studio. In 2008, CD Projekt
announced the acquisition of Metropolis
Software as their second development studio. Until 2008, the company
had been progressing very nicely, and had started planning the transition
to a public company listed on the Warsaw
stock exchange to speed up growth. Hit very hard by the economic
crisis in late 2008, the company has had to go through some very painful
reductions. In October 2009, CD Projekt announced the company would be
purchased by Optimus S.A. This is not
a unilateral buyout, however - the owners of CD Projekt will own 50% of
Optimus, which means that this move is essentially a short-cut for CD
Projekt to enter the stock exchange by becoming a part of an
already-listed company. Unfortunately, there is no reason to believe this
will solve CD Projekt's financial problems just yet - Optimus itself has
not been doing well in recent times either, and ironically, is probably a
smaller company altogether than CD Projekt.
CD Projekt Red Studio - set up in 2002, in cooperation with Sebastian
Zielinski from Calaris Studios
(who became the first head of Red Studio); their first project was The
Witcher, an action RPG based on a highly successful Polish fantasy
book series of the same name. The plan was to use Calaris
Studios's proprietary IC engine in The Witcher. However, they
were ultimately unable to come to an agreement with Calaris
Studios about the engine. Consequently, in early 2003, Sebastian
Zielinski left, going back to Calaris
Studios. Some other members of the Red Studio team were also
subsequently dismissed, and later that year the decision was made to use
BioWare's Aurora Engine in The
Witcher. Subsequent development dragged out for four more years,
until the game was finally released in late 2007 - and judging from
reviews, it has turned out to be one of the best Polish titles developed
so far. In the meantime, the studio had grown from half a dozen to well
over fifty people. The studio does not really have their own website,
only The Witcher project
website. They are currently
working on a sequel to The Witcher.
Good Old Games - founded around
2007 or 2008 by CD Projekt. This
is an internet portal that sells old games - not just CD Projekt's
games, mind you, but games from all over the world. Real classics - neat
- founded in 1992, this was one of Poland's longest-surviving
independent game developers, until being purchased by CD
Projekt in 2008. Unfortunately, this development team appears to
have been virtually shut down in mid-2009. CD Projekt's financial
situation made it impossible to continue development without securing an
external publisher for their project (They) - and no such
publisher was found. The company had released their first product, the
adventure game Tajemnica Statuetki (1993), the next year. Other
games by this company include the adventure games Teen Agent
(1995), Ksiaze i Tchorz (aka Galador, 1998), and the
tactical combat game Gorky 17 (1999), aka Odium. More
recently, they've made Gorky Zero: Beyond Honor (2004), which is
a prequel to Gorky 17 (although it is a third-person action game
rather than tactical combat), and Aurora Watching (2005), the
sequel to Gorky Zero: Beyond Honor. Their latest (and it seems,
final) release is Infernal: License to Sin (2007) - another
third-person action game. The last game they worked on was a sci-fi
action title - They.
Porting House - formerly the
CD Projekt Localisation Centre. Set up in 2004, the Porting House
is a subsidiary of CD Projekt. Originally established to handle
localisation (not merely into Polish - they handle localisation in
various languages), they have moved into other outsourced services -
porting games to and from multiple platforms, QA tests, and so on. This
rapidly growing - and, at least according to my knowledge, very
well-managed - company has had a very tough time as a consequence of the
global economic crisis. Having suddenly lost many contracts, and with
much-reduced support from the mother company, they had shrunk very
noticeably in early 2009. Since then, they'd gone through some major
changes, but it seems they are now starting to recover.
Chaos Works - aka xLand Games (note: I'm not 100% certain if these are
indeed the same company, although certainly all the people that worked for
xLand Games subsequently worked for Chaos Works, so...). This Krakow-based
company existed between 1989 and 2001. During that time, they worked on
several games - starting with The Adventures of Robbo (1989) on the
Atari ST, then the legendary Electro Man (1992; aka Electro Body
- personally, I think it's one of the best games ever), then Heartlight
(1994). Those three are listed as being developed by xLand Games.
Afterwards, their remaining games are attributed to Chaos Works - Fire
Fight (1996), Excessive Speed (1999; together with Ganymede
Technologies), and Akimbo: Kung-Fu Hero (2001). After that, the
company presumably ceased to exist.
Charismath Interactive - a
mobile phone games developer. The company seems to have started out in
2004, releasing a few mobile phone games that year. These days, they
appear to be working on applications rather than games. Well, more
specifically, they appear not to be working on anything at all since
CitrusCombo - another new
mobile phone games developer, founded around 2005. So far, they've
released three games - Toxic Racer (2005), Jack Apple Eater
(2005) and Bum!Bum! (2005). It doesn't seem like they've actually
done anything since then, however.
City Interactive -
founded in 2002, this company is currently the biggest developer in
Poland, and a major international publisher as well. City Interactive has
four development studios in Poland. They also have multiple offices
throughout the world, as part of their distribution network. City
Interactive in its current form as a publicly owned company was created in
late 2007; at that time, City Interactive merged with Onimedia (a sister
company with the same owner, also founded in 2002) and was listed on the Warsaw
stock exchange - the first Polish games developer to do so. started
off an ). Following the entry onto the stock exchange, City Interactive
went through a period of very, very aggressive growth - acquiring new
studios, including the above-mentioned South American adventure, setting
up new offices and hiring a lot of new employees. This growth ground to a
halt towards the end of 2008, when the company started dismissing
employees, and others leaving on their own accord. In 2009, the company
went through massive restructuring - the Warsaw development branch shrunk
to about a dozen people, while the Rzeszow and Katowice branches expanded
a bit. The company's focus has also changed, with a growing emphasis on
adventure games and console (especially Nintendo DS) titles. City
Interactive has always specialised in 'value' titles, and their products
are now far too numerous to list - they include several series (Wings
of Honour, Terrorist Takedown, Battlestrike, Combat
Wings, Code of Honor, The Art of Murder, The
Chronicles of Mystery), as well as many individual titles, the most
notable of which include the PC games Project Freedom (2004; aka Space
Interceptor), Jet Storm (2005; aka Jet Fighter 2015),
and Redneck Kentucky and the Next Generation Chickens (2007), and Sushi
Academy (2009) for the Nintendo DS.
City Interactive - to better illustrate the structure of this
company, I'm listing the main development studio as a subsidiary, so
that the developers that had once merged to form City Interactive do not
get confused with current subsidiaries. Originally, City Interactive was
an amalgamation of three smaller game developers (Lemon Interactive,
Tatanka, and We Open Eyes) - not a trace of these remains any more,
apart from the listing below.
Lemon Interactive - formerly known as Coda, this company was mainly
a publisher of low-budget titles. Before they formed City Interactive,
these guys were going to publish We Open Eyes's Project Earth
(2002), and Detalion's Nina:
Agent Chronicles (2003). When City Interactive formed, most of
Lemon Interactive actually formed the core of Onimedia, rather than
Onimedia - aka Oni Games. They were a sister company to City
Interactive - they had the same group of owners, but were always a
separate company rather than a subsidiary. This was City's publishing
branch, responsible for the publishing and distribution of all
externally-developed games. At the end of 2007, they formally merged
with City Interactive.
Tatanka - these guys started off their life as a demo group (i.e.,
a team producing small, but technologically-impressive programs, whose
primary function is to show off various programming tricks),
eventually forming a company and moving on to simple games, websites,
educational software and the like. Among other things, they've
produced Asy Przestworzy (2002), the precursor to City
Interactive's Wings of Honour. This company was one of the core
that formed City interactive. Although they are long, long gone,
they've recently put up their old
website just for the fun of it.
We Open Eyes - another team that started off as a demo group,
before they caught Lemon Interactive's attention with Genocide,
a space-shooter that eventually turned into the space RTS game Starmageddon,
aka Project Earth.
City Interactive Americas - set up in 2007, the development studio in
Peru was to produce content for titles developed at City's Polish
studios. This studio existed for about a year, and was finally shut down
at the end of 2008, due to high costs and poor results.
City Katowice - in 2006, City Interactive set up their first
subsidiary studio in Katowice (southern Poland). This studio does not
actually develop whole titles - its personnel produce content for the
titles developed at the main studio in Warsaw.
City Poznan - set up in 2009. As I understand it, they mainly provide
art assets for the other studios.
City Rzeszow (aka Detalion Art)
- in 2007, City Interactive announced another new (also wholly-owned)
studio, this time in Rzeszow (south-eastern Poland). This is not
actually a new studio - basically, City bought up Detalion Art,
which was one of the splinter groups from the old, defunct Detalion.
This studio concentrates on adventure games, for example The Art of
Fresh Chicken Studio
- originally a completely independent developer (set up around... 2005,
2006?), Fresh Chicken Studio was purchased by City Interactive in 2008.
This studio specialises in products for the Nintendo DS. Fresh Chicken
Studio is based in the Katowice agglomeration, and they are now located
in the same building as City Katowice.
Digital Red - Digital Red, as I understand it, formally remains a
separate company from City Interactive, but it may as well be considered
a subsidiary, since it has the same owner. Digital Red publishes porn
products. Unfortunately, since this includes some computer games (e.g. All
Star Strip Poker (2006) ), I have to list them here.
Codeminion - set up at some
point around 2004. Although tiny, this is a genuine company, not a
moneyless indie :). They develop small games sold online. So far,
this has included Pteroglider (2004), Magic Match (2006), Stoneloops!
(2008), and Ancient Quest of Saqqarah (2008).
ComAngle Interactive - I know
very, very little about this company. Their website appeared around 2009,
but possibly they have been around longer. There are two possibilities
about this company - either they are a complete fiction, or they are a
surprisingly large company that's emerged out of nowhere (entering gamedev
from another field?). They claim to be doing just about everything
game-related, from complete development to outsourcing services like
composing music. Their job offers
page is something bizarre, too - they appear to be looking for absolutely
everyone. I am not able to work out if any of their projects have actually
Crazy Computer Confederation - a long, long time ago... back in 1996,
there was a company (or perhaps just a group of people working together?)
by this name. They developed the adventure game called Swirus
(1996), published by Mirage Interactive, back in the days when Mirage was
still a publisher (and... well, when it still existed at all). That's all
I know about them - I have no idea since when they existed, nor how long
afterwards they might have existed, nor if they developed any other games.
Detalion - developers of Nina:
Agent Chronicles (2003, published by City
Interactive), as well as of Schism: Prawdziwe Wyzwanie (2001),
published in English as Schism: Mysterious Journey, and Draggo
(2003). More recently, they have made Schism 2: Kameleon (2004),
aka Mysterious Journey 2: Chameleon, and Sentinel: Straznik
Grobowca (2005), aka Sentinel: Descendants in Time. With the
exception of Nina and Draggo, all their games are Myst-style
puzzle/adventure games. Detalion itself died a few years ago, leaving
behind two splinter groups - the first, Detalion
Games (see below), tries (tried?) to continue developing games, while
the other, Detalion Art, worked
as an outsourcing studio, until being purchased by City
Interactive (see the City
Interactive entry above).
Detalion Games - founded
at some point after 2005, which was when the last Detalion
game was published. It's hard to tell if this company actually exists,
or if they merely existed for a while and died out - according to their
website, they're working on an action game called Galander, but
because of the website's structure, there's no way of telling when they
last added any info about the game. Of course, Detalion itself had also
always been very secretive...
directDreams - probably
established in 2003 (that's the copyright date on their website...). They
develop games and applications for mobile phones. Their games so far
include Bomberman! (date unknown) and Szachy (chess; date
also unknown). There doesn't seem much progress on their website, but I
get the impression they do still exist.
Drago Entertainment -
founded in 1995 by former TopWare
Interactive employees, and based in Krakow. Their first game was the
combat helicopter sim Hell-Copter (1999) - which must have been a
very low-profile release, as I can't even find any reviews for it.
More recently, they made the action game Cold Zero (2003), aka Cold
Zero: No Mercy, followed by Oil Tycoon II (2005). Their website
also mentions the title Witch Hunter, but the lack of publication
date or publisher suggests this project was never completed. They are
currently working on a post-apocalyptic action RPG, Vault-7. I've
also been told that that Revoltage
was in fact founded by former Drago employees - which seems to suggest the
company went through some trouble after Oil Tycoon II, and is only
now getting back to making games.
Eeezee Products - this
appears to be a new incarnation of an older Polish developer, Leryx
Longsoft (aka LongSoft Games), a company that disappeared from the market
around the year 2002/2003, their last game being V.O.T.E.R Golem
(2003). Eezee Products credits itself for several of Leryx's games, from Clash
(1997) to the afore-mentioned V.O.T.E.R Golem. In its present
incarnation, Eezee Products was established in 2004. Their current website
is fairly uninformative, so it's not clear what products they have
developed since 2004 - the only ones they mention specifically is the
utility software DVD Ripper (date of publication unknown) and the
casual game Hawaiian Explorer: Pearl Harbor (2007).
Element Studio - established in 2004, Element Studio developed games
for the mobile phone platform, and presumably no longer exist, as their website
is offline. Back when they were still active, Element Studio also
functioned as a publisher, and had worked with Infinite
Dreams in that capacity, publishing some of the latter's games.
Emotion Design -
established in 2002, this company has developed two games so far - Strip
Poker Exclusive (2004), and its sequel, Strip Poker Exclusive 2
(2006). Apart from that, they've developed an edutainment application
called Szkola Modelek (2004). It they started working on Strip
Poker Exclusive 2.
Epic Games - I'm sure they need
no introduction :). Epic was founded in the early 1990s, possibly earlier.
They are best known for their Unreal Engine, first used in Unreal
(1998), and subsequently used... well, all over the place :). In 2007,
Epic acquired a majority stake in the Polish studio People
Can Fly, after working with them on the PC version of Epic's Gears
of War (2006; PC version released in 2007).
People Can Fly - founded in
2002, though the individual team members have a lot more experience than
that (in particular, the founder, Adrian Chmielarz, has previously
worked at Metropolis
Software since its founding). Their first game was the
rather-impressive first-person shooter Painkiller (2004).
Subsequently, they released an expansion pack for Painkiller
entitled Battle of of Hell (2004), and then an XBox adaptation - Painkiller:
Hell Wars (2006). Note that they did not have anything to do with
the second Painkiller expansion pack, the appropriately-named Painkiller:
Overdose (2007). In 2007, People Can Fly started working with Epic
Games, and subsequently they were acquired by Epic. They are
currently working on an unannounced FPS game using the Unreal Engine.
EvoWare - founded in 2007 as
Undead Society, this company is the continuation of an indie developer
group, also called Undead Society (their website
is no longer active). The game they've been working on, since 2005, is New
Dawn, a... yep, you guessed it: a post-apocalyptic RPG. You can find
out all about the game here.
However, it appears that New Dawn is now on hold - it seems they've
wisely decided that a post-apocalyptic RPG is not the best way to enter
the market. Subsequently, they set up a very interesting programme, Inkubator
Gier (the Games Incubator), through which they offered support for new
projects in the form of financing, a game engine (Shark3D from the German
company Spinor), and general support in
publishing negotiations. Unfortunately, this programme was shut down in
mid-2009, although they hope to revive it in a new form in the future.
Exor Studios - established in
2005 as an indie modding team, working on a working on a multiplayer-focussed
Half-Life 2 total conversion called DIPRIP
( "Die in Pain, Rest in Peace") set in post-apocalyptic Poland.
In 2007, they appear to have become an actual company - I've seen them in
several profiles on LinkedIn. The
website itself, however, is still just the project page for DIPRIP. The
company is based in Stettin.
The Farm 51 - founded in 2005.
They have just released their first project - NecroVisioN (2009),
an FPS game for the PC (and Xbox 360? So far, I've only heard of a PC
version) based on People Can Fly's Painkiller
FreeMind - founded in 2004, this
company has two studios, in Krakow and in Katowice. Their first titles did
not seem too noteworthy - the 3d action games Ciapek (2004), Pszczolka
Ula (2004), the 2d platformer Jaskiniowiec (2004), and the 2d
puzzle game Swiat Puzzli (2004) - I had never seen any of those in
stores. Apart from that, they have also made a mobile phone game called Space
Balls (2004). Recently, however, FreeMind has gone on to much bigger
things, working on FIM Speedway Grand Prix 2 (2006) and FIM
Speedway Grand Prix 3 (2008) for Techland,
and WWII: Battle Over Europe (2008?) on the PS2 for Midas
Interactive. They have also become a Nintendo DS developer, creating
the game Mini RC Rally (2008?) for Summitsoft.
Finally, FreeMind has been working as an outsourcer, in particular for CD
Projekt's The Witcher (2007).
Internetowe Biuro Tlumaczen
FreeMind - as part of their outsourcing efforts, FreeMind
also has an internal sub-team for localisation work.
Frontline Studios - this
studio has a slightly complicated history. It actually stems from the
software developer and internet provider Nawar (who does still have a website,
though for some reason, there's nothing on it even though the company
certainly does still function). Nawar was founded in 1996. Around 2002,
Nawar branched out into games development; in order to do so, it
established a partnership with another company, Teleplan
Polska - this partnership resulted in the creation of Frontline
Studios. After a few years, the owners of Nawar purchased Teleplan's share
of Frontline, thus ending the partnership. They produce PC, Nintendo DS
(and GBA, earlier on), and mobile phone games. I'm not entirely sure how
many games they have already developed, but it seems they have just
released two GBA games - Chicken Shoot (2005) and Hardcore Pool
(2005). They have also released a PC game called The Banished
(2004?), and a few Nintendo DS titles. In the years 2007-2008, the company
seems to have grown a lot, establishing partnerships with various small
studios in Poland. Indeed, the company seems much bigger than I had
suspected, and has offices in the US and Japan. For most of them, the only
information I have is what they write on their website (i.e., the name of
the subsidiary, and the location). The company appears to have several
subsidiary studios. Apart from that, they also work with a number of
independent studios, such as Appendix
Games, Calaris Studios and Nawia
Games. Frontline's website lists a whole bunch of studios as
subsidiaries; since this list includes the three independents mentioned
above, it's quite possible some of the other studios on this list are also
independent entities. Until confirmed otherwise, they're all listed here
DigiArt - Warsaw.
Frontline North - Gdansk.
Frontline South - Katowice.
FUH Games - Rzeszow.
Pulse Studio - Warsaw.
Urban Twilight Studio - Bydgoszcz.
Vivid Design - founded somewhere around 2000, and based in Bydgoszcz.
At some point, they became a subsidiary of Frontline
Studios. Until 2003, Vivid was responsible for the development of
most of Frontline's mobile phone, GBA and DS titles. In 2003, Vivid
separated from Frontline, and became Vivid
Games - for their subsequent history, see the Vivid Games entry on
this page. For a long time afterwards, Vivid Design's website
continued to exist (which certainly helped to conceal Vivid Games'
existence from me), but it seems to finally be gone now.
Flying Wild Hog -
established in 2009. Although brand-new, this company was set up by some
very, very experienced developers. They appear to have a solid and secure
source of funding for their project (an unnamed FPS of some kind), and
their team is rapidly growing.
Gamesystem - established
probably around 1994. Ok, so this particular company probably
shouldn't be included on this list. They make games all right... more
specifically, casino cabinets. As far as I know, they don't make ordinary
games, and have no interest in going in that direction. That having been
said, some of their games are video slot machines and such, which are
essentially video games, just for a very specific platform. So, for that,
they get listed here.
Ganymede Technologies -
established in 1998, Ganymede has mostly worked on internet games.
However, they have also done one or two conventional PC games, such as the
racing game Armobiles (2003). Working quietly under the radar (for
a long, long time, their website was never updated, and I thought they
were pretty much dead), Ganymede has built up quite an empire in internet
(browser-based) games. Apart from owning several gaming websites of their
own, you'll find their titles on dozens of different sites, including many
gaming sites, a few social networking sites like FaceBook,
and various portals such as Wirtualna Polska.
Gingerbread Studios -
although the company, in its current incarnation, was established around
2007-2008, this development team actually has a very, very lengthy
history. The team started off as a subsidiary of the now-dead Mirage
Interactive. The first title (...that I know of) developed by this team
was Mortyr: 2093-1944 (1999); this was followed by Sniper: Path
of Vengeance (2002), Mortyr II (2004). Subsequently, as Mirage
Interactive disappeared, this studio became an independent entity in its
own right, known as T7 Games. The company is definitely Polish and based
in Poland, but that doesn't seem to be the end of the story - in this
interview, they are described as "an international development
house formed by gaming veterans from Europe and Australia". As T7
Games, they developed the action game The Mark (2007). After
publishing this title, the company changed names to Gingerbread Studios.
Their most recent production is the 3rd person action adventure game
called Hidden Target (2009, aka The Protector). Apart from
that, they are working on two other titles - Trucker 2 (PC) and Johnny
Bravo (Nintendo DS). Their website also mentions the title Paddington
Bear for the PS2, but it's not clear whether this game has already
been published or not.
Heaven X - founded around
2003/2004 by ex-Techland
employees. Their titles include the action games Indiana Jack
(2003), and Kokomando (2004). Last I heard anything from them, they
worked mainly on small made-to-order action games to be bundled with other
products as a part of various advertising campaigns. For example the game Uwolnic
Zozole (2004), which was used to promote a brand of candy. I am not
sure if this team is still active - for a long, long time their website
was offline, and I'm not 100% certain the current website is actually
theirs (although it seems it probably is).
Rat Square - I'm listing this
company here not because it's a subsidiary of Heaven
X (that's clearly impossible), but because I get the impression it is
Heaven X under a new name. While the Heaven X website continues to
exist, and could somehow be related to them, Rat Square credits itself
with every single game that Heaven X had developed, so it's a safe bet
that these are the same people.
Illusion Games - started in
1992 and originally called Midnight Computer Games, strictly speaking
Illusion Games used to be a proper, commercial game developer. Several of
their titles were published by Mirage
Interactive, for the Atari and the Amiga. However, in 1995, the
company (if they could be called that - presumably, they were never
actually a proper business)... until their lead programmer was drafted
into the Polish Army. Needless to say, he's out of the army by now, but
nonetheless the group has not had any commercial games since then - in
fact, the only thing they've done since that point is Wilk i Zajac
(1998) a 2d platformer for the PC.
Implix - established in 1998,
Implix is an internet marketing company, and, it seems, a fairly
successful one. In 2005, Implix established their own computer game
development studio - Flying Fish
Flying Fish Works -
established in 2005 by some of the former staff of the now-defunct
Polish games magazine, Swiat Gier Komputerowych. They are
currently working on their first game, a 13th century FPS entitled Hellion:
The Mystery of Inquisition, using Epic
Games's Unreal Engine 3. You can find out more about them and their
project on the Hellion website.
In Images - founded in 2001
and based in Krakow. These guys developed Front Line Attack: War over
Europe (2002), aka World War II: Panzer Claws, based on the
engine from Zuxxez Entertainment's Reality
Pump studio. They are also working on games of their own, and
sub-contracting for other companies, including L'Art.
Like with Heaven X, some of their
games are made for corporate marketing camaigns - for example, the game Tescolandia
(2005) for the hypermarket chain Tesco.
More recently, they've made a 3d action game for kids called Aqua Fish
(2006), and the 2d platformer Turtix (2006).
Infinite Dreams - founded around 1992,
Infinite Dreams had in the past developed games for the Amiga and PC. They
haven't made any new PC games since Scrabmania (1998) - today, they
seem more or less focused on portable platforms such as the GameBoy
Advance, various types of mobile phones, and palmtop machines. Most
recently, they seemed to work on mobile phone games like Sky Force
(2004) and Explode Arena (2004). Of their older portable games, the
most noteworthy is MicroMachines (2003), a conversion of the
classic Codemasters' racing game
from 1993. They have since released K-Rally (2006), Creatures of
the Deep (2007), and Sky Force Reloaded (2008) for multiple
portable platforms. In 2007, Infinite Dreams merged with (bought out?) Cube
Cube Multimedia - this
company existed between 2004 (possibly earlier) and 2007, when it merged
into Infinite Dreams. They do not,
apparently, exist as a separate studio or sub-unit. Before joining
Infinite Dreams, Cube Multimedia made mobile phone games, such as Hat
Trick Manager: Mobile (2006) and Spinning Ball (2005?).
InterActive Vision - this is (was?) a Danish conglomerate, but they
have a development studio in Poland as well, which worked on a number of
titles for InterActive Vision's subsidiary InterActive Vision Games. As I
understand it, they had two Polish subsidiaries (only one now remains) -
Mind Beacon and White Eagle. However, neither of these has their own
website, so I don't know when they were established and which of them
worked on which of InterActive Vision's games. In fact, it's quite
possible that both teams have worked on the same games, simply being
responsible for different aspects of the projects. In any case, according
to MobyGames, Polish staff have
worked on games such as Search and Rescue 4 (2002; they worked on
earlier games in this series, as well), Pacific Warriors: Air Combat
Action (2000), Red Skies (2004), Jetfighter V (2004), Emergency:
Fire Fighter (2004), and a few others. Now, the last thing I know they
had been working on was porting their Pacific Warriors to the PSP,
and creating another flying shooter called WWII: Battle Over Europe
(2008?) for the PS2. However, that last title was ultimately developed by FreeMind,
and InterActive Vision's website
has now been taken up by someone else (the separate website for
InterActive Vision Games has disappeared altogether)... so, is this
company dead, or has it been bought out by someone? Midas
Mind Beacon - based in Stettin. As far as I can figure out, they are
more oriented towards visual (non-games) projects - 3d animations,
architectural visualisations, et cetera. However, they also worked on
some InterActive Vision Games titles. It seems like this studio existed
until early 2005.
White Eagle - I know only two things about this studio. One, they
were based in Gdynia. Two, they are now closed.
Komputronik - Komputronik is a
computer retailer and wholesaler, founded in 1996. They have a network of
stores all over Poland, they sell computers online, and they perform
various IT services. They have never had anything to do with computer
games. So how did they get here? For some time now (since 2008?),
Komputronik has had the majority stake in a company called Karen.
And what's that got to do with games? Be patient - this is by far the most
convoluted entry on this website, but the games developer hidden at the
bottom of this mess is a very special one. Read on, and find out...
Karen - formerly known as Karen
Notebook (between 1997 and 2008), before that, Swiss Sp. z o.o. (since
1991), and before that - in times so far back, their website doesn't
even mention it - they were known as P.Z. Karen - "Przedsiebiorstwo
Zagraniczne Karen". Karen, since its founding, has specialised in
computers - they import computer components, put them together and they
sell computers, especially notebooks. They have their own brand,
California Access. California Access... hmm, doesn't that sound a bit
like California Dreams? Exactly - P.Z. Karen is the company that
stood behind one of the most famous Polish games labels of the late
1980s and early 1990s - California Dreams. However, at that time, P.Z.
Karen was not an independent company. It was owned by Logical Design
Works - read on below.
Logical Design Works - founded in 1983 in California by a Polish
physicist-turned-businessman, Lucjan Daniel Wenzel. Wenzel then went
on to found a subsidiary company in Poland. This company was called
P.Z. Karen, and it was Logical Design Works' development studio -
the idea was to tap into the potential of Polish programmers who (this
was in the 1980s, before the fall of communism) had very little work
opportunities in Poland. The games they developed were published under
the label California Dreams, described in more details below. The
company existed until around 1993, when Wenzel decided to close shop
and return to Poland. Apart from developing games under the California
Dreams, they also ported a range of games - Zombies (1983), Computer
Ambush (1985), Phantasie (1985), Rings of Zilfin
(1986) and Phantasie II (1986). I am not sure if these ports
were done in the US or at P.Z. Karen in Poland.
California Dreams - first publication in 1987, last one in 1991.
As mentioned above, this was not a company, it was only a label - I
am describing it separately here, because it's just so darned special.
California Dreams' game Blockout (1989), apart from being a great
game in its own right, was the very first time I ever saw Polish
names in the credits of a computer game. At a time when every other
PC game was foreign (though I'll admit - on the 8-bit platforms,
there had already been Polish titles earlier on), this was a Polish
title. Very inspirational for a future Polish games developer ;).
California Dreams developed several games - Vegas Gambler
(1987), Street Rod (1989), Blockout (1989), Tunnels
of Armageddon (1989), Street Rod 2: The Next Generation
(1991), and Solidarnosc (1991). After 1991, no further titles
were published under this label.
P.Z. Karen - and so, we are back to P.Z. Karen. Founded somewhere
around 1983, possibly later (but definitely not later than 1987).
The company's full name was "Przedsiebiorstwo Zagraniczne
Karen" (przedsiebiorstwo zagraniczne" = foreign company).
To explain - the "foreign company" bit is actually not a
part of the company name, it's like the terms "limited" or
"incorporated" that show up in various company names - a
designator of the legal form of the company. Presumably the
"foreign company" legal form was something that ceased to
exist during the communist era. Anyway, P.Z. Karen was the
development studio for Logical Design Works. Their games were
published under the California Dreams label. Apart from developing
games, P.Z. Karen also developed other software applications, and
imported computer equipment. Around 1991, as we can guess from the
lack of any further California Dreams titles, the company decided to
give up developing games, right around the time it turned into Swiss
L'Art - founded in 1996, but
their first game was published in 2002 (until then, they'd been doing
localisations, and it seems they still work on localisations
occasionally). So far, they've done the ski-jumping games Skoki
Narciarskie 2003 (2002), Skoki Narciarskie 2004 (2003) and Skoki
Narciarskie 2005 (2005?), and the adventure game Chlopaki nie
placza (2005; the English title is Boyz don't cry), loosely
based on a Polish comedy film of the same title. However, they are
expanding rather quickly. In 2004, they moved to a bigger office, and more
recently, they've set up a second office in Wroclaw. They are now
apparently now working on two different titles - Dogs of War (an
RTS?) and Master of Battlefield (a tank simulation). Although their
website suffers from very infrequent updates (the last one is from March
2006... and didn't even show up online until they revamped the entire
website in 2007), they seem to be doing well. The most interesting bit of
news is that they've purchased a license for the GameBryo
middleware engine (in their previous productions, L'Art had used RenderWare
- but after Criterion was
purchased by EA, new versions of
RenderWare were no longer available for licensing...). It seems that they
are still working on Dogs of War and Master of
L.K. Avalon - their full name is
Laboratorium Komputerowe Avalon ('Avalon computer labs'). They used to be
a fairly significant company a few years ago (indeed, they were once one
of the most significant Polish developers and publishers). These
days, it seems they are focused entirely on multimedia junk products
(learn to dance, karaoke, that kind of thing). Their website hasn't been
overhauled in years, they do not appear to have developed anything at all
for four or five years, and the last major game title they published was Alida
(2004). Nonetheless, all that multimedia stuff means they are still a
Looksoft - this company, founded
in 2003, develops mobile phone applications and games - mainly advergaming.
Lucid Dreams Entertainment - founded in 1998 (under the name
Intergalactic Softworks),. Renamed in 2000 after they became a GBA game
developer... at least, that's what their website used to say. A more
recent press release of theirs, on the other hand, says they were founded
in 2001. Apparently they have released more than twenty games for various
portable platforms in the past, and are working on both portable and PC
titles now. In any case, back in about 2005 or 2006, they announced they
were undergoing some restructuring... and were never heard from since.
Their website has disappeared, so
it's safe to assume they're dead.
Mass Creation - established
in 2009. It's difficult to say much about their size, which means they're
probably a small team of 3-5 people. They specialise in games for mobile
phones, and especially the iPhone.
Maxartists - back in 2006,
this company acquired CSP Mobile, and so it got listed here by virtue of
CSP Mobile's Polish studio. However, from what I've heard, this
acquisition was about the end of the story as far as the Polish studio was
CSP Mobile - established around 1999, this German company specialised
in mobile phone games, and had three studios - in Germany, India, and in
Krakow, Poland. As far as I know, this company is not a subsidiary, but
rather has been wholly absorbed into Maxartists.
They used to have a separate website,
but it now seems to have gone offline.
CSP Mobile Poland - at some point, CSP Mobile had set up a studio
in Krakow, Poland. I do not know how long this studio existed, and
what games they had done. I have been told, however, that the Polish
studio no longer exists.
MCS Studios - founded in 1999.
This company mainly works on applications, not games. Back when I added
them to this list, in 2005, they had been working on some games, including
one finished (but freeware) title, Spacecraft (2004). At the time,
they claimed to be working on two games, The Underground Dogs, and Chicken
3D: Winter. Since then, all that has appeared on their website are
various applications. Presumably, they no longer deal with games.
Merlin Games - established in
1997. I'm not sure to what degree this is a Polish company - their website
provides two contact addresses, one of which is in the UK. This company
has so far worked mainly on edutainment items. I can't figure out when any
of their titles were published - it has to be said, their website is
something truly awful, design-wise. In any case, they've developed (or are
developing) at least seven products. The press section seems to end in
2006 - it may be this company is out of business.
Micazook - a British mobile
phone games developer, they also have a studio in Wroclaw, Poland. Judging
from their jobs page, it may be that all their development takes
place in Wroclaw.
Mirage Interactive - founded in 1988. Previously known as Mirage Games,
Mirage Media, and possibly Mirage Technologies (although the latter may
actually have been a different company). In 1993 they begun distributing
foreign games in Poland. They also developed some titles of their own, but
I do not know too much about their productions from this period - the only
one I can name is Inny Swiat (1995), for the obsolete Atari 800. In
1997, they revamped their development branch, setting up a development
team for 3D games. In 2000, their publishing/distribution branch merged
with IPS Computer to form the IM Group (later renamed to Cenega
Poland), leaving only the development branch. Their best-known
products to date seem to have been Mortyr: 2093-1944 (1999), Sniper:
Path of Vengeance (2002), and Another War (2003). In 2001, they
also became an official developer for Nintendo (GameBoy Color and GameBoy
Advance). More recently, they have released Mortyr 2 (2004) and the
Polish language-only Kajko i Kokosz: Szkoła Latania (2005).
This appears to have been their final product - at some point in 2006,
Mirage Interactive went out of business, and by now even their website
is gone. However, the publisher IQ Publishing
was founded by people from Mirage Interactive, so the company lives on, in
Mirage Interactive Torun - for a while, Mirage had a development team
in Torun. This team, responsible for the Mortyr series and Sniper:
Path of Vengeance, became independent after Mirage Interactive went
under - find out more about them under their new name, Gingerbread
MNI - the MNI group is a large
telecommunications conglomerate. They seem to mostly specialise in mobile
marketing - whatever that would be. At some point recently, they purchased
the mobile developer Breakpoint.
Breakpoint - established in
2002, Breakpoint develops games and applications for mobile phones, and
they appear to be the most significant Polish mobile gaming developer.
They have dozens of titles under their belt, including include W
Corporations (2004), The Shark Tale (2004), Delta Corps
(2004), and many, many others - action games, card games, and various
puzzle games. Around 2007, the previous owner sold the company to the MNI
Group. At one point, they reported setting up a subsidiary branch in
Singapore, in order to break into the Asian market. I don't think this
ever realised, however - I get the impression this was something that
was planned prior to the company changing owners.
Mobile Entertainment Europe -
this large company, itself a part of the Omnigence group, publishes and
finances the development of many mobile phone games. They own a majority
share in the developer Gameleons,
and they distribute mobile phone games via their subsidiary portal Jabler.pl.
Gameleons - set up in 2005. A
mobile games developer, owned by Mobile
Entertainment Europe. This company was formed out of Cubenz New
Media, and it owns the rights to all the games developed by this
company. I will not attempt to list their games here - there's far too
many of them.
Cubenz New Media - as mentioned above, Gameleons
was formed out of this company. At the time, the story was that Cubenz
New Media would no longer be involved in games development, but would
continue to exist. This is presumably no longer the case, as their website
is gone. Back when they were still active, they developed titles like Mr.
Schizoo (2004), Bubu: The Great Escape (2004) and Rabbit:
Terror of the Wood (2004).
Jabler.pl - primarily, a portal
for mobile phone games, they have in the past also developed some games
of their own, for example Saboteur (2004), Bobby Bearing
(2004), and Skoki 2004 (2004).
- founded in 2008. The group that became Moonrise has been working
together for a lot longer - since 2003, they claim, although they don't
appear to have started doing anything until 2006. Their first published
title was Denis Adventure (2008). They are now working on an action
game where you play a hamster, entitled Axel: Wielka Ucieczka (the
game does not yet have an English title), through EvoWare's
Game Incubator programme (Inkubator
Gier). And I must say, although Axel is clearly a low-budget
production, I love what I'm seeing - finally, a young Polish developer
that didn't start off by announcing a post-apocalyptic RPG :). Hopefully
they'll still be able to get the project done, in spite of the Game
Incubator programme being shut down.
Nawia Games - founded in 2004 as
an informal team of students, this Gdansk-based studio started out
developing mobile phone games, and has since branched out into other
hand-held platforms. On at least two occasions, they've worked together
with Frontline Studios. Apart
from their mobile phone titles (which they do not list), they have
developed ZOO VET: Endangered Animals (2008) and Duck Hunter
(unpublished) for Frontline Studios. They are currently working on titles
for the Nintendo DS and the iPhone.
Nekrosoft - don't
know much about these guys. The company was presumably set up around
2000/2001. Their games include The Troma Project (2002) and Rezerwowe
Psy (2001), aka Rabid Dogs. They are now completely out
of business. However, as can be seen from their "website"
(which is actually a subpage on the Zuxxez
Entertainment website), someone is still under the impression
they're doing something :). To be honest, I was never certain if this
company was merely financed by Zuxxez, or were owned by them. In any case,
Zuxxez was supposed to publish the game they were working on, Rabid
Dogs 2. This will not happen, because one of the company's founders
assures me they're quite dead, though Zuxxez seems to disagree :).
Nibris - founded in 2006. As far as I
know, they have yet to release any games. Since the very beginning, they
had been working on an arcade flying game for the DS, called Raid over
the River (there is no longer any mention of this game on their
website, however), and a Nintendo Wii horror game, Sadness. The
latter had, over the years, garnered quite a lot of interest, but so far,
there has been very little indication of more than concept art being done
for this project. At one point, Sadness was to be co-developed with
Frontline Studios, but this
partnership eventually fell through. More recently, they've announced that
Sadness would be using the GameBryo
Bloober Team - set up in 2007,
while this is a separate company, it seems to be almost more of an
internal division within Nibris than an
actual subsidiary. They were set up to take work-for-hire contracts.
Nicolas Games - founded in 2004
by a group of former employees from the publisher Play-It.
They've been going from strength to strength, quickly building up a
sizeable games catalogue ( in particular acquiring Polish distribution
rights for games from Vivendi Universal
Games). Like Play-It before them,
they handle both distribution and localisation. In 2008, they became the
second Polish games-related company to be listed on the Warsaw
stock exchange (albeit not the main Gielda
Papierow Wartosciowych, but rather the smaller NewConnect
exchange). In June 2008, they announced the establishment of a new
development studio (see below). They have recently published two
internally-produced games, Mis Uszatek: Przygoda z porami roku
(2008) and Wlatcy Moch: Wrzod na d... (2009). I'm not quite sure
which of their subsidiaries produced the second of these titles.
Nicolas Intoxicate - this used to be the indie developer group called
Chicken-Head Team, and then Intoxicate Interactive. First, they tried to
develop a post-apocalyptic RPG project called Bourgeoisie, which
at some point morphed into Afterfall. This latter project was
picked up by Nicolas Games in
2008, with the team forming the subsidiary development studio Nicolas
Games Intoxicate (subsequently shortened to Nicolas Intoxicate).
Although their website appears to offer no information at the moment
apart from the link to their forum, this is definitely one to watch.
Note: as of March 2009, their website
has disappeared - I sure hope somebody just forgot to extend the domain
Pomorski Oddzial Nicolas Games S.A. - apparently, this actually used
to be an independent company called Games Interactive, before being
purchased by Nicolas Games.
However, I've never, ever heard of this company, so it couldn't have
existed too long before being purchased. This subsidiary will, for the
time being, develop kids-oriented products, although console products
are planned later on. Might this have anything to do with Aidem
Media...? Anyway, I'm assuming that Nicolas Games' recent
child-oriented title Mis Uszatek: Przygoda z porami roku (2008)
was developed by this studio.
Nitreal - founded in January 2009, by
former CD Projekt employees
(there's a lot of them around). No idea yet what projects they're working
One2tribe - a fairly new team
(founded in 2003/4). According to their own description, they are
experienced individuals who have previously worked on the development of
IT technology in other fields; the team includes sociologists, artists,
and distributed systems specialists. They specialise in mobile phone
entertainment, ranging from small Java games to more complex multiplayer
games like Xyber Mech, where the player's location in the real
world is used within the gameplay.
Openoko Entertainment - founded in
2005. So far, they've developed two games of their own, DragonBlade -
Cursed Lands' Treasure (2006), and G.B.R. (2007). It seems they
also financed or otherwise supported UralGames's
IronOne: Republic Crusaders (2007). They are currently working on
two titles - Inquisitor - The Samael's Book, and Evil
Resistance: Morning of the Dead.
Openoko Publishing House - Openoko is also trying to get into
publishing, and has its own publishing division, though I don't think
I've seen them publish anything so far.
UralGames - I'm not sure what the arrangement here is. In all
likelihood, they are an independent company and should not be listed
here, since they're not Polish. However, they do appear to have a
significant relationship with Openoko
Entertainment, and they may in fact be completely funded by the
latter. As of March 2009, their website
Orangee - another unknown. According to their profile at Gamasutra,
they develop Java games for mobile phones, and intend to expand into PC
games later. However, their website
address seems to have been taken over by somebody else, so it's pretty
safe to assume this company simply doesn't exist any more.
Orchid Games - founded in
2008, but the person behind it, Darek
Rusin, had already been developing casual games for four years, under
the company name DreamHard - which even still has a website
(albeit an empty one) - so all in all, it would be more reasonable to say
this company was founded in 2004 as DreamHard and has simply changed its
name. Their most famous product is the Super Granny series, the
latest title in the series being Super Granny 4 (2007). More
recently, they have released a romance-oriented solitaire game - Heartwild
Ostryga Entertainment - founded
around 2007 or 2008, this company specialises in advergaming - they
develop advergaming products, as well as providing various types of
advertising-related services (product placement, etc.), viral marketing (ack,
that sounds dangerous!), and whispered marketing campaigns.
Play Publishing - founded
in 1994, they are a publisher, distributor, game magazine publisher, and a
game developer, though it's unclear for how long they've been developing
games. In any case, they seem to be doing a lot of racing games, featuring
various cars that are well-known, but not normally associated with racing.
For example, Maluch Racer (2003). Play appears to also work as a
subcontractor in graphics, developing websites (amongst other things) -
more information here.
Play Publishing also serves a rather useful role in the Polish game
development industry, in that they are very open to working with fresh,
untried dev teams. Granted, the financing they're willing to offer is
extremely low, but it's sufficient to give such teams a starting point.
Playsoft - founded in 2004, this
French company develops, ports and tests mobile phone games. They have a
subsidiary studio in Poland.
Playsoft Polska - it's not clear when this subsidiary studio was
founded, or how many games they've done. They are based in Gdansk.
- these guys apparently exist since 2002, but for most of their existence,
they have really been just an indie team - quite possibly they still are,
but I've put them into the developers' section for now. They are working
on their own game engine, as well as some strange games - Dynamino
and ToOBeX. In October 2008, they announced that they had signed a
pre-incubation deal with EvoWare's Inkubator
Gier (the Games Incubator) programme. Unfortunately, that programme
had subsequently been shut down...
QubicGames - established in
2004. This company develops games for a wide range of mobile phone
platforms, including the Nokia N-Gage. They had developed River Storm
(2004/5?), Buddy the Shark 3D (2005), 3D Buddy Racing
(2007), and one or two others. I've been informed that QubicGames actually
died in 2007... but then I took a look at the NoWay
Studio website, where they figure in the copyrights. Not quite sure
what's going on, though one thing is certain - even though the QubicGames
website is still online, it hasn't been updated at all since 2007.
NoWay Studio - established
in 2006. Is NoWay Studio a subsidiary, or a successor company, or are
they just a different brand, to distinguish themselves from QubicGames'
mobile phone games? In any case, NoWay Studio work on games for the DS -
in particular, they are currently working on C.O.R.E. - an
impressive-looking first-person shooter.
Rebelmind - founded in 1994,
under the name Crossroads. Changed name to Rebelmind in 1999, when the
company's ownership structure changed. Their first game was Mega Blast
(1995), a clone of the classic arcade game Dyna Blaster (1991).
From there, they worked their way up to the platform/adventure game Treasure
Island (1997). More recently, they've developed the action/RPG game Grom
(2002) the children's adventure game Great Journey (2003), and the
action RPGs Space Hack (2004) and Frater (2006). Their
website has not been updated since early 2007, and I thought that the
company ceased to exist shortly afterwards. However, interestingly, Seventh
Tear reports on their website that they did some programming
outsourcing work for Rebelmind in 2007/2008 - so it seems that the company
must have at least existed as late as 2008.
ReSync - I don't know anything
about them. According to their website (which currently is something of a
virtual "gravestone"), they existed since 1991 until 2007.
However, I only know one game that they developed - Modi i Nanna
Revoltage - founded in 2004 (as
near as I can figure out), this company is... was? They were working on Soul
Quest, a turn-based strategy game with RPG elements. Their website has
not changed in the least since it first appeared, and I can only assume
they never found a publisher who'd finance their game through to the end.
Revolver Interactive - founded in
2005. They appear to be primarily a multimedia company, but they seem to
have done some games and applications as well.
Rivia - established in 2006, this small
company develops games and applications for mobile phones and the PocketPC
- for example, the shooter Fishopolis (2006). They don't have many
products, so it's possible that they don't even function any more, though
their website is still active.
Sleepwalker Games -
founded in 2009. This is a small team of ex-CD Projekt
employees, focused on indie titles.
SoDigital - founded in 2007, as
near as I can figure out. I know nothing about this company - their
website is completely uninformative at this point. However, based on some
snippets I found at LinkedIn, they
appear to be working on Flash games.
Sunmedia - founded in 2001. This
company is a publisher of all sorts of entertainment media for kids -
books, movies, et cetera. They also develop games for kids, however - a lot
of games. I don't think I've ever seen any of them in stores, but then
again I don't pay too much attention to kids' entertainment, and I
generally don't look too much at games published in magazines (which
appears to be their primary means of distribution).
Tate Interactive - founded in 2000,
under the name X-Ray. Renamed in 2003 (after being bought by a company
called Tate Multimedia?). Based in Krakow. This company is responsible
mainly for the Kao the Kangaroo series, which includes Kao the
Kangaroo (2000), Kao the Kangaroo: Round 2 (2003/2004), Kao:
Mystery of Volcano (2005), and Kao Challengers (2005). Other
games include Sergeant Cruise (2002), Asterix & Obelix XXL
2: Mission Wifix (2006), Lucky Luke GO WEST (2007), Lanfeust
de Troy (2008) and My Horse & Me (2008). They are currently
working on the next game in the Kao the Kangaroo series.
Team 57 - this looks suspiciously like an indie operation rather than a
proper developer. Established in 2006 or 2007, last I checked they were
working on a title called There is Only WAR! However, as of
March 2009, their website seems to be
Techland - founded in 1991 as
a publisher/distributor; apart from PC titles, they've also published
several Amiga games. While localisation & publishing remain a core
part of their business, they also have their own development team. In late
2003, they set up the Game
Developers Hatchery, in an attempt to attract small/indie developers
to the Chrome Engine: the idea being that you get a team together, contact
them, get free access to the engine, and they eventually publish the
finished product. I do not know if anything ever came of this idea,
although Techland certainly does cooperate with other developers, farming
out titles to them - for example, Prominence (before they became a part of
Techland itself), FreeMind, and The
Farm 51 (who worked for a while on Dead Island). They've also
been trying to license their Chrome Engine to other developers, but so
far, City Interactive S.A.
seems to have been almost the only taker. In 2008, Techland announced that
they've established a new game dev studio in Warsaw - however, it seems
that this new studio is actually Prominence, so presumabyl they simply
bought them out.
Techland Development Team Warsaw (formerly Prominence) - established
in 2003, in Warsaw. Looking at their list of achievements, I get the
impression that Prominence was set up by a group of people splitting off
from L'Art, but I don't know for
sure. In any case, they have so far developed several games - Freaky
Tuner (2005), Mysztrzostwa Swiata (2005), GTI Racing
(2006), and Xpand Rally Xtreme (2006). Earlier, back in 2004,
Prominence had also developed the demo for a game entitled Dirty Roar
2005, but it does not seem this game was ever completed. Starting
with GTI Racing and Xpand Rally Xtreme, Prominence has
worked only as a subcontractor on projects for Techland. This
relationship was finally sealed in 2008, when Prominence apparently
became a part of Techland itself. Their website
has since gone offline, so it probably won't be possible to track any
longer which Techland products are developed in Warsaw - we do know,
however, that they are currently working on Dead Island.
SoftPlanet - I am not
certain if SoftPlanet is actually a Techland
subsidiary, or if the two companies merely have the same owner. However,
given that Techland is owned by a single person, both possibilities
really amount to the same thing. In any case, they are basically
Techland's low-budget publisher. They publish older titles with a lower
pricetag, as well as publishing whatever new titles that Techland
doesn't want to publish under its own name.
Techland Development Team Wroclaw - Techland
started developing their own software in 1997. Their best known titles
to date would probably be the sci-fi FPS Chrome (2003), and the
FPS western Call of Juarez (2006). Apart from that, they've also
developed several racing games (the Xpand Rally series, FIM
Speedway series), and a few other titles. They also produce various
applications, mainly language-related. Currently, Techland is working on
three FPS titles - Dead Island (together with Prominence),
Warhound, and Chrome 2. All of their titles use their own
multi-platform Chrome Engine. A while ago, Techland reorganised their
website so that their dev team had a separate website
from the rest of the company - this seems to no longer be the case.
Teyon - founded in 2006, on top of Destan
Entertainment. Based in Krakow. Where Destan was just a small-scale
developer, Teyon is a developer & publisher. Apart from developing
their own titles, this company also works as an outsourcer.
Destan Entertainment - founded in
2002, though I only came across them in early 2006. As it turns out,
they have developed several budget PC games, as well as two mobile
titles. Their first full-scale PC game was an FPS called Burn (2007),
followed by two third-person shooters, Battle Rage (2008) and District
Wars (2009). Other titles include Hubert the Teddy Bear: Backyard
Games (2009) and Weekend Party Fashion Show (2009). They are
currently working on Forsaken Patrol. It's not clear if Destan is
actually a subsidiary of Teyon, or
if they're one and the same (i.e. - was Teyon simply a name change?). In
any case, Destan's website is just a
page with a link to Teyon.
Twin Bottles - founded around
2008, this is another one of those small operations that probably should
be classified as an indie. They have so far worked on two games, both of
which are free-to-download - Poszukiwacze zaginionej Warszawy
(2008) and Kapitan Binarny (2008).
Twistbox Entertainment - this is
an American company, founded in 2006 through the merger of two companies -
Waat Media and Charismatix. They have 150+ games under their belt. Anyway,
they have a subsidiary studio in Poland...
Twistbox Games Poland - actually, their full name is "Twistbox
Games Ltd & Co Spolka Komandytowa Studio Tworzenia Oprogramowania w
Polsce". Quite a mouthful :). I do not know how many of Twistbox's
games they are responsible for, nor when they were founded. If I had to
guess, I'd say 2007. They are based in Gliwice.
World-Loom - founded in 2009
or 2008. They have so far developed one title, the casual
business/adventure game Fix-it-up Kate's Adventures (2009).
Wydawnictwo Dagiel - founded in 2005.
This is a small team, established by a pair of former Aidem
Media employees. Like Aidem, they specialise in edutainment. However,
they seem to be going for a slightly older demographic - most of their
applications are genuinely educational.
Very Nice Studio - founded
in 2008. Although it was only recently established as a company, this
Gdansk-based studio has actually existed as a team for a while, within Aidem
Media. As such, they claim to be responsible for over forty
edutainment titles published by Aidem. Apart from developing edutainment,
they also work on architectural visualisations and similar
non-game-related multimedia services.
Vivid Games - founded in 2003,
this company is a direct successor to Vivid Design. The latter was founded
in 2000, and at some point became a subsidiary of Frontline
Studios. Eventually, the founders of Vivid Design separated from
Frontline and re-established their company as Vivid Games. Based in
Bydgoszcz, this small (less than 30 people) studio works primarily as a
developer-for-hire. They create games for various platforms, including
various mobile phones, the iPhone, as well as the Nintendo DS and its
predecessor, the GameBoy Advanced.
Yes 10 Style - established in 1999, they primarily developed mobile
phone games. In 2004, they released their first PC game, Volleyball .04
Ateny (2004). Subsequently, they started working on a PC racing game, Sunny
Race. This game seems to never have been completed, and since their website
is offline, it's safe to assume they're out of business.
Young Digital Planet - founded in
1990 as Young Digital Poland. This company actually mainly works on
non-games software, but since some of their products qualify as
edutainment, I decided to add them here.
ZiP Soft - this is another one
of those compulsive-obsessive entries on my part. This company was founded
in 1993, and existed at least until 2007. It seems it still exists, though
only doing web design these days. It did at one point during the 1990s
produce something resembling a game - Phobos '99 (err... 1993?
ZSK Progress - established
in 1991. Their full name is actually Zaklad Systemow Komputerowych
Progress. This company appears to mainly sell software, and provide
services like the installation of server software. They appear on this
list, because in 2006, they set up their own subsidiary game development
studio, Artifex Mundi.
Artifex Mundi - founded in
2006 as a subsidiary of ZSK Progress s.c.. "We create worlds, you
command them" - nice motto, reminds me of the old Origin Systems
Inc. motto (which was just plain "We create worlds"). Although
young, they have already developed an impressive number of games: The
Scriptarians (2007), Ernest Colt (2008), Arctic Racer
(2008), D.W.A.R.F.S. Training Camp (2008), TankZ: Destruction
(2008) and D.W.A.R.F.S. (2009). They are currently working
on Maluch Racer 3 for Play
Publishing. Apart from creating games, the staff of Artifex Mundi
also teach and research at the Silesian University of Technology.
Zuxxez Entertainment - a German
company. In 2001 they acquired a 51% stake in TopWare Interactive AG and TopWare
Poland in its entirety (see their press
release archive). Following the purchase, the Polish development
branch of TopWare Interactive
(apparently this development branch was not actually a part of TopWare
Poland per se - they are apparently just a ten-person localisation and
publishing team) was renamed Reality
Pump. Zuxxez's website also has
pages about three other Polish teams - In
and Toontraxx. In
the case of the first two, these are actually independent developers (and
Nekrosoft is actually quite dead), but in the case of Toontraxx,
it's more likely that they are a subsidiary.
Reality Pump - established
in 2003, though prior to that, they existed as the Polish development
branch of TopWare Interactive since
1995. developers of the RTS game Earth 2140 (1997) and its
sequels, the latest of which was Earth 2160 (2005). They are also
responsible for the Polanie series - Polanie (1996?
Published worldwide as KnightShift), and Polanie II (2003;
published worldwide as KnightShift). They had been working on Polanie
III (aka KnightShift II: Curse of Souls), but this title
seems to have been quietly dropped in favour of Two Worlds
(2007). Since then, they have developed an addon for Two Worlds,
and are now working on the sequel - Two Worlds: The Temptation
(to be published in 2009).
Toontraxx - these
guys developed the adventure game Jack Orlando (1998), and the
shooter series Kurka Wodna. The latest game from this series, Kurka
Wodna 3 (2003) has been published in English as Chicken Shoot.
Their old website address used
to redirect to Zuxxez Entertainment.
Although they do still have a page on the Zuxxez website, there's no
indication they are actually doing anything. As far as I can figure out,
this team no longer exists - presumably, after they started working with
Zuxxez, the team was either consolidated into Reality
Pump, or simply ceased to exist at some point.
Xofto - established in 2007, Xofto produces Java-based games for mobile
phones, including Piesek Leszek (2008?), Wroclawskie Zagadki
(2008), Jez Jerzy (2008), Wlatcy moch: atak mutantuff
(2008), and one or two others. As of March 2009, their website