In terms of major game developers, Poland has produced multiple strong contenders. The stand-out, however, is CD Projekt S.A. The company launched CD Projekt Red – a department responsible for developing original games – in 2002. Their 2007 release of The Witcher allowed them to successfully break through into the worldwide market. With the release of The Witcher 3 in 2015, their revenue increased almost sixfold. Since then, annual revenue has been slowly decreasing, but is predicted to rise again with the release of the highly anticipated Cyberpunk 2077 in November 2020.
The overall number of Polish gamers has been increasing in an irregular manner. The profile of the typical gamer has transformed from teenage boys to a more gender-balanced group of adults in their 20s and 30s, usually with a full-time job. On personal computers, people tend to play games to de-stress and relax. For the digital purchase of games, Steam is by far the leading platform. Mobile devices have become popular for casual gaming. People generally use mobile games to combat boredom and they choose cheap, light-hearted games from app stores. While less common, virtual reality sets have become relatively popular – about one in every five gamers has used them.
Most people play games several times a week – least often on gaming consoles, and most often on mobile devices. On most devices, logic games are the most popular genre. On consoles, however, racing games take the cake. The most commonly chosen console is PlayStation, followed by the Xbox, and some of the most popular games among Polish gamers have been FIFA, The Witcher, Grand Theft Auto, and Call of Duty.
An important segment of the gaming market is eSports – competitive video gaming, usually in the form of organized competitions between professional players. Poland has embraced eSports, as can be seen in the segment’s steadily growing revenue and viewership. Leading eSports players are very dedicated and can make a full-time earning from gaming. There are multiple Polish eSports tournaments with increasing prize pools.
Most eSports fans watch gaming streams more frequently than the general gaming community – nearly half of them watch streams every day. They are also much more involved in social gaming and almost always use a PC to play. For general gamers, YouTube Live is the most popular platform for watching streams, whereas for eSports fans Twitch wins by a long mile. Because of the dedicated character of the eSports community, this segment has great potential for marketing. A 2020 survey found that tournament viewers most frequently recalled eSports advertising by brands like Intel and Red Bull – the latter being a smart choice to target a demographic with a common habit of consuming soft drinks while gaming.