Warsaw, Poland – Poland has become the world’s fourth largest exporter of video games, according to data released by the PKO BP bank.
According to a recent study by the Polish bank, Poland’s exports of video games and consoles are valued at €1.24 billion, accounting for 6.5% of global sales. Polish video games are most popular in the U.K., Germany and Sweden.
Poland is the first biggest exporter of video games and consoles in Europe, and fourth in the world, behind only China (€9.35 billion and 49% of global exports), Japan (€1.95 billion) and Hong Kong (€1.74 billion).
Reciprocally, the U.S. is the world’s largest importer (€4.69 billion, or one fourth of the global market share), followed by Germany (€1.91 billion) and Hong Kong (€1.58 billion).
Despite increasing by a staggering 3,810% between 2013 and 2018, according to PKO, Poland’s exports of video games and consoles remain slightly below the level of its imports (€1.43 billion), also the fourth highest in the world.
One of the main drivers of this booming industry is the success of ‘The Witcher’ video game franchise, developed by Poland’s industry leader CD Projekt Red and based on the fantasy novels by Polish writer Andrzej Sapkowski. Since the first game was launched in 2007, some 40 million units of the Witcher series were sold worldwide.
Mateusz Tomaszkiewicz, one of CD Projekt Red’s lead designers on its latest installment ‘The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt’, was named in this year’s Forbes “30 under 30” ranking of the most talented and promising young professionals in their field.
Netflix is also preparing to release a highly-anticipated series based on ‘The Witcher’. Although the exact release date remains unknown, the U.S. streaming service recently released the cast’s first pictures ahead of the San Diego Comic-Con 2019.
CD Projekt Red’s next highly-anticipated major game, ‘Cyberpunk 2077’, is due to premiere some time next year and is widely expected to be a global hit and further increase the Polish industry’s global outreach.
Poland is also home to the Poznan Game Arena, one of Europe’s most famous video game festivals, and hosts the Intel Extreme Masters, one of the largest e-sports events in the world.
According to some reports, nearly a third of the Polish population – or 12 million people – are considered gamers, on a more or less regular basis.