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Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Polish simulator company gamers love hate

PlayWay SA is One of the strangest companies in Poland’s booming gaming industry, and one of the most successful.The company has established an extensive catalog of strange and mundane games, mainly first-person simulators, allowing players to realize professional fantasies, such as Work in a car shop, Refurbished house, or Manage gas stationsAlthough the company’s games may not seem obvious, they often make it to or near the top of Steam’s global bestseller list—for example, in September, Gas station simulator Debuted in second place.

PlayWay’s ability to create hits from these curious themes makes it more popular with investors, who have pushed its market value to $751 million (2.94 billion Polish zlotys). This makes PlayWay the thirteenth largest company and the third largest gaming company on the Warsaw Stock Exchange-second only to CD Projekt Red, That wizard Series and Cyberpunk 2077, And the mobile giant Shifang game behind Let’s go fishing with Phishing conflict. PlayWay offers shareholders Return on investment This is better than Facebook‘sand letter‘s, and with Appleof.It often arranges large dividend payments, including the recently announced approximately $3 per share.

Although other large game publishers are responding to rising production costs and new competition from the mobile market by reducing the release schedule to a minimum of blockbusters and traditional IP, PlayWay continues to expand its production.In the past 12 months, the company released 28 new titles, And it has more than 100 new games under development.Have first person Presidential Simulator, A sort of Wedding planning simulator, one Animal shelter simulator, A sort of Drug Dealer Simulator, A sort of Cooking simulator, A sort of Truck construction simulator, A sort of Crime scene inspector simulator, A sort of Gold Mine Simulator, A sort of Football referee simulator, A sort of Paleontologist Simulator, one Autopsy simulator, A sort of Lunar Colony Simulator, A sort of 911 operator simulator, A sort of Pope Simulator, Even a Jesus simulator. With so many games in development, even PlayWay founder and CEO Krzyysztof Kostowski can’t keep up. “It’s ours?” he asked when I mentioned it Dolphin Trainer VR When I visited an office of the company in Warsaw this summer.

In order to make this mass publishing work, PlayWay relies on a large network of external development studios, many of which have only a few remote workers. A studio called Baked Games is currently using PlayWay’s headquarters to develop three games. House On a residential street in Czeladź, an hour’s drive from Krakow. PlayWay currently works with 120 such studios in Poland-more than a quarter There are a total of 440 in Poland todayThis approach has helped PlayWay maintain its relatively small scale—according to the standards of AAA publishers—with only 40 full-time employees, mainly QA testers and some finance and marketing executives.In contrast, CD Projekt Red employs more than 900 people, EA has ended 9,800 employees.

Instead of luxurious marketing activities, PlayWay uses free demos and independent prologues to promote upcoming games, hoping to build reputation by giving away free samples of a larger game concept, which will become a complete product in the future. (In the past year, 12 of the company’s 28 versions were free prologues or demos.) The company has been constantly swapping new games into the recommended slots on the Steam store page to attract players to its most popular Position to learn from past successes. The latest version of. PlayWay uses audience feedback from these free demos and prologues, especially the number of players who added games to their Steam wishlist, to decide which games should receive more funding for promotion and post-launch content.

Some players have Criticize PlayWay As a kind of Pyramid scheme for Attention economy, Manipulate players with endless new titles that may never exceed the collection of rough sketches, bulky environments, projects and task lists. On Polish game forums, it is sometimes ridiculed as a “trailer company” rather than a game publisher, and it is more interested in producing marketing materials than finished games. Kostowski disputed this description, insisting that the company will release every game it announces. Although there may be production delays, he said that the company has always been as transparent as possible about changes to the schedule by updating the developer blog and posting announcements on the Steam page of each game.

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