TECHNOLOGY

The players of the Polish simulation company love to hate


PlayWay SA is One of the strangest companies in the booming gaming industry in Poland – and also one of the most successful. The company has built an extensive catalog of casual and quirky games, most of which are first-person simulation games that allow players to live out professional fantasies, such as Working in a car dealershipAnd home renovation, or gas station management. Although the company’s games don’t look like a success, they often make it to or near the top of Steam’s global bestseller list—in September, for example, gas station simulator Debut in second place.

PlayWay’s ability to create successful results from such exotic subjects has made it even more popular with investors, who have pushed its market capital into 751 million dollars (2.94 billion PLN). This makes PlayWay the thirteenth largest company on the Warsaw Stock Exchange, and the third largest gaming company – after only CD Projekt Red. the magician series and Cyberpunk 2077 movie, and Ten Square Games, the mobile giant behind let’s hunt And hunting clash. PlayWay offers contributors a return on investment ratio This is 50 percent better than Facebook social networking site‘sand the alphabet, and about the same An apple‘s. He often schedules large dividend payments, including the nearly recently announced distribution $3 per share.

While other big game publishers have dealt with rising production costs and new competition from the mobile market by minimizing their release schedules to blockbuster movies and older IP titles, PlayWay has continually expanded its production. Over the past 12 months, the company has released 28 new titlesand has more than 100 new titles in development. There is a first person President simulator, a wedding planner simulator, And animal shelter simulator, a drug dealer simulator, a cooking simulation, a Truck Building Simulator, a crime scene inspector simulator, a gold mining simulator, a Football referee simulator, a Paleontologist Simulator, And autopsy simulator, a moon colony simulator, a 911 simulator operator, a pope simulator, even a Jesus simulation. There are so many games in progress that even Krzyysztof Kostowski, founder and CEO of PlayWay, has trouble keeping track of them. “Who of us?” He asked when I mentioned Dolphin VR Trainer During a visit to one of the company’s offices in Warsaw this summer.

To make this massive approach to publishing, PlayWay relies on a huge network of outside development studios, many of which have a small number of people working remotely. One studio, Baked Games, develops three games using PlayWay from its headquarters in a small area a house On a residential street in Chiladoo, an hour from Krakow. PlayWay currently partners with 120 of these studios in Poland – that’s more than a quarter 440 total in Poland today. This approach has helped PlayWay keep its relatively small size — by triple publisher standards — with just 40 full-time employees, mostly QA testers and some finance and marketing executives. For comparison, CD Projekt Red employs more than 900 people, and EA is over 9800 employees.

Instead of lavish marketing campaigns, PlayWay uses free demos and stand-alone intros to promote upcoming titles, hoping to build word of mouth by offering free samples of a larger game concept that will later become a full product. (Over the past year, 12 of the company’s 28 releases have been free intros or demos.) The company is fueling its past successes by constantly swapping out new titles in the recommended slots on the Steam store page to get its biggest hits for attracting players to the latest releases. PlayWay uses audience feedback from these free demos and introductions, in particular the number of players adding titles to their Steam Wishlist, to determine which games should get more funding for promotion and post-release content.

Some players have Swipe PlayWay as a kind of pyramid diagram NS Attention Economy, manipulate players with an endless array of new titles that may never evolve beyond rough graphics and challenging combinations of environments, items and task lists. On Polish gaming forums, it is sometimes mocked as a “trailer company” rather than a game publisher, a company more interested in producing marketing materials than in finished games. Kostowski disputes that description, insisting that the company will release every game it advertises. And while there may be production delays, he says the company is always as transparent as possible about schedule changes through updates on developer blogs and announcements on each game’s Steam page.



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