CD Projekt: Playing a Refined Game of Integrity
Out of all industries worldwide, no industry attracts a wider audience than gaming!
And why shouldn't it, anyway?
For decades back, gaming has been a personal as well as a professional resort to countless eager fans across the globe. The demand for more functional and optimized gaming has been more noticeable now than ever, and for a good reason - everyone loves a taste of real-life gaming thrills!
Driven by the idea of virtualizing and revisualizing high-quality games, Polish duo Marcin Iwinski and Michal Kicinski have taken the industry to a whole new level of excellence!
Thanks to their company called CD Projekt, the perception of what a superb game should entail has largely shifted for the better - and customers worldwide loved it!
From introducing innovative gaming technology supported by solid audio feedback and interface - CD Projekt does its job as good as the best - if not better!
Interested in how these two high-school mates turned their childish passion into a life-changing moment of their lives?
Read it here:
The Polish Know Best
Marcin Iwinski grew up in communist Poland in the 1970s and 1980s.
Despite the country's grim state, what Marcin remembers the most from those days are the rainbows of colours - vivid, predominant, captivating!
If ever asked about political structures, Marcin would easily colour them grey - a suitable analogy, fit for his business beginnings in the country. A graduate from the Warsaw University Faculty of Management, Marcin majored in management and marketing and managed to additionally obtain an MBA at the same faculty.
Marcin has always nurtured a specific outlook on the world, courtesy of his successful father- a prominent documentary film producer, who enjoyed the rare privilege of travelling the world at a time no other dared.
A computer-obsessed teen at heart, Marcin's joy knew no limits when his father came back from one such trip bearing a special gift - a ZX Spectrum computer featuring not one, but four games to play. He was overwhelmed!
Michal Kicinski was born in Poland, in 1974. Fascinated by computers from an early age, Michal was quite the prodigy of his generation. Throughout his youth, Michal frequently visited his uncle, where a ZX81 computer had been waiting for him to play and learn.
Soon after realizing he wanted a computer all to himself, Michal started saving money from recycled bottles and paper, and at the age of 13, treated himself with a brand new PC. Earning money felt good, necessary even, so Michal decided to engage in copying games to sell them on the market - all the while keeping his eyes on a greater prize to come!
The 90s: Bitter Time for Beginnings
Growing up in Poland in the heat of the 90s was more of a struggle than a fruitful lifestyle. Due to the economic difficulties the country was facing at the time, making money for a living became a concept impossible to grasp. But, for two young boys sharing one common dream, no crisis could ever get in the way of success!
Marcin and Michal first met in high-school, when Marcin took an empty seat next to Michal in class. By the time school was out, they had both become somewhat of truants- skipping classes in the name of gaming!
With the arrival of CD- ROMs on the market, the two friends became even more involved in the specifics which had made gaming not just pleasantly addictive - but stimulating, too!
Before the two could even take their shot at the gaming business, Marcin and Michal opted to get into retail, selling batches of CDs to even more eager gamers!
The Warsaw Computer Bazaar
How does one profit from computer games in the shaky 90s?
An era of transformation and promise for a brighter future, the 90s were the perfect time to play risky rather than play it safe. With the Polish economy bound to recover - slowly, yet surely - trading took to the streets and overwhelmed the bazaars and open-air markets with a variety of in-demand products, including games.
For Marcin and Michał- two avid gamers- this meant getting their hands on the latest trends and making a business out of it. Initially, the duo forged their personal information to be able to reach out to foreign vendors, and ultimately- started importing the latest gaming releases to Poland!
The pair could often be found trading games at the Warsaw computer bazaar, located at Grzybowska Street. While Michal handled sales, Marcin made arrangements with suppliers and managed international shipments.
Following their short-lived market bazaar careers, Marcin and Michal decided to get serious with their business path and found something of their own.
In May of 1994, Marcin and Michal launched CD Projekt and it turned out to be a game-changing move for an infatuated generation of gamers!
Building a Global Gaming Leader
Marcin and Michal were each only twenty years of age when they first founded CD Projekt. Although heavy competition threatened the brand's success, Michal and Marcin had always put their best foot forward to be as innovative as possible, and this was valid for everything - quality, design, development, and distributing. But, for the eager duo, just selling games didn't fulfil their goals or ambitions - they needed a product to call their own!
In 2002, after thorough consideration, Marcin and Michal launched CD Projekt Red - a department strictly intended to design original video games to eager players.
A few years later, in 2008, CD Projekt launched its digital distribution service GOG and its name said it all - Good Old Games.
To this day, the most popular video game the company created is 'The Witcher', a gaming product already adapted to a highly beloved Netflix TV show.
Financial Summary & Revenue
By September 2017, CD Projekt Red grew to be the largest publicly traded video game company in Poland worth around $2.3 billion. The company would surpass this staggering figure by May 2020 and reach a value of almost biblical $8.1 billion - becoming the largest video game brand in Europe, way ahead of Ubisoft and its peers.
Marcin and Michal won the prestigious Entrepreneur of the Year 2008 award by Ernst, while in 2010, Marcin alone was named Poland's Internet Person of the Year.
Today, Marcin coordinates the company's international activities and its corresponding policies, whilst taking part in supervising and managing the brand's foreign subsidiaries.
To him, CD Projekt is all about the aftertaste of having created something from scratch and encouraged the world to love, respect, and value it, too.
Not for the faint of heart, CD Projekt's path is one only a few dare walk, but should they succeed, the fruits are unlike anything you've ever tasted. It's not about gaming and the fun of it solely, but also nurturing a degree of respect for a work of art, especially in a world that prefers watching someone else's show unfold. And let's not forget who brought us Cyberpunk 2077 - yes, that's right - CD Projekt Red.
From John Doe's sharing a deep affection for video games to proper, award-winning gaming gentlemen, Marcin and Michal's story is undoubtedly an awe-worthy one!