E3 2013

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Polska Silicon Valley Acceleration Center

11 - 13 June 2013 | Written by Maxxum, with Patrick E. co-reporting

Intro:

Tomasz Kolodziejak of Polska SVAC (left), and Stanislaw Fiedor of Fuero Games (right)

Maxxum: What prompted the Polish government to get involved in the video game industry?

Tomasz: Well, it's been a very strong industry, and its been growing very rapidly, about 10% yearly, so they just wanted to help out different gaming companies, smaller ones. We have the flagship studio which is called CD Projekt with 'The Witcher', so it's pretty well known internationally, and now it seems like we have lots of potential with developers, so this booth is actually promoting the smaller developers, smaller gaming companies. It's about a half a billion [dollar] industry now.

Maxxum: What percentage of GDP does the video game industry represent in Poland?

Tomasz: Good question, we have to check.

We had looked online and tried to get some stats, and it looked like last year, based on what we saw, the GDP was roughly 10%, which we thought was very high.

Tomasz: Very high, yeah. I think it's less.

Stanislaw: About 5%, but we have to check.

Maxxum: I counted 41 dev houses in your book, why is the video game industry so popular in Poland?

Tomasz: Well, probably for the same reasons as it's popular in different places, when it comes to statistics we have roughly 38 million population of Poland, probably about 10 million gamers... from age 18 to 31.

So, maybe more of a cultural fascination with video games...?

Tomasz: Cultural, yeah.

Maxxum: Tell me about any of the programs Poland has to increase the amount of effort that the videogame industry has in the country... there was some involvement with universities?

Tomasz: I can tell you about the programs we're doing, it's part of the embassy in Washington, D.C. - embassies have trade sections which are run by the Minister of the Economy, so it's a new pilot program based in Silicon Valley.

So, it's called Silicon Valley Accerlation Center, and the idea is to help connect them with VC's [venture capital] if they were looking for funding, or help them with world class developers ... we have a program "10-Days for START" where they have different activities ranging from networking events with potential governors, or accelerators that show how to enter the American market, and the global market, increase their user base and so on.

Patrick: Is there government funding available for the developers to apply for to assist them, is that part of the program too?

Tomasz: The people that are show-casing here, they were all sponsored by Ministry of Economy, or they can be reimbursed.