Paul Marchewka, Video Game Developer from Techland, 5th Richest Pole

Paul Marchewka is the founder and CEO of Techland, the second-largest Polish video game company after CD Projekt. After the massive success of “Dying Light 2,” the company has attracted a majority investor.

The $400 billion Chinese Tencent paid about $1.5 billion for a 67 percent stake. Although Paul Marchewka now has only 33 percent of the shares, he will continue to serve as CEO. He also retained intellectual property rights to his games and creative freedom for future projects.

The transaction took place in mid-2023, which was the best time for Techland. Indeed, its valuation jumped to a record $2.2 billion. That’s the same amount Paul Marchewka’s fortune is now estimated at. That’s 2 times more than a year ago. As a result, he rose from 9th to 5th place on Forbes magazine’s list of the 100 richest Poles. By comparison, CD Projekt’s valuation dropped from $7 billion to $2.5 billion after the failed release of “Cyberpunk.” Never before has Techland been so close to CD Projekt.

Polish visionary

Paul Marchewka was born in Ostrow Wielkopolski, Poland. He has shown interest in computer games since his youth, first as a gamer and then as their producer. Not surprisingly, he founded Techland in 1991, which translated foreign video games into Polish and distributed them. In time, he also produced educational language programs and translators, which quickly became the company’s main business. The key to success, however, was the independent production of high-volume computer games, which began in 1993. The first to gain colossal popularity was the action game “Chrome” (2003), which sold 800,000 copies. Undoubtedly, this resulted from using its game engine in its production, which the company already had at its disposal. It did not have to wait long for further success. “Call of Juarez” (2006), a shooter set in the realities of the Wild West, sold 1 million copies, and its second version sold 1.5 million.

Financial breakthrough

The financial breakthrough came in 2011, when “Dead Island” was released. It’s a game about survival in a world overrun by zombie people infected by a deadly virus, which turned out to be a hit. Success was heralded by the trailer alone, which garnered several million views on YouTube. The game also received good reviews and sold over 8 million copies, becoming a worldwide hit. Since its sequel, “Dying Light” (2015), sold even better, Chris Avellone, creator of “Fallout” and “Star Wars,” was hired to work on the sequel “Dying Light 2.” The new game had a more original storyline a larger and more open world. It would also appeal to those unfamiliar with its first part and those who have not been excited by the zombie theme so far.

And so it did, as by January 2023, as many as 30 million copies of both parts had been sold. Although the latter’s production cost over $100 million, it paid off. Indeed, it has brought in more than $200 million in revenue. Paul Marchewka recently reported that the company is working on the next part of this fantasy game in cooperation with the new investor – Tencent.

Read more about Techland here.

About TOP’10 Polish companies in the gamedev sector 2023 read here.

And about Poland being a world leader in PC game production read here.

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