Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year
CD Projekt founders Michal Kicinski and Marcin Iwinski could probably lend you a fiver.
Warsaw, Poland – December 5 – CD Projekt announced today that Michal Kicinski and Marcin Iwinski, co-founders of CD Projekt, were named Ernst & Young Entrepreneurs of the Year and will represent the nation in the world’s final competition in Monte Carlo next June.
“Entrepreneur of the Year” is an international initiative promoting the best entrepreneurs around the world on an unparalleled scale, with more than 10,000 candidates each year. The contest has been organized annually since 1986 and over 30 countries participate. In the United States, where the competition was born, the Ernst & Young awards are often referred to as the business Oscars. In Poland the contest has been organized for the last six years, drawing more participants each year and consequently fulfilling its mission to present the most valuable examples of business success to the general public.
This year, the special jury supervised by Jan Bielecki, former Polish prime minister and chairman of Pekao SA, chose an elite group of the 11 best entrepreneurs from dozens of worthy candidates. The main criteria used in awarding the prize were resourcefulness, innovativeness, good management and the measure of worldwide success achieved by the company by offering products better than those offered by foreign competitors.
Michal Kicinski and Marcin Iwinski owe their victory and the prestigious title of “Entrepreneurs of the Year” to their success on the computer game market both as publishers – CD Projekt is the largest games distributor in Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary, with more than 135million PLN (approx. $43 million) annual revenue – and as developers. The Witcher, the first game developed by CD Projekt’s development branch, CD Projekt RED, was a massive success. Developed over five years at a budget of more than $11 million, the game has won more than 100 awards around the world and has sold more than a million copies.
The future is already bright for CD Projekt. The company recently launched a beta version of GOG.com ( http://www.gog.com), dedicated to selling classic PC games 100% DRM-free and compatible with modern operating systems, which is earning praise from media and gamers around the world. The company just announced The Witcher: Rise of the White Wolf ( http://www.thewitcher.com), coming Fall 2009 to Xbox 360 and PLAYSTATION3, bringing its top-quality games to an even larger global audience. Two other unannounced titles in development at CD Projekt RED, as well as the multiplatform sci-fi shooter in development at Metropolis Software – another CD Projekt family company – will only further the company’s global presence in the coming years. Jan Krzysztof Bielecki said: “My colleagues from CD Projekt are not only managing a good company but also focus on innovativeness. This is how they fight the monster of recession.”
This year’s competition was extremely tough: among the nominees were representatives from companies much larger than CD Projekt, including Jędrzej Wittchen (founder and owner of Wittchen Sp. z. o.o. company), Bogdan Szewczyk (founder of the Bodzio furniture factory, one of the biggest furniture manufacturers in Poland) and Adam Bogdani (chairman of Otopol Technology S.A., one of the market leaders in manufacturing and selling highly specialised eye-diagnostics equipment).
About CD Projekt
Founded in 1994, CD Projekt is one of Eastern and Central Europe's largest game distributors, with offices in Warsaw, Prague and Budapest, and employs more than 250 people across its diverse businesses. The company has used innovative marketing and distribution practices to invigorate the Polish games market and to position itself as a leader in the localisation and publishing of world-class games, having brought such hits as the Neverwinter Nights, Diablo and Warcraft series to the region with great success. CD Projekt Group includes the publishing and distribution companies in Poland, Czech, Slovakia and Hungary; the dedicated Localisation Centre, which is the leading provider of cross-platform porting, quality assurance and localisation services in the region; CD Projekt RED, the development branch responsible for the hit role-playing franchise, The Witcher; Metropolis Software, currently developing a anticipated multiplatform sci-fi shooter; and GOG.com, the ultimate online destination for DRM-free classic PC games. More information about CD Projekt can be found online at www.cdprojekt.com.
About CD Projekt RED
CD Projekt RED is the development branch of CD Projekt, headquartered in Warsaw, Poland. The studio’s first release, the PC-exclusive role-playing game, The Witcher®, has won over critics and gamers with its refreshing blend of engrossing story and action-based combat. The game has sold more than one million copies worldwide and has garnered more than 100 awards since its release in October 2007, including PC RPG of the Year from such respected outlets as PC Gamer, GameSpy, IGN and GameStar. CD Projekt RED’s 80+ employees recently completed The Witcher: Enhanced Edition in September 2008, and are hard at work on the console remake, The Witcher: Rise of the White Wolf, as well as two unannounced projects. For more information about CD Projekt RED, visit http://www.thewitcher.com.
Backed by CD Projekt, one of Eastern and Central Europe’s largest publishers and distributors, GOG.com – or Good Old Games – is the ultimate destination for classic PC games. The site offers gamers some of the greatest PC games of all time for a low price and free from copy protection. GOG.com is much more than just another digital distribution site, featuring an extensive community component that allows players to rate, review and discuss their favourite PC games, as well as insightful articles from respected games journalists. Visit www.gog.com and start your journey to the past.