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Moment, the is from PlayWay? and the also? and the? When we first dealt with the Polish publisher a few years ago, we were speechless at how many games came from PlayWay.
PlayWay is the biggest publisher that almost nobody knows – that’s what we thought at the time.
The bizarre bunker building game Mr. Prepper? PlayWay. The Twitch hit House Flipper, which has now sold over two million copies? PlayWay. The commercially successful and playfully not bad Car Mechanic Simulator 2021? PlayWay. The surprisingly serious UBOAT we hailed in GameStar testing as the sim submarine fans deserve? PlayWay.
Plus all the simulators – the Gold Rush Simulator, the Cooking Simulator, the Thief Simulator, the Bum Simulator (not to be confused with the Bus Simulator), the Ultimate Fishing Simulator and many, many more. All PlayWay.
The Polish publisher is an incredibly busy and widely ramified company, holding stakes in dozens of smaller publishers and Polish (indie) studios. A giant made up of lots of dwarves.
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However, PlayWay only popped onto our radar when, let’s say, simulator producers with manageable demands ventured over to the construction game genre. A whole wave of new building games swept out of Poland: Builders of Egypt, Builders of Greece, Aztec Empire (now Aztecs: The Last Sun), Orc Warchief, City of Atlantis and and and.
We became alert. And you should be too, namely in the podcast: Natalie has worked her way into the PlayWay empire and, together with Micha, explores the background of the publisher.
And the changes that PlayWay is obviously aiming for. Because while the name was still fairly unknown a few years ago, word has now gotten around – but not as a quality feature. PlayWay is in danger of being labeled as a cheap dump that throws out flimsy ideas just to snag wishlist clicks on Steam.
That’s why PlayWay changes titles in mid-development, moves bad games to sub-labels that aren’t called “PlayWay,” and strives to highlight successes with Car Mechanic Simulator, House Flipper & Co. to appeal to investors.
Because PlayWay is quite successful, the company’s sales have increased sixfold since 2017. Only: In order for things to continue like this, success must become more predictable. And that’s where it gets difficult…
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more on the subject
This Playway podcast is a belated installment of our grand building game discovery journey. In our theme week from August 2nd to 9th, you found out everything you need to know about building games in tests, reports, columns and podcasts: What was the first building game actually? What exciting city-building sims await us in 2022 and 2023? And which insider tips are already worthwhile now?