Techland is a Wrocław-based company established in 1991. Nowadays, they are one of the best-selling producers of high-budget games in Poland.
At the beginning of the 1990s Techland mostly focused on distributing games by foreign developers and producing simple programs and video games. One of the first games they published was Right of Blood (1995) – a beat’em up set in 1990s Poland. The first game developed by the studio was Extermination, a sci-fi strategy game. At the beginning of the 21st century, the studio focused mainly on racing games, but one of their first major successes was 2003’s Chrome, a first person shooter which sold over 800,000 copies. The title is significant for one other reason – it was developed on their own engine, Chrome. The engine, after years of development, enabled the studio to create its most important games. Furthermore, it was so successful that various other producers, both from Poland (City Interactive) and abroad have bought licences to use it.
Techland prefers developing several projects at once, rather than focusing on just one at a time. For example, in 2006 they released a few racing games (such as Xpand Rally Xtreme) and, most importantly, the first Call of Juarez game. This title was set in the Wild West, and puts the player in the position of a western hero. Abroad, the game was published by Ubisoft, one of the biggest publishers in the world. The game’s Wild West setting, quite unusual for the time but with great appeal for the American audience, as well as the fact that it was developed for both PC and Xbox 360, were signs that Techland wanted to reach a much broader audience than just their Polish enthusiasts. The task was even more difficult considering the fact that Microsoft’s console was still a new piece of hardware and quite demanding to develop for. In spite of these difficulties, it had sold 1 million copies by July 2009. That was also the month when the sequel was released, which conquered yet another milestone in Polish game development – for the first time, the game was released on PC, as well as on both leading consoles – Xbox 360 and PS3. Together with later sequels (Call of Juarez: The Cartel and Call of Juarez: Gunslinger) the series sold over 3 million copies (figures from January 2014).
Even before Call of Juarez’s sequel was released, Techland’s development team started to work on their next project – Dead Island, which was published in 2011. It was a zombie action game, but thanks to its dynamic gameplay, unusual setting, and successful marketing campaign it stood out from the crowd and sold well, even though some critics pointed out some unpolished gameplay elements. Dead Island and its sequel Dead Island: Riptide, released in April 2013, sold over 7.5 million copies before the end of 2013. The success prompted Techland to stick to the zombie theme, and start working on some new IP based around that idea. That led to creation of Dying Light, which was released for PC, Xbox One and PS4. According to the producer, In the first 100 days it sold over 4.5 million copies.
Techland is an unusually productive studio on the Polish developer scene. The company usually works on several projects at the same time, but that does not lower the quality of their final products. What is more, unlike other big developers, they are not a listed company.