2K Czech

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2K Czech, s.r.o.
Formerly
  • Illusion Softworks, a.s.
  • (1997–2008)
  • 2K Czech, a.s.
  • (2008–2011)
TypeSubsidiary
IndustryVideo games
PredecessorVochozka Trading
Founded1997; 25 years ago (1997)
Founders
  • Petr Vochozka
  • Jan Kudera
Defunct2017 (2017)
FateMerged into Hangar 13
Headquarters,
Czech Republic
Number of locations
2 studios (2017)
Number of employees
~100[1] (2017)
Parent2K (2008–2017)
Website2kczech.com

2K Czech, s.r.o. (formerly Illusion Softworks, a.s.) was a Czech video game developer based in Brno. Founded as Illusion Softworks in 1997 by Petr Vochozka and Jan Kudera. The company was acquired by Take-Two Interactive in January 2008 and subsequently organised under the 2K label, becoming 2K Czech. The studio was merged into 2K's Hangar 13 in 2017. The company is best known for creating the Mafia series.

History[edit]

Illusion Softworks[edit]

Illusion Softworks was established in 1997 in Brno by Petr Vochozka and Jan Kudera.[2] The company succeeded Vochozka's video game publisher, Vochozka Trading, through funding provided by Kudera's Cash Reform fund.[3][4] The team initially comprised only five people, including Vochozka and Kudera. The team would expand to 40 people by the release of Mafia in 2002.[5]

The studio provided assistance to Silver Wish Games for the production of Wings of War, Chameleon and Circus Empire.[6][7][8][9][10]

In September 2007, several Illusions Softworks employees left the studio to found The Easy Company, which went on to produce MotorM4X (2008).[11]

2K Czech[edit]

On 8 January 2008, Take-Two Interactive announced that they acquired Illusion Softworks for an undisclosed sum.[12] As a result of the acquisition, Illusion Softworks became part of Take-Two Interactive's 2K label and was renamed to 2K Czech.[13] According to Take-Two Interactive's chief executive officer, Ben Feder, the agreement was made to expand the company's "strategic focus on owning high-value intellectual property".[14] In July 2011, several employees that had left 2K Czech, along with former employees of Bohemia Interactive, founded Warhorse Studios, the studio behind 2018 video game Kingdom Come: Deliverance.[15]

In September 2011, 40 employees were laid off from the company's Brno studio, with a few others made redundant at its Prague studio.[16] Both studios previously housed a total of 200 employees, with around 25% of them being cut due to the layoffs.[17] In November 2012, 2K Czech began hiring for a new, announced project;[18] at the time, 2K Czech had 188 employees.[19] There were reported creative differences between developers within 2K Czech, regarding the direction of the third installment of the Mafia series, which had started production between late 2010 and early 2011, with the project being rebooted around seven times between 2011 and 2013.[20][21][22]

Succession by Hangar 13[edit]

On 10 January 2014, 2K announced that 2K Czech's Prague office was to close, and that 10 employees (including the development of Mafia III) would be transferred to 2K's headquarters in Novato, California, with most other employees moved to 2K Czech's remaining Brno studio.[23][24] Of an undisclosed number of employees that were laid off, some were later hired by Warhorse Studios.[25] Mafia III's development was later shifted to 2K's new studio, Hangar 13, with 2K Czech receiving a supporting role.[26] In 2017, the studio was merged into Hangar 13.[27][28]

Games developed[edit]

As Illusion Softworks[edit]

Year Title Platform(s) Publisher Notes
1997 Lurid Land MS-DOS Abadion Arts
1998 Léto s Oskarem MS-DOS Vochozka Trading
1999 Hidden & Dangerous Microsoft Windows TalonSoft
2000 Flying Heroes Microsoft Windows Take-Two Interactive Assisted Pterodon
Hidden & Dangerous Dreamcast TalonSoft
Hidden & Dangerous: Fight for Freedom Microsoft Windows
2002 Mafia Microsoft Windows Gathering of Developers
2003 Hidden & Dangerous 2 Microsoft Windows
Vietcong Microsoft Windows Assisted Pterodon
2004 Hidden & Dangerous 2: Sabre Squadron Microsoft Windows Global Star Software
Mafia PlayStation 2 Gathering of Developers
Xbox
Vietcong: Fist Alpha Microsoft Windows Assisted Pterodon
2005 Vietcong 2 Microsoft Windows 2K Games
Vietcong: Red Dawn Microsoft Windows Gathering of Developers

Cancelled[edit]

As 2K Czech[edit]

Year Title Platform(s) Publisher Notes
2010 Mafia II Microsoft Windows 2K Games
PlayStation 3
Xbox 360
Mafia II: Jimmy's Vendetta Microsoft Windows
PlayStation 3
Xbox 360
Mafia II: Joe's Adventures Microsoft Windows
PlayStation 3
Xbox 360
Mafia II: The Betrayal of Jimmy Microsoft Windows
PlayStation 3
Xbox 360
2011 Top Spin 4 PlayStation 3 2K Sports
Xbox 360
2016 Mafia III Microsoft Windows 2K Games Assisted Hangar 13
PlayStation 4
Xbox One
2017 Mafia III: Faster, Baby! Microsoft Windows
PlayStation 4
Xbox One
Mafia III: Stones Unturned Microsoft Windows
PlayStation 4
Xbox One
Mafia III: Sign of the Times Microsoft Windows
PlayStation 4
Xbox One

References[edit]

  1. ^ "2K Czech, s.r.o. – Výroční zpráva společnosti za období 1. dubna 2016 – 31. března 2017" [Annual Report of the Company for the period of 1 April 2016 – 31 March 2017]. Justice.cz (in Czech). p. 23.
  2. ^ Štolba, Patrik. "Retro koutek: nadčasový příběhový skvost jménem Mafia". Doupe.cz.
  3. ^ Gamifique.cz; Gamifique.cz. "Illusion Softworks: Pohádka s hořkým koncem - Gamifique.cz". gamifique.eurozpravy.cz (in Czech). Archived from the original on 11 July 2017.
  4. ^ BIZ, časopis. "Mosty mezi starou a novou ekonomikou". Živě.cz (in Czech).
  5. ^ Web, 2K. "Mafia Dev Diary: Celebrating 18 years in the life". Mafia - Official Website. Retrieved 14 June 2020.
  6. ^ "Games - Illusion Softworks". 30 October 2007. Archived from the original on 30 October 2007. Retrieved 5 February 2021.
  7. ^ "Silver Wish Games". MobyGames. Retrieved 5 February 2021.
  8. ^ "Silver Wish Games | game developer". Gamepressure.com. Retrieved 5 February 2021.
  9. ^ "Silver Wish Games (Company)". Giant Bomb. Retrieved 5 February 2021.
  10. ^ Allen, James. "Circus Empire Review". Retrieved 5 February 2021.
  11. ^ "The Easy Company opens in Prague". mcvuk.com. Retrieved 24 February 2018.
  12. ^ "Welcome 2K Czech: Take-Two brings Mafia dev Illusion Softworks into the family". engadget.com. Retrieved 24 February 2018.
  13. ^ Purchese, Robert (8 January 2008). "Take-Two acquires Illusion Softworks". eurogamer.net. Retrieved 24 February 2018.
  14. ^ "Take-Two swallows Illusion Softworks". arstechnica.com. Retrieved 24 February 2018.
  15. ^ Phillips, Tom (22 July 2011). "Mafia creator founds new studio". eurogamer.net. Retrieved 24 February 2018.
  16. ^ "Mafia 2 developer 2K Czech lays off 40". engadget.com. Retrieved 24 February 2018.
  17. ^ "40 staff axed from Mafia studio 2K Czech". mcvuk.com. Retrieved 24 February 2018.
  18. ^ "Mafia 3: 2K Czech hiring for new 'top secret, super interesting' triple-a title - VG247". vg247.com. 1 November 2012. Retrieved 24 February 2018.
  19. ^ "PROFIL: Vývojáři z 2K Czech dali světu kultovní Mafii". Euro.cz (in Czech). 23 November 2012.
  20. ^ Doskocil, Jan (12 January 2014). "Vývoj Mafia 3 měl být v Americe zrestartován". Eurogamer.cz (in Czech). Retrieved 14 June 2020.
  21. ^ "Vývoj Mafia 3 byl zřejmě přesunut do Ameriky. 2K otevírá novou pobočku, která začne na hře pracovat od píky". cdr.cz (in Czech). Retrieved 14 June 2020.
  22. ^ Horák, Aleš 'Alien'. "Mafia, Mafia 2 & Mafia 3" (in Czech). Retrieved 14 June 2020.
  23. ^ Purchese, Robert (10 January 2014). "2K Czech restructuring, Mafia 3 moving to US?". eurogamer.net. Retrieved 24 February 2018.
  24. ^ emilygera (10 January 2014). "Mafia developer to close down Prague office as 2K Czech begins restructuring". Polygon. Retrieved 24 February 2018.
  25. ^ "'Mismanaged' 2K Prague to close its doors today, Kingdom Come studio Warhorse poised to hire staff - VG247". vg247.com. 28 February 2014. Retrieved 24 February 2018.
  26. ^ "Who The Hell Is Mafia III Developer Hangar 13?". Game Informer. Retrieved 24 February 2018.
  27. ^ "Have you seen these studios?". gamesindustry.biz. Retrieved 24 February 2018.
  28. ^ "Mafia 3 developers Hangar 13 hit with layoffs". pcgamesn.com. Retrieved 24 February 2018.

External links[edit]