Video gaming in the Czech Republic
The video game industry in the Czech Republic has produced numerous globally successful video games such as Operation Flashpoint: Cold War Crisis and the subsequent ArmA series, the Mafia series, Truck Simulator series, the Samorost series and others. There were 300–400 video game developers and around 30 video game companies focusing on video game development in 2014. In 2017 it was 1,100 developers and 47 companies. Video games are also considered by some experts to be the country's biggest cultural export. The video game industry did not enjoy a good reputation and was unsupported by the state until 2013, when the Ministry of Industry and Trade started to seek ways to kickstart the economy. By 2014, programs were planned to support the video game industry. Another problem is a lack of video game development specialization at any university.
Czech video game site Bonusweb made a Survey for the best video game developed in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. The victor of the Survey is Mafia: City of Lost Heaven that received 3866 votes out of 13,143. Operation Flashpoint: Cold War Crisis was second and Vietcong third.
- 1 History
- 2 Consumer availability
- 3 Video game associations
- 4 Education
- 5 Video game companies from the Czech Republic
- 6 Defunct video game companies
- 7 Appearance of the Czech Republic in video games
- 8 Video game events in the Czech Republic
- 9 Media
- 10 Television
- 11 Online media
- 12 Notable people in the Czech gaming industry
- 13 References
- 14 External links
The first games were developed in Czechoslovakia during the late 1970s as part of experimentation with SM 52/11 computers. These titles lacked graphics and were not meant for wider distribution. Card games were particularly popular. Card games were played through printer due to lack of displays. There were also games based on chances such as electronical version of Rock–paper–scissors. Some games were competitive such as Dělostřelba (Cannonade) in which player had to count the trajectory of his cannon shot to hit his rival. Some games were developed on universities. Some universities taught programming at the time. Games at universities included Chess and Plivátko. The first real-time game was Přistání na měsíci (Landing on the Moon). One of the first gmes meant for displays was Zombíci (Zombies). Players had to run for zombies and stay alive as long as possible.
In the 1980s, the video game development in the country was part of the Svazarm clubs. The most popular video game platform of the time were ZX Spectrum computers, other include Czechoslovak computers PMD 85 or less common Atari 8-bit computers. Hobbyists could come explore computing and teach themselves programming. Games developed by members of these clubs include Hlípa and Flappy. Text adventures were very popular, accounting for more than half of the total output of Czechoslovak programmers. Czechs produced games for these platforms even in 1990s when were outdated. After 1989, the market changed, improving opportunities for programmers and gamers alike.
In 1993, the first commercially distributed Czech video game was released: an adventure game called Světák Bob, distributed by Vochozka Trading. The game was not particularly successful; however, the following year Vochozka Trading released two other adventure titles – Tajemství oslího ostrova (Donkey Island) and 7 dní a 7 nocí (Seven Days and Seven Nights). Both were developed by Pterodon and widely regarded as successes. Among the most widespread Czech DOS games was also "Vlak", a logic freeware made in 1993.
Other widely distributed games include adventures Dračí historie (1995), Gooka (1997), Horké léto (1997) and Polda (1999). Polda was followed by other four sequels. Games released in the 1990s also include real-time strategy games Paranoia and Paranoia II, and racing game Turbo Speedway. Dungeon RPG Gates of Skeldal by Napoleon Games was also very successful. Gates of Skeldal is considered to be the best Czech RPG. Vochozka Trading became Illusion Softworks in 1997, and developed its first in-house game, Lurid Land.
The first internationally successful Czech game was Hidden & Dangerous, a third person action game released in 1999. In 2001 Operation Flashpoint: Cold War Crisis by Bohemia Interactive was released. It was a worldwide bestseller. More notable games of this era include Mafia: The City of Lost Heaven but also Vietcong (both by Illusion Softworks).
Czech development studios such as Amanita Design, Black Element Software and Mindware Studios were established in these years. Other developers include Altar Games with its Original War and UFO series and SCS Software with 18 Wheels of Steel, but many of these companies are now defunct.
Bohemia Interactive became the most successful Czech developer with the series of ARMA games, along with Machinarium, released in 2009. The success of Bohemia Interactive is regarded as having overshadowed other independent development studios.
The video game market in the Czech Republic is currently growing, with a spend of 2.202 billion Czech koruna (CZK) across both the Czech Republic and Slovakia in 2011. The corresponding total for 2012 was 2.436 billion CZK, a growth of 10.6%. Purchased video games made up one third of this amount.
Video game associations
Czech Games is a community of video game developers in the Czech Republic. It was established in 2001 and since then it has supported video game development beginners. It has its own phorum where developers can share its experience and show their work. The association also organizes Game Developers Session and GAMEDAY Festival.
Video Game Association of the Czech and Slovak Republic exists to promote video games in the two named countries. Video game developers, publishers, importers and distributors all belong to the organization. The association also organizes the BOOOM Contest.
Some Czech universities offer programs of study related to video games. These universities are Masaryk University in Brno, Charles University in Prague, University of West Bohemia in Pilsen, Czech Technical University in Prague and Academy of Performing Arts in Prague.
Video game companies from the Czech Republic
|1C Publishing EU||Prague||2002||Video game publisher|
|2K Czech||Brno||1997||Video Game Developer|
|About Fun||Prague||2011||Mobile game developer|
|Alda Games||Brno||2013||Mobile game developer|
|Allodium Games||Prague||2007||Online game developer|
|Amanita Design||Brno||2001||Video game developer|
|BeerDeer Games||Prague||2011||Video game developer|
|Bohemia Interactive||Prague||1999||Video game developer and publisher|
|CBE Software||Brno||2010||Video game developer|
|Cenega Czech||Prague||1988||Video game publisher|
|Centauri Production||Prague||2000||Video game developer|
|Chaos Concept||2002||Video game developer|
|Cinemax||Prague||1997||Video game developer and publisher|
|Computer Games Distribution||Prague||2002||Video game publisher|
|ConQuest Entertainment||Prague||1990||Video game publisher|
|Craneballs Studio||Ostrava||2008||Video game developer|
|Digital Life Productions||Hradec Králové||2009||Video game developer|
|Dreadlocks Ltd||Prague||2011||Video game developer|
|eeGon Games||Prague||2012||Video game developer|
|Electronic Arts Czech Republic||Prague||2001||Video game publisher|
|Fineway Studios||Brno||2004||Video game developer|
|Fiolasoft Studio||Prague||2002||Video game developer|
|Flow Studio||Prague||2011||Video game developer|
|gamifi.cc||Brno||2007||Video game developer|
|Geewa||Prague||2005||Mobile game developer|
|Grip Games||Prague||2010||Video game developer and publisher|
|Hammerware||Brno||2005||Video game developer|
|Hangonit||Brno||2012||Video game developer|
|Hexage||Prague||2009||Video game developer|
|Hyperbolic Magnetism||Prague||2010||Video game developer|
|Icarus Games||Brno||2011||Video game developer|
|inDev Brain||Brno||2013||Video game developer|
|JRC Interactive||Prague||1988||Video game publisher|
|Keen Software House||Prague||2010||Video game developer|
|Lukáš Navrátil Games||Znojmo||2013||Video game developer|
|Madfinger Games||Brno||2010||Video game developer|
|McMagic Productions||2012||Video game developer|
|Microsoft Česká Republika||Prague||2006 (video game division)||Video game publisher|
|Mingle Games||Prague||2012||Video game developer|
|Napoleon games||Prague||1994||Vido game developer|
|Playman||Hradec Králové||2001||Video game publisher|
|Rake in Grass||Prague||2000||Video game developer|
|Running Pillow||Brno||2009||Video game developer|
|SCS Software||Prague||1997||Video game developer|
|Silicon Jelly||Prague||2011||Video game developer|
|Sony Czech||Prague||1993||Video game Publisher|
|Soulbound Games||Zlín||2013||Video game Developer|
|Trickster Arts||Brno||2012||Video game developer|
|Vicious Mime||Olomouc||2013||Video game developer|
|Warhorse Studios||Prague||2011||Video game developer|
|Wube Software||Prague||2014||Video game developer|
Defunct video game companies
|Black Element Software||2000||2010|
|Disney Mobile Prague Studio||2005||2014|
|Plastic Reality Technologies||2000||2006|
Appearance of the Czech Republic in video games
|This section does not cite any sources. (October 2014) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)|
Command & Conquer takes place in Central Europe and some missions occur within the country's borders. The country was also the inspiration for fictional countries featured in Operation Flashpoint: Resistance and ARMA 2.
As part of Czechoslovakia
Video game events in the Czech Republic
Game Developers Session is a game development conference that has been held annually since 2003. Video Game Culture figures including Developers have Presentation there about Video Gaming and players can meet Video Game developers for Chat about their project. They can also sometimes try video games that are in development.
Game Access is a game development conference that has been first held in Brno in 2010. Since 2016, Game Access is held annually. It includes speeches of developers from all around the world, Indie Expo where all its participants compete for Game Access Awards, Business Expo and networking events. Since 2017, the organizers included workshops in the Game Access conference. 
GameFFest is a Game Festival held in Prague. Video Game Players can try Video Games for various Platforms and look around a Video Game history Museum. The Festival is a Part of PragoFFest.
The Booom Contest was held annually from 2011 to 2013. Prizes were awarded in various categories, including Game of the Year, Best Czech Video Game and Computer Game of the Year. It was replaced by Player's Awards for next years.
The Central and Eastern European Game Studies conference is held in Brno as an event designed to allow the discussion of video gaming by academics, journalists, developers and members of the public. It is organized by the Game Studies civic association.
Gamer Pie is a video game festival held in Brno.
|Score||Omega Publishing Group||1994|
Defunct print media
|Hrajeme s Alim||Prima Cool||2015|
Programs no longer broadcast
|Game Page||Česká televize||1999||2012|
Notable people in the Czech gaming industry
- Petr Vochozka — founder and a former CEO of Illusion Softworks (now 2K Czech), the company responsible for games like Hidden & Dangerous or Mafia: The City of Lost Heaven.
- Marek Španěl and Ondřej Španěl — founders of Bohemia Interactive, the biggest video game development company in the Czech Republic. The company developed Operation Flashpoint: Cold War Crisis, ARMA series and DayZ.
- Daniel Vávra — author of Mafia: The City of Lost Heaven. He also founded Warhorse Studios, which developed Kingdom Come: Deliverance.
- Jakub Dvorský — CEO of the independent video game company Amanita Design, developers of Samorost and Machinarium.
- Miloš Endrle — CTO and founder of Geewa, a company awarded the Red Herring 100 Europe award.
- Lukáš Macura — founder and CEO of Cinemax. He is also responsible for Database of Czech and Slovak Video games.
- František Fuka — programmer and musician who made video games for the ZX Spectrum during the 1980s and 1990s. Currently working as a film translator, preparing English language movies for Czech release.
- Lukáš Ladra — founder and first editor-in-chief of Excalibur, the original Czech video gaming magazine.
- Marek Rosa — founder and CEO of Keen Software House, developers Space Engineers.
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