We want the Polish industry to take an increasingly important spot on Europe’s and the world’s gamedev map. This is why we try to ensure that the conference brings together communities from all over the world, the makers of the biggest games and independent titles, people specializing in business and creative – all so this exchange of knowledge, information and experience is as comprehensive as possible. We are happy with the increasing popularity of the Digital Dragons brand because it proves that all the activities undertaken by the Krakow Technology Park for the gaming sector are hitting their mark and receiving acclaim from our audiences. But we do not forget to listen to the industry, scan for its needs and devleop the most important elements.
Anna Krampus-Sepielak, head of Digital Dragons
Business and knowledge
Digital Dragons is a business event – this year almost 3000 meetings were scheduled through the conference app. Like every year, the organizers prepared a special space for said meetings, so guests could conduct them in an orderly fashion and book a table in advance.
In the conference’s expo zone, more than 30 of the conference’s partners prepared their booths – including the main sponsor of Digital Dragons 2023, Techland, among other Polish and foreign studios.
Simultaneously, both conference days were filled with lectures and discussion panels. The conference programme consisted of a 114 lectures conducted within 9 thematical tracks by 136 lecturers. Among them such celebrities like Inon Zur, composer responsible for the soundtracks to such games as Dragon Age, Prince of Persia and Fallout 4.
Krakow was visited not only by makers of the biggest hits. The ICE Congress Centre where the conference took place was filled to the brim with independent studios which came over in search of investors and publishers, feedback, inspiration and new contacts.
The Indie Showcase, a review of the most interesting independent games, received a 160 submissions. The conference itself featured 42 companies from which the jury chose Three winners, while the audience chose its own favourite via the Community Vote.
Indie Showcase 2023 winners
1st place: SacriFire (Pixelated Milk)
2nd place: Tarnished Blood (Juggler Games)
3rd place: The Wandering Village (Stray Fawn Studio)
Community Vote: Backpack Hero (Jaspel)
This year, indie creators receive an additional, unplanned award given by Techland. A day earlier during the Digital Dragons Awards gala, the makers of Dying Light 2: Stay Human received a material prize. The technical partner of the Digital Dragons Conference, AMD, funded a desktop worth over 60 000 PLN. This very desktop was ultimately given by Techland to a indie studio of their choosing – the lucky winners ended up being SandmanTeam, the makers of Through the Nightmares.
Additionally, the Indie Showcase jury decided to give special recognition to the game Hank: Drowning On Dry Land (My Next Games). It remains as proof of the amazing quality featured at this year’s competition.
In the Indie Zone one could meet representatives of four national game developers associations and five graduate companies from Krakow Technology Park’s support programmes – the Digital Dragons Accelerator and Incubator. Separately, 29 companies from six countries (the Czech Republic, Georgia, Lithuania, Serbia, Slovakia, Ukraine) formed together the CEE Showcase, a special exhibition space for creators from Central Eastern Europe. Among them of particular note were guests from Ukraine whose participation in the conference was free of charge thanks to the Krakow Technology Park.
There was also the second edition of Digital Dragons Arena – a platform joining indie creators with potential publishers and investors. This year, 30 studios had the chance to present their projects to audiences both on site and remotely.
The conference was accompanied by a series of events aiming at providing opportunities to form new connections and nurture old ones. 17 networking events were organized, including a novelty, Tuesday’s women in gamedev breakfast which was joined by 120 Digital Dragons participants, who discussed their role in the industry. VIP guests were also not lacking in activities, meeting at the Wieliczka Salt Mine or the Wawel Royal Castle.
Additionally, Digital Dragons 2023 hosted the joint press conference by the City of Krakow and Krakow Technology Park, during which the report Research on the Krakow Game Industry 2022 was presented.
Last year I joined KTP’s board during the Digital Dragons conference and it was the first event I took part in. I am very happy that a year later I can witness another grand success of this initiative. I would like to thank all partners, sponsors, the Małopolska Voivodeship for the many years of cooperation and for their understanding of the importance of this industry for the continued development of our region, and to the City of Kraków for their support in organizing this event. I would also like to extend my incredible gratitude to everyone preparing Digital Dragons – it’s their passion, energy and professionalism that ensure this event’s success.
Tadeusz Zaremba, president of the board at the Krakow Technology Park
Województwo Małopolskie is the Main Partner of the event: the regional authorities implementing a range of projects that serve innovation and economic development of Małopolska, and its attractiveness for investors. Małopolska is a perfect location for running business, particularly based on new technologies. Evidence of that is the number of new ventures growing every year, including dynamically developing tech start-ups. Thanks to the massive support given to entrepreneurship and the optimal utilization of EU funds and other public funds, Województwo Małopolskie positively stands out among other voivodships.
Techland is one of the biggest and best-known Polish game developers with studios in Wroclaw and Warsaw. For over 30 years, we've carried a tradition of providing gamers with unforgettable experiences. We're an international team of over 400 highly-skilled professionals driven by a passion for gaming, always striving for the best quality.
We’re fueled by the support of our global community built on the foundation of successful AAA franchises such as Call of Juarez, Dead Island, or Dying Light. The gamers' trust in our games has resulted in our newest project, Dying Light 2 Stay Human, selling more than 5 million copies across all platforms within the first month after release.
On top of continuously growing the world of Dying Light through a robust post-launch support plan for Dying Light 2 Stay Human, we're also working on an unannounced AAA Open World Action RPG set in a brand new fantasy universe; our biggest project to date.
Techland's mission strictly determines every aspect of our work: we want to create unforgettable experiences.