Michal Kicinski and Marcin Iwinski, founders of The Witcher publisher CD Projekt, have been chosen by Ernst & Young as Poland's Entrepreneur of the Year, and will represent the country in the global contest finals.
A jury headed by ex-Prime Minister Jan Bielecki selected 11 of the most elite entrepreneurs in Poland from an initial candidate pool of dozens, before finally settling on CD Projekt. Selections were made based on resourcefulness, innovativeness, good management and "the measure of worldwide success achieved by the company thanks to offering products better than those offered by foreign companies."
CD Projekt has been a major success as a publisher, growing to become the largest videogame distributor in Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary, but what put the company over the top was the phenomenal international success of The Witcher, a gritty fantasy RPG for the PC that sold over one million copies and won more than 100 awards worldwide. An enhanced edition featuring numerous fixes, updates and new material was released in September 2008, while a console version, The Witcher: Rise of the White Wolf, is currently in development.
"My colleagues from CD Projekt are not only managing a good company but also focus on innovativeness," Bielecki said. "This is how they fight the monster of recession."
Founded in 1986, the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year awards is an international competition that chooses the best representatives of the entrepreneurial spirit from over 10,000 candidates across 30 countries. Winners of national contests then go on to represent their countries in a global competition; Kicinski and Iwinski will be flying the flag of Poland, The Witcher and gamers at the finals in June 2009 at Monte Carlo.