Patreon-funded video game documentary maker Noclip today posted the first in a six-part series detailing the history of Polish game giant CD Projekt, and in it cofounder Marcin Iwiński explains how the company made its mark by localizing the 1996 PC adventure game Ace Ventura.
“One of the first titles we localized, fully localized, was Ace Ventura, and we actually found a guy to help us localize it, he did a bloody good job,” said Iwinski. “It was a blast. People loved it…instead of hundreds, we started selling small thousands.”
What’s interesting here is that the Ace Ventura game served as a significant (and successful) test of CDP’s ability to localize games for a Polish audience. The company went on to see more success working with Interplay to localize Baldur’s Gate 1 & 2, which were reportedly big in Poland.
When CDP’s work on a Polish version of Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance fell through, the company wound up forming a game development arm (CD Projekt Red) to make a game inspired by Dark Alliance. That game became The Witcher, the start of a globally successful franchise that’s helped cement CDPR’s status as a (multi-)billion-dollar company.
You can hear more of Iwiński’s recollections about everything from recording games off the radio to what it was like starting a game distribution company in a Poland transitioning from socialism to capitalism in the full Noclip video, part of a larger series the outfit is producing about CDPR and its works.