Polish game studio Zakazane raises $1M in a pre-seed round

Warsaw-based Zakazane, a new Polish game studio full of game veterans, has raised a $1 million pre-seed investment. The funding was led by The Games Fund and aims to accelerate the development of its debut game, an immersive single-player Old West role-playing game.

  • The company was launched in 2022 by Jan Bartkowicz, a writer and creative director on acclaimed titles such as The Witcher 2, Shadow Warrior, and Cyberpunk 2077 Edgerunners, and Piotr Chomiak, a seasoned game animator with 23 years of experience. Currently, the company has a team to 16 members.
  • Zakazane is focused on developing a single-player adventure RPG set in interpretation of the Old West. Players will assume the role of a sheriff in a mountain town, tasked with uncovering a mystery that threatens to divide the local community. The game aims to empower players by allowing them to shape the future of the town and influence the storylines of its citizens, while also presenting them with morally ambiguous choices.

“We want to create projects with a distinct, unapologetic identity. Games for mature audiences who want to be left with a sense of wonder,”

Jan Bartkowicz, the co-founder of Zakazane adds.
  • The leading investor in this round is The Games Fund, global early-stage VC fund founded by video game industry veterans. The fund invests in game developers, gaming technologies, and services.
  • The startup will use the investment to grow the team to about 40 people and to facilitate the creation of a playable vertical slice, showcasing the game’s core mechanics, visual style, and pacing, and initiate full-scale production fundraising.