Culture Shock Foundation is the first organization in Poland to carry out social research on success factors of Polish mobile games and apps. This research investigates Polish companies that belong to the cultural industries.

We were primarily interested in apps and mobile games in the fields of culture and education, with particular emphasis on the areas of music, arts and design. Our analysis presents good practices and puts forward recommendations for existing and newly established companies within the creative sector concerning creating, managing, financing and promoting apps or mobile games. We have seen a growing number of mobile apps and the companies that produce them recently, but only a small part of them achieve commercial success.

Professional teams and companies know what the app development process should look like, however many companies are still learning mostly from their own mistakes in managing the development, maintenance and promotion of apps or mobile games. They often act chaotically, lacking experience, knowledge, inspiration and good practices which they could use. Sometimes high-quality apps have a low number of downloads, which means that support, distribution, promotion and management of app maintenance are required.

The aim of this study is to promote Polish developers of apps and mobile games, and to gather and promote knowledge based on the experience of the companies that have succeeded.

The apps selected for the study were:

Daily Art by Moiseum, Explain Everything, Foldify, Going., Kasprowy Wierch, Konkurs Chopinowski, Legimi.

Stages of the study

Desk and Tablet Research

In the research desk and tablet research, over 50 Polish companies based in  creative industries and mobile apps created in Poland were selected. The point of reference were foreign apps. Selected apps have been tested for their efficiency, user experience and system actualization.

Case studies

The goal  of the interviews was to present the success stories of 7 Polish firms and apps and answer the questions: what was the key to their success, what were the barriers encountered by the teams and companies implementing them.


Data from each case study (regarding a specific company and app or mobile game) collected during desk research, tablet research and interviews were summarized to the form of a report. We conducted 35 interviews with people who were involved in creating, financing or testing of an app or a mobile game.

Publication and promotion

The publication contains 7 presentations of apps and companies that have been successful in creating a mobile apps as well as the commentary of 4 experts. The analytical part includes SWOT analysis, description of success factors seen from the company perspective and recommendations for current and future mobile app creators.

The Culture Shock Foundation team conducting the study:

Paulina Jędrzejewska – sociologist, cultural anthropologist, producer. An expert in the field of creative use of new media and technologies in culture and education.

Monika Stec – sociologist, qualitative researcher. Since 2007, she has been carrying out social research concerning, among other things, use of modern technologies, evaluation and educational research and local communities.

Sylwia Żółkiewska – designer, culture animator, educator, expert in the field of mobile apps for culture and education, author of publications “APPetite for APPs” (edited by N.Gryczko, publisher Orange Foundation, Warsaw 2016).

External experts:

Prof. Piotr Celiński – media expert, theoretician of digital media, cultural animator. Author and editor of many books, among others: Mindware. Dialogue technologies (Lublin 2012), Postmedia. Digital code and databases (Lublin 2013).

Prof. Mirosław Filiciak – media expert, director of the Institute of Cultural Studies at the SWPS University. His area of expertise is: the theory of cultural studies, media archeology and relations between media techniques and cultural practices.

Prof. Marlena Plebańska – one of the precursors of Polish e-education, with specialization in knowledge management, e-learning, and Design Thinking. An external expert of the Digital Center.

dr. Alek Tarkowski – sociologist, director of the Digital Center, an organization that develops tools and methodologies for using digital technologies for social engagement.

Project co-financed by the Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage.

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