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23+ Best Gaming Startups Ranked! (2024 Edition)

When I first started exploring the world of gaming startups, I found myself constantly searching for real, insightful articles on the topic but often came up short. Now, after extensive involvement and experience in this vibrant field, I've decided to share my knowledge and insights. In this article, I'll cover all the essential aspects of gaming startups, providing you with the information you need to understand this dynamic industry.

23+ Best Gaming Startups Ranked! 

1. FromSoftware

FromSoftware, Inc., a Tokyo-based video game developer and publisher, was founded by Naotoshi Zin on November 1, 1986. 


Initially focused on business applications, the company made a significant pivot into game software development in 1994, coinciding with Sony's PlayStation launch. 


Their first foray into gaming was "King's Field", a 3D real-time RPG. They're renowned for developing celebrated games such as the "Dark Souls" series, "BloodBorne" series, and "Armored Core". 


Notably, FromSoftware clinched the "Game Design" award at the 12th British Academy Games Awards for "BloodBorne". 


Their design philosophy emphasizes a potent blend of traditional RPG elements – tense dungeon exploration, formidable enemies, and the exhilaration of discovery – all contributing to a deep sense of player accomplishment.


2. Sorare

Sorare, launched in 2018 by co-founders Nicolas Julia and Adrien Montfort in Paris, represents an innovative blend in the gaming industry. 


This French startup made its mark with a unique sports video game, released in 2019, accessible via web browsers, Android, and iOS devices. Sorare's game ingeniously combines fantasy sports, trading cards, and a play-to-earn model. 


It allows players to engage in buying, selling, and trading NFT player cards, which are then used in fantasy leagues to compete for rewards. 


The company's marketing strategy includes partnerships with legendary sports figures such as Zinedine Zidane, Lionel Messi, and Serena Williams, enhancing its visibility in the sports gaming world. A notable milestone for Sorare was its four-year licensing partnership with the English Premier League in January 2023, a significant endorsement of its innovative approach to sports gaming.


3. Skillz

Founded by Andrew Paradise and Casey Chafkin in 2012 in Boston and now headquartered in Las Vegas, Skillz stands out in the competitive gaming space. This company has revolutionized mobile gaming by offering an online multiplayer video game competition platform. 


This platform is a game-changer for developers, allowing them to create successful franchises by fostering social competition in their games. Skillz boasts a network of over 14,000 game developers and has managed to organize over 2 billion tournament entries for its 30 million mobile players globally. 


Impressively, it distributes over $60 million in prizes every month. A landmark achievement for Skillz was becoming the first publicly-traded mobile esports platform in 2020, highlighting its significant impact on the mobile gaming and esports landscape.



3. BlueTwelve

BlueTwelve Studio, nestled in Montpellier, Occitanie in the south of France, represents the epitome of creative independence in game development. 


Founded in 2016 by Koola and Viv, former Ubisoft Montpellier employees, BlueTwelve Studio is a testament to the power of small, focused development teams. 


Their most notable creation is the game "Stray", which stands out for its unique aesthetics influenced by the Kowloon Walled City. 


The gameplay of "Stray" is particularly close to the founders' hearts, inspired by their own cats, Murtaugh and Riggs, adding a personal touch to this acclaimed game.


4. Gamefam

Gamefam shines as a leading metaverse game developer and publisher, known for creating immersive experiences within large gaming communities and partnering with prominent brands. Its achievements are notable: it's the top multiplayer developer and publisher with over 3 billion lifetime visits. 


Gamefam's success extends to developing the official Fortnite creative map for live events, including a standout event featuring Neymar Jr. Their launch of Sonic Speed Simulator on Roblox, which achieved a peak of 275K concurrent users and over 500M sessions, set a record as the biggest standalone branded game launch in Roblox's history. 


Gamefam's collaborations with global brands have enhanced in-game monetization and provided valuable analytics. They've also managed merchandise programs and virtual concerts for artists like The Chainsmokers and Saweetie. 


Notably, 81% of Gamefam employees regard it as a great workplace, reflecting a positive company culture. 


Looking ahead, Gamefam continues to explore the vast potential within Fortnite's Metaverse and other platforms.



5. Gankster

Gankster emerges as an all-in-one competitive gaming platform, designed to revolutionize how gamers team up, practice, and compete. 


Launched in 2021 and already having raised $4.25M in seed funding, Gankster's desktop app includes features like automatic party invites, teammate reviews, and real-time notifications. 


Its GANKREP 1.0 reputation system is pivotal in ensuring a high-quality gaming experience across all skill levels. 


Deep integrations with game clients and Discord simplify team and scrim finding, making it a hub for the competitive gaming community. 


Gankster's commitment to supporting the growth of competitive gaming is evident in its platform, which provides comprehensive tools for teams to manage their daily operations.


Jackpot.com is an innovative online platform that revolutionizes the traditional lottery experience. This platform allows players not only to bet on lottery outcomes but also to engage in casino games. 


It first launched in Texas, backed by a substantial $42 million in funding. A significant aspect of Jackpot.com is its commitment to responsible gaming. This includes implementing default spending limits and securing certifications from the National Council on Problem Gaming. 


The platform's expansion into New York, the nation's second-largest lottery market, marks a significant stride in offering a secure and convenient online lottery ticket ordering service.


7. Baazi Games

Delhi-based Baazi Games has carved a niche in the realm of real-money casino gaming activities. Specializing in games like poker, rummy, and fantasy cricket, Baazi Games has raised $2.22 million over a single funding round. 


As of March 31, 2022, the company reported an annual revenue of $208K and is valued at $13.4 million. In the competitive online gaming space, Baazi Games stands as a notable contender, taking on industry giants such as DraftKings and FanDuel.


8. SideQuestVR

SideQuestVR is a unique platform that broadens the horizons for Oculus Quest users. It allows access to a wider array of apps, serving as a bridge between developers and the VR community. 


SideQuestVR is not just a platform for accessing content outside the Oculus Store; it's a critical proving ground for developers to test and validate their content while building a user base. 


The platform's alignment with branding and user experience is enhanced through AdButler’s white-labeling feature. Notably, SideQuestVR has garnered startup funding from a tech giant like Google.


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9. Nexus GG

Launched in 2020, Nexus GG stands as a groundbreaking platform in the gaming industry. It powers Support-a-Creator programs for live service video games, offering a new income stream for gamers. 


The platform enables video game streamers and influencers to sell games directly from their platforms and earn commissions from each sale. 


Nexus GG has successfully secured $10 million in funding, led by Griffin Gaming Partners with contributions from Sony Innovation Fund and Valhalla Ventures. 


With a community of over 50,000 gamers and creators, Nexus GG raised $5.5 million in 2020 to further expand and enhance its platform. 


This platform not only supports the gaming community but also provides a unique way for developers to integrate native Support-a-Creator programs into their games.


10. Tripledot Studios

Tripledot Studios, established in 2017 and based in London, is a rapidly growing name in the mobile game development sector. Specializing in card games for Android and iOS devices, the company has carved a niche for itself in the competitive gaming industry. 


Recognized as the "Best Developer" by Pocket Gamer, Tripledot Studios has not only won acclaim through popular industry vote but has also demonstrated remarkable growth. 


This is evident in their expansion of the executive team and a near $500M valuation, following a substantial $78M raise in their third year. 


Their total fundraising of $202M and being named "The fastest growing company in Europe" by the Financial Times are testaments to their burgeoning success and influence in the mobile gaming arena.


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11. Noodle Cat Games

Noodle Cat Games, founded by seasoned industry veterans, epitomizes the fusion of creativity and workplace wellness in game development. The studio is deeply committed to a culture of mutual learning, boundary-pushing, and maintaining a healthy work-life balance. 


With a focus on the action role-playing game genre, Noodle Cat Games has secured $12 Million in funding to bring innovative ideas to life. 


The company's dedication to establishing a flexible, iteration-based studio environment prioritizes creativity, employee well-being, equitable compensation, and career growth, setting a commendable standard in the gaming industry.


12. Rec Room

Rec Room, launched in 2016 in Seattle, stands out as a trailblazer in user-generated, immersive gaming experiences. This platform transcends conventional gameplay, offering a virtual social space where users can create games, engage with others' creations, and interact in various rooms. 


The platform has seen exponential growth, particularly with the rising interest in VR and immersive experiences. Rec Room's versatility is highlighted by its availability on numerous platforms, including Microsoft Windows, Xbox, PlayStation, VR devices, iOS, and Android. 


It encompasses a wide array of game modes, ranging from first-person shooters to sports games, making it a vibrant hub for community building and creative sharing.


13. Iron Galaxy Studios

Iron Galaxy Studios, founded in 2008, is among the world's largest independent video game companies, with offices in Chicago, Orlando, Nashville, and Austin. 


The company excels in supporting and enhancing some of the most beloved worlds in gaming, assisting top studios in preparing for launches.


Iron Galaxy Studios is recognized for its versatile roles in the industry, including technical consulting, porting games to different platforms, co-development, and lead development. 


Notable projects include the lead development of "Rumbleverse" and "Killer Instinct" Seasons 2 & 3, co-development of "Uncharted Legacy of Thieves Collection," and porting "Diablo III" to consoles, underscoring their expansive and collaborative approach in game development.


14. Theorycraft Games

Theorycraft Games, founded in 2020 and based in Seattle, is on a mission to revolutionize the gaming landscape with deeply engaging, friend-centric games. 


The studio's maiden project, code-named "Project Loki," promises a unique blend of group adventure, competitive sandbox, and exciting gameplay highlights. 


With a total funding of $87.5M from 10 investors, Theorycraft Games is positioned to make significant strides in the development of innovative games that emphasize shared experiences and deep player engagement.


15. Space Ape Games

Space Ape Games, a London-based gaming studio established in 2012, focuses on crafting captivating mobile games. 


The studio's organizational structure, comprising seven small teams with over 100 individuals, fosters a collaborative and innovative environment.


This approach allows Space Ape Games to develop a diverse array of mobile gaming experiences, underlining their commitment to creativity and quality in the rapidly evolving mobile gaming sector.


16. Kamu

Kamu, a startup acquired by Epic Games in 2018, has made significant strides in the realm of video game security. Specializing in anti-cheating solutions, Kamu's Easy Anti-Cheat service, first launched in 2006 for Counter-Strike 1.6, has evolved into a robust system protecting over 80 games and utilized by more than 100 million PC players globally. 


Beyond anti-cheat measures, Kamu also offers analytics and game management solutions. Their role in nurturing the Fortnite community is noteworthy, and Epic Games plans to further extend Kamu's services. 


The company's journey from a five-employee team in 2015 to a global leader with 28 passionate individuals in gaming and coding is truly inspiring.


17. Edgegap

Founded in 2018 by Mathieu Duperré, Edgegap emerged as a pioneering gaming startup after winning first prize at the Berlin Edge Hackathon. The company specializes in managing the full lifecycle of game servers, leveraging edge computing to reduce latency and enhance fairness in online gaming. 


Edgegap's Arbitrium platform automatically chooses the nearest server to users, optimizing gaming experiences. 


In November 2021, the company secured $7M USD in funding from investors including Akamai and Liberty Global. Edgegap's client roster includes names like Alderon Games and Whalefood Games, highlighting its growing impact in the gaming industry.


18. Clockwork Labs

Clockwork Labs, a venture-backed game studio, is redefining the gaming landscape with its focus on massively-multiplayer societal games that prioritize creativity over combat. 


The studio's mission is to create vast sandbox worlds where players can foster creative communities. 


Backed by prominent investors like Supercell and Firstminute Capital, Clockwork Labs empowers its skilled designers and engineers, operating with small, product-focused teams. 


Their vision is to craft virtual worlds that resonate deeply with players, blending sandbox environments with free trade and diverse gameplay styles.


19. Beat The Bomb

Beat The Bomb stands out as the world's first interactive social video game company. It offers a unique 1-hour gaming experience where teams don hazmat suits and navigate interactive video game rooms to defuse a "Bomb Clock". 


Players can choose between Paint Bomb or Foam Bomb Missions, creating memorable and engaging social interactions. In 2023, Beat The Bomb raised a $15M Series B funding, led by Otium Capital and CVC2. 


The company also collaborates with nonprofits for STEM workshops, fostering community engagement. Beat The Bomb's approach to using video game technology for social gaming experiences emphasizes building relationships and shared experiences.


20. Avalon Corp

Avalon Corp, an international, fully remote organization, is at the forefront of innovative game and virtual experience creation.


With a people-first ethos, Avalon Corp is dedicated to attracting and empowering seasoned creatives from the gaming industry. Its founders hail from legendary games like EverQuest and Call of Duty, bringing a wealth of experience to the table. 


The company's focus is on the magic of game-making rather than the financial aspects of the metaverse. Avalon Corp's recent $13 million funding round is set to support the development of a new interoperable universe, highlighting its commitment to revolutionizing the gaming industry.


21. Freedom Games

Freedom Games, co-founded in 2020 by industry veterans Donovan Duncan and Ben Robinson, champions the potential of small development teams in creating world-class gaming experiences. 


The company has a proven track record with successful indie projects like "Coromon," "Dreamscaper," "Dark Deity," "Cat Café Manager," and "Symphony of War." 


Freedom Games' belief in the innovative power of indie games led to a successful first financing round, where they raised $10 million to support the publishing of indie titles. This approach not only nurtures creativity but also drives true innovation in the gaming industry.


22. Worldwide Webb

Established in 2020, London-based Worldwide Webb has carved a niche in the gaming sector with its pixel art-based metaverse game. 


This browser-based MMORPG allows players to use avatars from other games, fostering an interactive and interconnected gaming universe. In this hyper-virtual video game world, players can level up their characters and engage with each other, enhancing the multiplayer experience. 


Worldwide Webb's innovative concept attracted significant investment, culminating in a $10M Series A funding round.


23. Omeda Studios

Omeda Studios, a London-based company founded in 2020, specializes in the action MOBA sector. The studio's main product blends MOBA and FPS elements, offering players strategic choices, third-person control, and immersive action. 


Omeda Studios has successfully raised $22.2M in funding, including a notable $20M round led by Haveli Investments. Their game, "Predecessor," which supports cross-platform play, has garnered considerable interest and is set to launch into early access by the end of 2022.


24. nDreams

nDreams, a world-leading virtual reality games publisher and developer, has been at the forefront of gaming innovation since its founding in 2006 by CEO Patrick O’Luanaigh. 


Based in Farnborough, UK, nDreams collaborates with some of the world’s biggest gaming and entertainment partners. 


Their focus on both their own and major global IPs has recently led to their acquisition by Aonic for $110 million, marking a significant milestone after 18 months of partnership and growth.


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