The videogames industry exploded hugely over the past two decades. No longer a niche hobby, gaming is now a lifestyle enhancement. With this, an increasing number of startups are popping up to bring new experiences to PCs and consoles worldwide. But which companies should developers keep an eye on to help support their growth?
Lucid Sight is one of several LA gaming startups focusing on supporting modern games development. Growing since 2015, the company is continuing to push ahead into 2021 with the most recent funding of $11 million at Series B.
While more recent funding growth is yet to emerge, the company offers an intriguing business model. Lucid Sight is responsible for trendy titles such as MLB Champions and Cryptic Conjure.
However, they are also well-known for their developer support. They develop their games and provide a popular dev kit to those just getting started.
Skillz is a popular esports engine that’s continuing to snowball across 2020 and 2021. The company began life in 2012, and the mobile platform now sits at around $53 million in funding. At the time of writing, it’s ranked as GrowJo’s fourth-fastest growing gaming venture.
Specifically, Skillz offers esports developers a considerable platform to connect with billions of professional players worldwide. Based in San Francisco, it supports developers looking to tap into the immense esports growth of the past few years.
Skillz was the first-ever esports firm to rank number one on the Inc 500 list, which was in 2017. Since then, the company is going from strength to strength.
Modern developers also need more connections now than ever before. GarageGames, based in Las Vegas, offers an intriguing engine with many lucrative partnerships.
The company offers a three-tier program that provides business training, engagement advice, and even teacher training. Their games reach platforms across Xbox Live, Nintendo, and even Facebook. They even have connections with NASA!
GarageGames develops its titles and offers support to new developers. They also help existing studio heads reach out to players and teach the next generation of devs.
Streaming is Growing
Game developers should also focus on streaming. Gameplay footage is no longer niche – it is a market that exploded from 2019 to 2020. 4.9 billion hours of live streaming were watched in the first quarter of 2020, compared to 3.6 billion hours the year before.
Developers will naturally be creating games that now have streaming potential. I.e., they should offer the potential for entertainment on viewing alone, not just playing. Devs may wish to consider hugely popular startups such as Omlet Arcade, a Twitch alternative focusing on arcade-style streams
The Future of Gaming Startups
2021 looks bright for games devs and entrepreneurs. Current global crises may exacerbate the number of people taking up ‘indoor’ interests. What’s more, the gaming scene is always evolving – whether via esports, streaming, casual apps, or otherwise.
Gaming-friendly investors can take a look at databases – such as Fundz – to find their next adventures.