Market watch: Digital gaming startups

digital gaming market

The global gaming industry is experiencing one of the greatest market booms since the introduction of the 8-bit console. Gaming devices are no longer limited to dependence on computers and peripherals. Today, the average smartphone packs enough processing power to run games with AAA console-like quality. Due to the diversification of its consumer base, the digital gaming industry is set to grow at an impressive rate.

According to Netscribes’ Global Digital Games Market report, the industry is projected to grow to a staggering USD 272 billion by the year 2022. A quick study of the market segments reveals Asia-Pacific (APAC) region as the largest contributor to total revenues. It is also expected to showcase the highest growth, along with the MEA region.

The industry’s startup scenario is, perhaps, the surest indicator of the promising future it holds. Here’s are the key digital gaming startups that are defining their respective domains.

  1. ChopUp: A division of Pledge51 Ltd., ChopUp is based in Lagos, Nigeria. They focus on developing games that have their narrative roots in African ethnicity so that diverse gamer segments can have a taste of the African way of life. “Monkey Post”, a game they recently launched is based on widely popular Nigerian street soccer culture. Launched in 2012 by co-founders Zubair Abubakar and Bayp Puddicombe, ChopUp’s portfolio includes games like Danfo, Ebola Strike Force, and Sambisa Assault.

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  1. Omnidrone: Operating solely in the mobile gaming segment, Omnidrone, recently announced the launch of their MOBA genre game Titan Brawl on Android Beta. Headquartered in Spain’s Barcelona, they have some of the best developers and artists coming from major gaming companies like King, Gameloft, and Wooga. Founded in 2013 by Gerrard Fernandez, Omnidrone is set to release their flagship project, Titan Brawl, on Android and iOS.
  2. Piranha: Started in 2000 by co-founders Brian Ekman and Russ Bullock, Piranha has grown into a 65 strong team. They are entirely self-funded, focusing on computer and console gaming segments. Based in Vancouver, Canada, Piranha has developed games like, Mechwarrior 5: Mercaneries, Die Hard: Nakatomi Plaza, and Medal of Honor: Heroes 2. They also hosted the Mech Con in 2016, where gamers received a first-hand experience of Mechwarriors 5, before its formal release.
  3. Nazara: Headquartered in Mumbai, this Indian gaming studio focuses on using local content for game development. To this end, they have developed several games that appeal to Indian gamers like Chhota Bheem Race, Virat Super Cricket, and Motu Patlu Run. Nazara is now looking to develop the Indian eSports ecosystem with a USD 20 million investment earmarked for the same. The success of this studio is attracting attention from investors like Sequoia Capital and Westbridge Capital.
  4. Witching Hour Studios: With a focus on, both, mobile and PC games, Witching Hour Studios was launched in 2010 by co-founders Ian Gregory and Brian Kwek. The studio is headquartered in Singapore with a small team of 10. Their debut mobile game project Ravenmark: Scourge of Estellion saw immense success since its launch in 2011, allowing them to venture into PC and console gaming.
  5. Touchten Games: Another studio that focuses solely on the mobile gaming segment, Touchten was founded in 2009 with its headquarters in Jakarta, Indonesia. As such, it is the only company from its home country to have made its way into the top 10 of the iOS app store. Partnering with WWF Indonesia, they launched Fishing Town in an attempt to garner awareness on marine life conservation. Other games under its belt incudes Tap Koruptor, Brave Warriors: Zombie Revenge, and
  6. Steel Wool Studios: Started in 2012 by co-founders Joshua Qualtieri and Jason Topolski, this Oakland based studio operates in the Virtual Reality gaming segment. Steel Wool Studios is an independent gaming studio that develops VR games with interactive educational experiences and compelling narratives. They recently launched Bounce a physics-based VR game for the HTC Hive platform on Steam.
  7. Playsnak: Headquartered in Berlin, Germany Playsnak was launched in 2005 by founder Paha Schulz. The company is focused on creating the next generation of customized immersive AR/VR gaming experiences. Due to the significance of its efforts, Playsnak received an additional seed investment of USD 1.2 million. Keeping this in mind, it can be safe to expect them to revolutionize the AR/VR gaming segment.

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