The video game industry is booming, and Seattle is at the forefront of it all. Games are no longer the simple pixelations you remember as a kid. Today, gaming is taking a global stage with millions of players, streamers and fans. With esports becoming more popular than some physical sports, Seattle companies are taking note and taking charge. Here are 18 Seattle game companies to keep an eye on.
What they do: Unity Technologies is the creator of the world’s most widely-used 3D development platform. The company gives developers the tools they need to create interactive 2D, 3D, augmented and virtual reality games and experiences. With the Unity Technologies platform, developers have been able to create immersive experiences like Coco VR and Unruly Heroes.
What they do: DoubleDown Interactive is the world’s largest developer of mobile casino games. Millions of people play the company’s popular social games like “Texas Tea” and “Player’s Suite Blackjack.” Users can play myriad of casino games for free. The company was acquired by DoubleU Games in 2017 for $825 million.
What they do: Tacoma’s own Illfonic is a digital publisher and developer of PC, console and mobile games. Some of their biggest hits include titles like Friday the 13th: The Game, Dead Alliance and Crysis 3.
What they do: Known for producing "Halo," one of the highest-selling game franchises, Bungie is constantly looking to expand its mark on the industry. The company, a subsidiary of Microsoft, has also created popular titles like “Destiny” and the “Marathon” trilogy.
What they do: Twitch brings the gaming community together on their social platform. Gamers can live stream their game sessions, watch esports tournaments and interact with other users all on the platform. Acquired by Amazon in 2014, Twitch has become a useful tool for people trying to make it big in the burgeoning gaming world.
What they do: Geocaching combines the technology of gaming with the real-life adventure of a treasure hunt. The company embraces their Seattle roots by getting people to explore the outdoors with their technological treasure hunting app. Users can search for geocaches close to their location, enter the coordinates of the geocache into their GPS and start hunting for a hidden object or box placed by fellow geocachers.
What they do: Mythical Games is a gaming technology studio run on the blockchain. The company creates games that include verifiable trading, and ownership, of digital assets (verified on the blockchain). The company’s first game, Blankos, is scheduled for release in early 2019.
What they do: Niantic builds augmented reality platforms for some of the most popular AR games in the world. The company developed the beloved “Pokémon Go” app, downloaded by more than 750 million people. Niantic, with additional offices in San Francisco, Silicon Valley, Tokyo and Los Angeles, is pushing the boundaries of technology with their machine learning and AR games.
What they do: More than 11 million people have played an ArenaNet RPG game, including their hit MMO “Guild Wars." Acquired by fellow game development company NcSoft in 2002, the company infuses technology and creative thinking to develop some of the world’s most popular RPG’s.
What they do: GawkBox gives content creators an interactive platform, while also offering streamers the chance to earn money. Viewers can accrue funds in their virtual wallets by interacting with sponsor ads on the platform and give the funds to their favorite streamer. In just two years, more than 300,000 users have used GawkBox.
What they do: Big Fish, acquired by Aristocrat Technologies in 2017, develops casual games for mobile and online platforms. The company offers a wide selection of interactive games and has users in over 150 countries. Popular games include “Big Fish Casino” and “Haunted Legends: Monstrous Alchemy."
What they do: ESP Gaming provides live event solutions for esports organizations, game developers and the gaming community. The company also offers digital production, total esports operations and works with sponsors for events. ESP has partnered with Amazon, ESPN and the NFL to create a live digital production suite.
What they do: Exponential Entertainment helps the media industry engage with fans through movie-related arcade games. The company has worked with Comcast, the Oscars and Billboard Music to create engaging arcade and video games promoting both movies and television shows.
What they do: Innervate builds marketing tools for gaming companies. Their suite of products help customers build larger fan bases, know where players are coming from and connects games with top Twitch and YouTube influencers. Major gaming companies like Activision and Epic Games rely on Innervate’s technology to grow their popularity.
What they do: Matcherino is an esports management platform that ensures a smooth ticketing process and the ability to crowdfund tournaments and winner payouts. With Matcherino’s software, esport tournament organizers can crowdfund larger prizes, which attracts more talent and more viewers.
What they do: Mixer is the only content streaming service that offers viewers direct participation in a gamer’s stream. Streamers can see real-time comments from viewers, have 4-player co-streams and even let viewers influence their in-game play with command buttons. Mixer was acquired by Microsoft in 2016.
What they do: PopCap Games develops and operates games across mobile, computer and console platforms. Popular PopCap titles like “Bejeweled," “Zuma” and “Plants vs. Zombies” have been downloaded more than 1.5 billion times. The company is now in the Electronic Arts (EA) family and has additional offices in Vancouver, Shanghai and Hyderabad.
What they do: Independent game developer tinyBuild builds third-party games for Steam, Xbox and Nintendo 3DS platforms. The company successfully brought indie games like “SpeedRunners," “Party Hard” and “Clustertruck” to the masses.