4 minutes

Gotta Catch ‘Em All: 10 Mobile Gaming Startups in the South

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Photo credit: iMore

If words like “Lure Modules,” “Stardust,” and “Bulbasaur” come up in regular conversation, either your friends are dehydrated, or you know firsthand the rapid and widespread rise of Pokemon Go. According to Apple, the game had more downloads in its first week than any other app in history. And while it might seem like Pokemon is just a fleeting phenomenon (or that you know WAY more gaming nerds than you thought), the game represents the growth of an entire industry. According to market researcher App Annie, games generated nearly 85% of mobile app market revenue last year, and Deloitte Global predicts that this year, mobile will become the leading games platform, reaching 35 billion PokeCoins – er, dollars – in revenue.

You better believe that Southern innovators aren’t missing out on this movement. We rounded up 10 mobile gaming startups in our region who are quickly proving to be “Lucky Eggs” in the industry.

  1. Charleston-based 3 Queens is an all woman-owned gaming development and publishing company. Its first mobile game, a pop-culture parody called Creeping with the Crudashians, was released in July 2015.
  2. Fort Lauderdale startup GoodWorldGames helps brands in the travel and transportation sector engage and monetize their audiences through mobile games. Their suite of mobile games can be branded and customized to meet the needs of their partners. Each game also includes a “gaming for good” component, enabling users to support social causes while playing.
  3. Elephant Mouse is a mobile game development studio based in Durham. Prior to starting, their team worked at industry giants like Zynga and Red Storm Entertainment. The company has launched several iOS games, including Star Trek Rivals, Lil’ Birds, and Archetype, which made it into Apple’s iPhone Hall of Fame.
  4. Red Ticket Games is a New Orleans-based mobile game development startup. Their first title is a do-it-yourself, social trivia game called ExpertTrivia, which allows players and their friends to create trivia topics and ask a limitless set of questions.
  5. Kiz Studios is a video and mobile gaming studio with offices in Atlanta and Charleston. The company has launched big mobile titles like Critter Escape, Might and Mayhem, and Heroes of Havoc, and their game Wonky Ship was recently named a finalist in the 2016 Develop Awards.
  6. Dragon Army is a mobile gaming studio based out of the Atlanta Tech Village. In addition to creating mobile game experiences with big brands like Coca-Cola, Chick-fil-A, and Red Bull, Dragon Army has also developed and launched their own iOS and Android games with titles like Little Broken Robots and Paper Trail.
  7. Mighty Rabbit Studios is an independent game development studio based in Raleigh. The company launched during the first session of gaming incubator Joystick Labs in 2010 (the accelerator has since closed). Mighty Rabbit produces both video and mobile games, with over 2 million downloads since 2012.
  8. Baltimore-based Mindgrub Games creates mobile and social gaming experiences for Android and iOS. They’ve launched games with schools and big brands like Discovery Networks and are currently shifting more towards location-based and augmented reality gaming.
  9. Located in Miami’s creative district, Synkt Games is a development studio that creates mobile sports games grounded in social interaction. Their first title, Let’s Rumbl, is a free-to-play daily fantasy sports game that allows sports fans to compete against one another for real-world rewards.
  10. Austin-based Bee Cave Games creates mobile casino games for Facebook, iOS, Android, and Kindle. Their team previously worked at gaming giants like Zynga and Entertainment Arts, using that expertise to launch over 70 slots themed games and 13 Blackjack games. They’ve raised over $10 Million in equity since founding in 2012.

There you have it! Know of other Southern mobile gaming startups who are leveling up in the industry? Give us a shout on Twitter and make sure to subscribe to our newsletter so you never miss a beat.