The 37 Hottest Gaming Startups in Europe

Europe boasts an abundance of gaming innovators. But as the sector continues to boom, which companies on the continent are capable of shaping the future of gaming?
The 37 Hottest Gaming Startups in Europe

The European gaming industry is home to some of the global scene’s biggest movers and shakers, like Ubisoft, Rockstar North, and Rovio Entertainment. 

Experts estimated the European gaming industry to be worth $32 billion in 2020. These companies and their peers have transformed gaming into a booming sector with memorable titles that have become household names.

Last year’s lockdowns prompted a spike in gaming, with platforms like Twitch and Facebook Gaming providing a social platform for gamers to share their experiences with a global audience. 

So, as gaming grows in popularity for people of all ages, which companies will shape its evolution? Europe’s growing gaming startup scene isn’t short on contenders – here’s our shortlist of the ones to watch.

How we created the shortlist

There’s an abundance of great gaming startups cropping up across the continent, so to whittle down the list, we prioritised startups that had gained traction with gamers through their releases and fanbase. 

We also looked at startups that had ambitions to scale, using funding as a proxy to identify possible candidates. While investment was one aspect of our list, we also included emerging companies at the earliest growth phase, with a particular focus on companies developing multi-genre games.

The 37 Hottest Gaming Startups in Europe

Fast Travel Games

Founded in 2016, Fast Travel Games is a gaming studio launched by the creators of Angry Birds and Battlefield.  The company specialises in immersive gaming with virtual reality titles and recently raised a $4M Series B investment in July 2021.

Founders: Erik Odeldahl, Kristoffer Benjaminsson

Location: Stockholm, Sweden

Raw Fury

Raw Fury designs and publishes indie games across various platforms and devices. The Stockholm-based company has raised $6.5M and was acquired by Altor Equity Partners in August 2021 for an undisclosed amount. 

Founders: Jonas Antonsson

Location: Stockholm, Sweden

Keen Games

Keen Games first launched in 2005 and creates games for various platforms. In July 2021, the startup raised $10M Series B funding from Hiro Capital and Chinese telecoms giant Tencent. The funding will help Keen Games expand into self-publishing and enabling players to create user-generated content. 

Founders: Pete Walentin

Location: Frankfurt, Germany

Bright Star Studios

Bright Star Studios launched in 2018 as an international video games studio developing futuristic, massive multiplayer online games. The Danish company has raised $2.7M to date, with a seed investment round of $2M in May 2021.

Founders: Joris Huijbregts, Loren Roosendaal, Mark Laursen, Sage Durain, Sune Thorsen

Location: Aarhus, Denmark

Dream Games

Mobile game developer Dream Games creates mobile puzzle games. The Istanbul-based company first launched in 2019. It has achieved unicorn status with its $1B valuation and raised $155M Series B investment in July 2021.

Founders: Eren Sengul, Hakan Saglam, Ikbal Namli, Serdar Yilmaz, Soner Aydemir

Location: Istanbul, Turkey

UnusuAll

Mobile game developer UnusuAll creates free-to-play mobile games targeted at casual games looking to social=lise online. The Madrid-based company was founded in 2020 and raised a seed round of €3M.  

Founders: David Picon, Fatima Monllor, Olga del Pozo

Location: Madrid, Spain

Klang Games

Klang Games is an  Independent game development studio. It was founded by three Icelanders in 2013 and raised Series B investment of $22M in 2019 to develop a multiplayer virtual world.

Founders: Ivar Emilsson, Mundi Vondi, Oddur Snaer Magnusson

Location: Berlin, Germany

Bigger Games

Mobile gaming company Bigger creates games for casual and everyday puzzle games. The Turkish company was founded in 2019 and raised $6M in December 2020 to create more games. 

Founders: Erkan Gürel, Hakan Ulvan, Yanki Yagiz Akpek

Location: Istanbul, Turkey

Mainframe Industries

Mainframe Industries is a cloud-native game studio that’s developing a massively multiplayer online game. The company raised €7.6M Series A funding in April 2020 and has studios in Finland and Iceland. 

Founders: Ansu Lönnberg, Kjartan Pierre Emilsson, Reynir Hardarson, Saku Lehtinen, Sulka Haro, Thor Gunnarsson

Location: Helsinki, Finland 

PortalOne

Hybrid game developer Portal One is a gaming startup that combines mobile technology with TV-esque live game experiences and interactivity. The Norweigan startup launched in 2018 and raised $15M in seed funding in April 2021.

Founders: Bård Anders Kasin, Stig Olav Kasin

Location: Oslo, Norway

META Games

META Games create games for esports fans. The company is developing a sports management simulation game centred on the world of esports and raised a seed round of $2M in October 2019. 

Founders: Philipp Karstaedt, Roman Frank

Location: Berlin, Germany 

Eleven Kings

Eleven Kings is a free online football manager game that allows players to oversee their clubs, manage game tactics and compete in tournaments. The startup raised an undisclosed seed round in 2020 to further develop the game and has a partnership with legendary football star Ronaldihno. 

Founders: Orkhan Rzayev

Location:  Lausanne, Switzerland

Gnarly Game Studio

Gnarly Game Studio is an emerging game development company working on its first game. Founded in 2020, it is located in the Turkish gaming startup hub of Istanbul and raised seed investment in December 2020.

Founders: Ferhat Tepe and Mehmet Gürdal

Location: Istanbul, Turkey

Valiant Game Studio

Indie game company  Valiant was first founded in 2019. The Swedish company releases its popular game, Pendulum Swing, in quarterly installments, providing players with an episodic gaming experience.

Founders: Anna Jenelius, Laura Bularca

Location: Stockholm, Sweden

Axell Studio

Turkish gaming company Alexx Studio raised its seed $400,000 seed round in September 2020 ahead of its debut game, Back Street, available on Android and Apple mobile devices.

Founders: Onur Eyikul & Furkan Bastugan

Location: Istanbul, Turkey

Codigames

Codigames develops social simulation games as mobile apps. The Spanish gaming startup launched in 2013, raising seed investment in July 2021. It is best known for the game “Heroes of War: Dragon Rings.”

Founders: Francisco José Martinez and Zacarias Gomez

Location: Valencia, Spain

enny Games

Targeting casual gamers is the aim of enny Games who make mobile games for players looking for a momentary escape. Since its 2020 launch, the company has raised an initial seed round to expand its offerings.

Founders: Özkan Gedik

Location: Istanbul, Turkey

Fracture Labs

Maltese videogame company Fracture Labs launched in 2018. It is behind the sci-fi roleplaying game, Decimated which has accrued 153,000 subscribers.  

CEO: Stephen Arnold

Location: Sliema, Malta

Daxe Games

Daxe Games is an emerging mobile games startup from Istanbul, Turkey. The company launched in 2020 and has successfully raised an initial seed round to further build out the burgeoning studio.

Founders: Emre Ergül

Location: Istanbul, Turkey

BetaDwarf Entertainment

Danish game developer, BetaDwarf Entertainment, creates games intended to build and cultivate friendships. Since 2010, the Copenhagen-based company has raised $8.1M, including a $6.6M Series A investment in September 2019.

Founders: Steffen Kabbelgaard Grønning

Location: Copenhagen, Denmark

WarDucks

Irish game development company was founded in 2013 by a former gaming leader at Facebook.  The company specialises in AR and VR gaming experiences and raised a Series A investment round of €3.3M in March 2019 to continue developing immersive gaming.

Founders: Nikki Lannen

Location: Dublin, Ireland

Dazzle Rocks

Dazzle Rocks is a games development studio based in Helsinki. They connect global players through immersive social experiences and empower players to create and expand communities together in an evolving massive multiplayer online world (Social Sandbox). The UGC cross-platform for social generation. The have raised $6.8M in funding.

Founders: Stella Wang and Joonas Jokela

Location: Helsinki, Finland

Lightheart Entertainment

Lightheart Entertainment specialises in mobile games and was founded in 2019. Its first game, Mr Autofire, has generated over $10M in revenue, and the company raised €5.6M Series A funding. 

Founders: Kalle Kaivola and Miikka Ahonen

Location: Helsinki, Finland

Gunzilla Games

Gunzilla focuses on creating blockbuster shooter games through its independent video game studio. The gaming firm launched in 2020 with a $25M Series A investment in December of that year. 

Founders: Alex Zoll and Vlad Korolev

Location: Frankfurt, Germany

Talewind

Talewind is a British games studio dedicated to creating experiences within the metaverse. The gaming startup raised a seed investment of $800,000 in June 2021 to create games for the online platform Roblox.

Founders: Mike Allender and Georgina Felce

Location: London, United Kingdom

Labworks.io

Labworks is a voice games studio that creates voice-powered gaming experiences.  The London-based company first debuted in 2017 and £500,000 seed investment in April 2020 to create a subscription-based gaming platform.

Founders: Tom Hewitson

Location: London, United Kingdom

Luau

Luau is a mobile games developer company. In May 2019, the company raised seed investment of $4M from Supercell to expand its reach.  

Founders: Michel Savariradjalou, Stephane Stamboulis

Location: Malmö, Sweden

Fatshark

Fatshark is an independent game studio that designs, develops and publishes high-profile games for PC and consoles. They've raised $56M in funding

Founders: Martin Wahlund, Rikard Blomberg, Joakim Wahlström and Johan Jonker

Location: Stockholm, Sweden

AntStream Arcade

With its retro appeal, AntStream Arcade gives players access to 1000 old-school console, computer, and arcade games. The company first launched in 2013 and is backed by mega-investor Tencent.

Founders: Steve Cottam

Location: London, United Kingdom

Darewise

Social gaming studio Darewise creates online multiplayer games that focus on creativity, collaboration and building social cohesion. The company raised €3M seed investment in July 2020 to grow its team of developers.

Founders: Benjamin Charbit

Location: Paris, France

Netspeak Games

London-based Netspeak Games creates online multiplayer games designed to be inclusive for all types of players. They are currently developing Sunshine Days, an online social game available on PCs and Android devices. The pre-seed company raised £150,000 in October 2019 to pursue its vision of gaming for all.

Founders: Callum Brighting

Location: London, United Kingdom

Hey Games

Indie mobile game developer Hey Games was founded in 2018 and makes casual gaming apps for Android and iOS devices. With apps about racing, fashion,  and 3D printing, its rich mix of games is designed for daily play. The company raised a seed investment of $1.2M in February 2021 to develop its gaming outfit. 

Founders: Cantuğ Özsoy and Ferhat Kozan 

Location: Istanbul, Turkey

Fomo Games

Fear of Missing Out Games, otherwise known as Fomo Games, is a Turkish mobile game developer focusing focusing on casual gaming experiences. The gaming startup raised a seed investment of $2M in March 2021 after launching in 2019.

Founders: Emre Teksoz

Location: Istanbul, Turkey

Playpulse

Oslo-based Playpulse transoms physical exercise into a video game experience through its Playpulse ONE exercise bike that combines fitness with video game quests. The company was founded in 2017. As part of its physical gaming experience, Playpulse also offers multiplayer gaming capabilities, bringing a competitive edge to its unique format.

Founders: Elina Willert, Erling Magnus Solheim, Kristoffer Hagen, Stian Weie

Location: Oslo, Norway

Ela Game Studio

Founded in 2020, Ela Game Studio – which stands for Enjoyable, Legendary and Action games –  develops hypercasual mobile gaming apps. The emerging gaming company raised a seed investment of €1.4M in April 2021

Founders: Murat Alagöz

Location: Izmir, Turkey

Mobile Games Entertainment (MGE)

Croatian gaming startup MGE launched in 2019 and has published eight successful titles. The game studio helps aspiring game developers create games from concept into reality.

Founders: Bela Ikotić

Location: Osijek, Croatia

Quarks Interactive

Quarks Interactive aims to educate young people about quantum physics through compelling video games. The Romanian startup raised a pre-seed fund of €115,000 in 2020 and wants to make quantum literacy accessible with its puzzles and interactive learning modules.

Founders: Laurentiu Constantin Nita

Location: Miercurea-ciuc, Romania

Boomhits

Founded in January 2021, BoomHits is a mobile game publishing company established by the BoomBit Group. BoomHits' Shoe Race hit #1 iOS US and top 10 in 40 countries worldwide. Since then, the company has published several F2P mobile games covering hyper casual, idle arcade, idle and merge with over 35 million downloads. BoomHits boutique approach combines both a publishing and investment model to help independent game development studios develop their teams and move into self publishing.

Founders: Marcin Olejarz, Hannibal Soares and Jon Hook

Location: Gdansk, Poland.

Nibble Games

Led by two founders, the Polish startup Nibble Games creates mobile simulation video games available on Google Play. The emerging startup launched in 2020 and has raised an undisclosed amount of seed funding to boost its growth.

Founders: Mateusz Haberka and Paweł Weder

Location: Kraków, Poland

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