Despite these challenging months, games have proven to be one of the few industries that continued to prosper. Indeed, market reporter Newzoo estimates that gaming revenue will grow by at least 9.3% this year. Whether it’s because games have become an accessible pastime or a way we connect with friends, the industry thrives with activity. And it’s not just AAA companies like Activision Blizzard and Nintendo that are making huge impacts today. Plenty of indie game companies are showing their prowess, which has made the community eager to see more of their work.
Here are some companies to watch out for in 2021.
Scottgames is an LLC based in Texas and is owned by one man: Scott Cawthon. Texas has a number of fast-growing metropolitan areas, which makes it an ideal place for startups and small businesses. Licensing fees are also much lower, so Scott Cawthon could not have picked a better place to start his company.
Scottgames only owns one franchise, and that’s Five Nights at Freddy’s (FNAF). With streamers like Markiplier and Jacksepticeye popularizing the game back in 2015, it became a huge hit. However, Cawthon announced that he would be stepping away from the franchise in 2017 because he had been “neglecting other things in [his] life.” So, it was a big surprise when a new FNAF title called “Security Breach” (in collaboration with Steel Wool Studios) was announced. It was originally set to release in 2020, but due to the current global situation, it’s being pushed to 2021.
Innersloth is an LLC formed in Washington. Its games are created, designed, and marketed by three people whose roles often cross over, which the flexible structure of an LLC enables them to do. Plus, it certainly helped that Washington is one of the best places for LLCs and start-ups. It neither has a personal nor corporate income tax and offers many incentives that spur growth like deferrals. There are also many skilled professionals in the area, as state colleges often work with businesses in public-private partnerships. Innersloth was attracted to this bustling scene and debuted with Dig2China in 2015. However, it wasn’t until people picked up on the Werewolf-based mobile game Among Us that they got their big break. Not only are they secretly working on new stuff next year, but they’re planning to add new stages and offer additional support for Among Us as well.
Supergiant Games is another LLC, this time formed in California back in 2011. It’s not too surprising that they made their home in the state, as California has two cities that are “capitals” of their industry. One of them is San Francisco, which is a well-known hub for tech and gaming startups. It’s also where Supergiant Games is stationed. They’re a lot bigger than Innersloth and Scottgames, with a total of 20 people working on their projects. Their games are known for compelling narratives and beautiful art. If you’ve ever heard about Bastion, the super hit action RPG published by Warner Bros., that’s Supergiant Games’ biggest project.
This year, they released Hades, a rogue-like action RPG for the PC and Nintendo Switch. It received a lot of positive feedback from old and new fans alike, still sitting at a 10/10 rating on Steam. After they’ve fully patched Hades, they’ll be hopping on a new project in 2021.
There’s a lot of talent across the globe, which is why it’s always exciting to see what new stuff indie developers come up with. These three may be some of the biggest ones to watch out for, but there are more out there waiting to be discovered. For more gaming news, guides, and tips, check out our games category page.