Sofia Investment Agency recently published one of the first comprehensive maps of the Bulgarian gaming industry. The research features 35+ gaming studios and over a hundred supporting organizations, including associations, schools, investors, and creative spaces. In the report, it is also mentioned that in the period 2008-2015, the gaming sector has demonstrated the highest growth (127%) among all creative industries, keeping ahead of movie and video production as well as creative visualization.
As we previously wrote, the Bulgarian Game Dev industry consists mostly of small studios and specializes in Desktop games. This time we decided to investigate further what kind of companies shape the Bulgarian gaming market. We also discovered several other gaming studios and added them next to the ones listed by Sofia Investment Agency. Given that the gaming industry worldwide has generated $131 billion in revenue in 2018 and is expected to grow to $300b by 2025, it’s interesting to see what is the future of gaming in SEE.
Made in Bulgaria
Belleal Games: a Sofia-based game studio currently working on two PC games: ‘Masters of Puzzle’, an interactive, 3D, physics-enabled jigsaw experience that’s in playable alpha and ‘Shard of Worlds: Rise of Civilizations’, still in development.
Big Loop Studios: a Bulgarian-German mobile and web development company that has 12+ games published under the brand Snapbreak Games.
Black Sea Games: Founded in 2016 by some of the people behind ‘Tzar: The Burden of the Crown’, the first Bulgarian commercial game back at the beginning of the millennium, this studio is about to make another medieval strategy game in 2020 – Knights of Honor II: Sovereign.
Brinicle Games: A Plovdiv-based studio that has an alpha version of a game called ‘Project Tanks 2017’ but it looks like further development has been postponed.
Chibi Phoenix: Somewhere between a game outsourcing company, game developer, and advertising network specializing in games and manga comics, Chibi Phoenix states that their games have over 150k daily active users.
Chobolabs: After raising nearly $10M in the past seven years and growing the players base of their title ‘Mayhem’ to more than 1M, in April 2019 the entrepreneurs finalized the merger of their company with the US-Japanese Game Closure.
Dreamteck: A small game development studio in Sofia that’s working on an arcade-flight game, Lifeslide, which is scheduled to be released in the second quarter of 2020.
Gameline: Another small Sofia-based studio, currently working on ‘Snax: Puzzle Quest’
FoumartGames: A one-man game studio specialized in creating web browser as well as stand-alone games. Titles include educational logical puzzle Quantum of Light, a free browser game that has been played by more than a million players and a tactical role-playing game called RogueVerse, currently in early access on Steam.
Fury Studio: Developing its first game, a medieval Mass Multiplayer with title – ‘Ragewar’
Haemimont Games: One of the biggest video games developers in Bulgaria with over 50 employees and games like the ‘Tropico series’, ‘Omerta: City of Gangsters’, and ‘Victor Vran’ in its portfolio. The studio focuses mostly on action and adventure Role-Playing Games (RPG), Real-Time Strategy (RTS), as well as Simulation.
Imperia Online: One of the leading game developers and publishers in Southeastern Europe, Imperia Online has over 25 titles in its portfolio, 45 million users worldwide and generated €5.3M revenue for 2017. The company was acquired by the Sweden Stillfront Group in 2018.
Incineration Productions: An independent game production company currently working on a video game called ‘Third Omen’ – an old-school third-person action-adventure and developing a brand new IP of a VR action game, called SpellPunk, which will be available in Q2 2020. A new office in Los Angeles, California is also on the books for the near future.
Ivent Games: A two-man independent game studio developing games for PlayStation 3 – for example the action-adventure title ‘Strength of the Sword 3’.
Kipi Interactive: After developing AAA titles for more than five years, this game studio is now working on a mobile PvP experience – CRYOWAR.
Kvaba Interactive: A studio specializing in augmented, mixed, and virtual reality games.
Masthead Studios: Based in Burgas, MastHead Studios have been publishing RPG, shooters and strategy PC games for more than 10 years. Their games have been played by over 1m players, according to the company website.
Myotyx Game Studios: Authors of One-Jump Man, an auto-running platformer game with verticality based levels.
Kyoday/ Project Elea: Elea is an interactive first-person sci-fi game.
Rebellious Software: The studio, which last year closed a €250K investment round, is currently working on ‘World of Myths’, an online PvP game that aims to give more control to the players.
Seven Bulls Games: Since its start in 2013, this studio has made over 50 mobile games, the latest being ‘Counter Attack’, a mobile first-person shooter (FPS) game, which has accumulated over 7.5m downloads.
Snapshot Games: Co-founded by the long-standing British game designer Julian Gollop, Snapshot has launched two tactical video games so far – ‘Chaos Reborn’ and ‘Phoenix Point’, both financed with crowdfunding campaigns that together generated close to $1m.
Studio Mechka: A small indie studio currently developing ‘Marko: Beyond Brave’ – a 2D Action-Adventure Game, inspired by classic cartoons and Balkan folklore.
The Sixth Hammer: Their team is specializing in 2D games for PCs and Consoles as well as Mobile games for iOS and Android. Several published titles include ‘Spatium’, ‘Lord of Fire’, while ‘Moo Lander’, a game in which players fly on a spaceship, beam cows, and solve puzzles in alien worlds, is under development.
XS Software: After developing the successful free-2-play empire-building game ‘KhanWars’ in 2009, the company also started growing into the game publishing domain. Today XS Software claims to have over 50m registered players in total.
UKI Games: A studio that has built a long list web, mobile, and PC games – from arcade and strategy to space simulators.
Velbazhd Software: Actually a software development company that among other things happens to build games for mobile.
Vrab: This studio specializes in Virtual Reality apps and games, with their first game ‘Time Warrior Z VR’ already available on Steam as a pre-release.
Wiener Games Studio: A company focusing on social gaming and casino games that’s between outsourcing provider and game developer for multiple platforms – Web, Facebook, iOS, Android (tablets and phones).
Zero Fun Games: A studio that has one game published so far, the adventure ‘Copperbell’.
Branches of international gaming studios
Crazy Labs (previously TabTale): Headquartered in Israel, the company is mostly known for casual and lifestyle mobile games, also has a team in Sofia that brings together animators, game developers, and data analysts. Crazy Labs counts over 2.7b downloads for its games.
Creative Assembly Sofia: Established more than 30 years ago, Creative Assembly has grown to a team of over 500 people, split across offices in the UK and Bulgaria. The company behind the ‘Total War’ series has won awards for many AAA titles.
Gameloft Bulgaria: With offices in 32 countries, Gameloft develops games for all major digital platforms and enjoys over 157m monthly users.
Playwing: A game developer/ publisher and a sister company of Ubisoft that has offices in several locations across Europe and the US.
Ubisoft Sofia: Established in 2006, this office has become an essential part of the global company – after releasing 18 games in 12 years, including ‘Tom Clancy’s The Division 2’, Ubisoft Sofia is now working on several upcoming titles like ‘Beyond Good and Evil 2’ and ‘Skull & Bones’.
Note that lists are never complete. If we’ve missed a company you think should be on the list, please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org or via a Facebook or LinkedIn message.