Arts & Culture

14 Independent Vancouver STUDIOS Changing The “Game”

Frombie Run
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Sure, when you think Vancouver and gaming, some of the world’s biggest video game companies and studios come to mind like Electronic Arts, Capcom, Relic, Nintendo and so on. But the independent gaming scene around town is also known in the industry when it comes to mobile and console gaming:

14 Gigatross Games
Gigatross Games was founded by three friends and indie developers with a passion for video gaming. Their goal is literally to make games until the end of time. The Kelowna-based trio is responsible for Grand Class Melee 1 +2, Gigachess and Fantasy Bump.

Gigatross Games
(Photo/Gigatross Games)

13 A.C.R.O.N.Y.M Digital
A.C.R.O.N.Y.M Digital is a game development studio which originally started off with two guys in a garage. They specialize in family-focused digital entertainment and have an impressive list of titles under their belt such as Frombie Run, Alphie the Squid and Nancy Drew: Ghost of Thornton Hall.

Frombie Run
(Photo/Google Play Store)

12 Hothead Games 
Hothead Games is an independent developer and publisher which specializes in episodic games. Their mobile FPS and Shooter games have been downloaded over a quarter billion times and include titled series like Rivals at War, Kill Shot and Big Win.

Hothead Games
(Photo/Hothead Games)

11 Ironclad Games
Ironclad Games is an award-winning PC game development studio which uses their own proprietary technology for online multiplayer game Sins of a Solar Empire and all its iterations.

Ironclad Games

10 Hyper Hippo
Hyper Hippo likes making fun games for all ages. They’ve worked on over 50 games since 2014 for web, mobile, Steam and PlayStation platforms. They’ve recently partnered with Sanrio for a Hello Kitty world game and with Jagex for RuneScape: Idle Adventures.

(Photo/@hyperhippogames (IG)

IUGO Mobile Entertainment
IUGO Mobile Entertainment develops mobile gaming experiences for major mobile and traditional game publishers. They boast competencies in interactive entertainment and have games like Knights & Dragons and The Walking Dead: Road to Survival to back it up.

IUGO Mobile Entertainment
(Photo/ IUGO Mobile Entertainment)

Next Level Games
Next Level Games has developed games for big publisher and license holder partners on various platforms. The studio has been behind big Nintendo titles like Mario Strikers Charged, Punch-Out!!  and Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon.

Next Level Games (Nintendo)

Gaslamp Games
Gaslamp Games is headquartered a ferry ride away from Vancouver in Victoria. They are known for the award-winning dungeon-crawling classic Dungeons of Dredmor and the colony game Clockwork Empires which is available on Steam.

Clockwork Empires
(Photo/Gaslamp Games)

Hellbent Games
Hellbent Games was founded by industry veteran Christopher Mair in 2006 and focuses on visuals, technology and narrative design. The award-winning indie-development studio has partnered with The LEGO Group on games like LEGO Battles, LEGO Friends and LEGO Ninjago: Nindroids.


Slick Entertainment
Slick Entertianment specializes in small fun arcade-style games for multi-platforms including Viking Squad, Shellrazer and N+.

Slick Entertainment
Slick Entertainment

East Side Games
East Side Games is “fiercely” independent in producing addicting mobile and social games. Their newest creation is Trailer Park Boys: Greasy Money and they’re also known for the Pot Farm series.

Eastside Game Studio
(Photo/@eastsidegamestudio (IG)

Artcode Interactive
Artcode Interactive is a digital media company which specializes in interactive games, apps and software development. The studio recently entered a multi-year partnership with UK-based Games Workshop to develop a new multi-platform action game set in the Warhammer universe. The game, Speed Freeks is a mobile vehicle combat game based on the Warhammer 40k Ork Army.

Speed Freeks
(Photo/ @artcodeinc (IG)

Klei Entertainment
Klei Entertainment likes to meld technical and creative capabilities in the games it develops and publishes. The independent game studio is known for titles like Hot Lava, Invisible Inc., Shank, Don’t Starve and more.

Klei Entertainment
(Photo/Klei Entertainment)

A Thinking Ape
A Thinking Ape has been building a gaming community since 2008 when it first started making social-mobile games. Some of its successful titles include Party in my Dorm, SMASH Monsters – City Rampage, The Meego and Kingdoms at War. The studio takes mega pride in its small but driven team of artists, designers and engineers.

A Thinking Ape
(Photo/@athinkingape (IG(

By Amar Mirchandani @amarmirch

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