California’s Emerging Casual Games Industry: Innovative Startups to Watch

With the rise of innovative gaming startups and a rapidly evolving entertainment landscape, California continues to define the cutting edge of the Casual Gaming industry. From San Francisco’s bustling tech scene to the sprawling metropolis of Los Angeles, companies across the state are developing groundbreaking casual games. By emphasizing user-friendly engagement and fostering rich community experiences, these startups have cultivated a diverse audience of gamers. As we look towards an exciting new frontier of interactive entertainment, we bring you some of the most promising startups in California’s Casual Games sector that began operations in 2020 or later.

These startups have utilized the mobile gaming platform to tap into a large audience of users who are constantly in search of new, exciting, and accessible games to play in their leisure time. Some have chosen to fuse traditional gaming experiences with digital elements thereby creating a completely new gaming genre. Others are exploring the marriage of gaming and education, while some are targeting health and wellness issues with their game designs.

As we carry on into an era where technology and imaginative creativity converge, these startups aim to make a mark with their unique games. Each one brings a fresh perspective to the gaming industry, using innovative designs and engaging gameplay to entertain and connect users. Let’s dive deeper and learn about these standout startups.


Founded by Jesse Zhang, Lowkey is a gaming startup located in San Francisco. They have made it easier for players to share their gaming experiences with friends and communities through automated video clips. Lowkey’s tools appeal to a wide variety of gamers, encompassing casual outings and eSports professionals alike.

Squid Games

Also based in San Francisco, Squid Games, started by Jackie Jin, is a fast-growing name in the Casual Games and Mobile Software industry. Their website, though elusive about their specific offerings, promises an intriguing venture into casual gaming.

Modern Games

Los Angeles-based Modern Games, led by Amanda Kifer and Justin Kifer, innovatively blends the physical and digital aspects of gameplay. Their unique approach adds modern technological flair to nostalgic and familiar gameplay styles.

Over in Santa Clara,, co-founded by Benjamin Devienne and Jules Testard, offers a novel free cloud gaming platform. Their revolutionary platform combines video streaming and popular couch games for a seamless multiplayer gaming experience.


GameApart, the Huntington Beach startup led by brothers James and Justin Simmons, offers a unique platform where users can host party games, ice breakers, and group activities across various video collaboration services. This has allowed for a social gaming experience that transcends geographical barriers.


Educational gaming startup FunkyFundz, founded by Marvin Rhone and based in Berkeley, brings casual gameplay and learning together, striking a balance between entertainment value and educational resource.


San Francisco’s FlipFam, under Alan Aquari’s leadership, is venturing into the sphere of blockchain-enabled casual gaming, expanding its reach into this emerging technology.


Located in Los Angeles, LOViE has designed a captivating mobile chat game, LikeWise, designed to connect users through shared thoughts and similarities.

Bird Rock Games LLC

Bird Rock Games LLC, founded by Mark Holmberg in San Diego, is a young participant in California’s casual mobile gaming scene, contributing to its diverse gaming environment.

Finch Care

Based in Menlo Park, Finch Care, founded by Stephanie Yuan and Thomas Aquinas Nugraha Budi, has incorporated elements of self-care into engaging gameplay, redefining the positive impact casual games can have on our health and well-being.

Magic Circle Studio

Oakland-based Magic Circle Studio, under Avi Romanoff’s leadership, strives to strengthen interpersonal connections with their cooperative and comedic casual online games.

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