Local Video Game Companies – San Francisco Bay Area

The San Francisco Bay Area is arguably the epicenter of the game development universe. This number of studios and jobs in the Bay area is large (and constantly fluctuating), and it includes studios that do just about every type of game development imaginable. AAA development? Localization of obscure Japanese titles? Hardcore social games? Educational mobile apps? Major industry conferences? All of the above, and that barely scratches the surface. If something is happening in the games industry, you can bet that it’s happening in some way, shape or form in the Bay Area.

The Bay Area includes a few major cities and several smaller towns. For the purposes of this list, it stretches from about Santa Cruz to Santa Rosa.

Remember to check out our job listings to see if there are any openings in the Bay Area.

COMPANYNOTABLE PROJECTSFOCUSSTUDIO SIZE
2D Boy (Novato)World of GooDownloadable, Mobile1-10
2K Games (Novato)Corporate OfficeManagement?
2K Marin (Novato)Bioshock 2Consoles, PC?
2K Sports - Visual Concepts (Novato)NBA 2K SeriesConsoles51-200
6wavesAstro Garden, TownshipSocial?
Aeria Games (Santa Clara)Eden Eternal, ShaiaPC, Web, Mobile201-500
Agetec (Sunnyvale)Way of the SamuraiConsoles, Handheld?
Atakama LabsLittle Cave HeroSocial11-50
Autumn Moon Entertainmen (Peteluma)Ghost Pirates of Vooju Island, Vampyre StoryMobile, PC?
Backbone Entertainment (Emeryville)Rock Band 3 (Wii)Consoles, Downloadable51-200
Big Fish - Self Aware Games Studio (Oakland)Big Fish Casino, FleckMobile11-50
BiowareDragon Age LegendsSocial, Web?
Blue Shift (Mountain View)Luminati Rendering EngineTools11-50
Breaktime StudiosSweet Shop, Pocket PotionsMobile11-50
Campo Santo??1-10
Capcom (San Mateo)?Consoles, Handhelds?
Chronic Logic (Santa Cruz)Bridge Construction SetPC1-10
CrowdparkBet Tycoon, Pet VegasSocial11-50
Crowdstar (Burlingame)Modern Girl, Tower TownMobile, Social51-200
Cryptic Sea (Santa Cruz)Somnia, A New ZeroPC1-10
Cryptic Studios (San Jose)Champions Online, City of HeroesPC51-200
Crystal Dynamics (Menlo Park)Tomb Raider, Legacy of KainConsoles, Handhelds, PC51-200
Digital Chocolate (San Mateo)Galaxy Life, Gangs of BoomtownSocial, Web?
Digital Praise (Fremont)Dance Praise, Amazing BibleReligious Games11-50
Disney Interactive (Palo Alto)?Mobile, Social201-500
Double FineBrutal Legend, Psychonauts, Costume QuestConsoles, Downloadable51-200
EA (Redwood Shores)Involved in all EA titlesOperations - World Headquarters500+
EA PopcapPlants vs. Zombies AdventuresSocial11-50
Exit GamesPhoton Network EngineTools11-50
FableLabsNerd Detective, Like HellMobile11-50
Free Range Games (Sausalito)FreeFallSocial11-50
Frogster AmericaRunes of MagicPC?
FunMobility (Pleasanton)Narlii's Four Score, Zombie HunterMobile51-200
FunzioCrime City, Modern WarMobile, Social51-200
Gaijin GamesBit.Trip.BeatMobile, Downloadable?
Gameloft?Mobile, Social?
Gazillion Entertainment (San Mateo)Super Hero Squad OnlineWeb201-500
GenPlay Games (San Jose)Pro Dominoes Online, MuncherMobile11-50
Glu (San Mateo)Blood & Glory, Contract Killers - ZombiesMobile?
Graffiti Entertainment (Redwood City)High Tech RacingMobile, Downloadable?
Gravity Bear (Emeryville)Battle PunksSocial1-10
Hands-On MobileDeadliest Catch, COPSMobile11-50
Hexify (Mountain View)Journey of Moses, Legend HunterSocial11-50
HopeLab (Palo Alto)Zamzee, Re-MissionGamification11-50
HumaNature Studios (Albany)Deko-Deko MailSocial1-10
Hypnos Entertainment (San Jose)Contract work on many titlesContract services11-50
Idle GamesIdle WorshipSocial51-200
Ignite Game TechnologiesSimracewayWeb?
IGG (Fremont)?Web, PC11-50
IMVU (Palo AltoVirtual chat roomsSocial51-200
Interbang EntertainmentSuper Comboman, Shinobi Ninja AttacksMobile?
Iron RealmsAchaea, ImperionWeb1-10
iWinCasual game platformWeb51-200
Joju (Berkeley)Bobby Nutcase series, Bubble AtlantisWeb?
KabamKingdoms of CamelotSocial201-500
KixeyeWar Commander, Battle PiratesSocial51-200
KlickNationBusiness Development for KlickNationSocial?
Konami (Redwood City)North American publishing of Konami titlesOperations?
KRU Interactive (Santa Clara)Nexus TK, Shattered GalaxyPC?
Last Day of WorkVirtual Villagers series, Virtual FamiliesPC, Mac, Mobile1-10
Lazy 8 StudiosCogsPC, Mobile1-10
LeapFrog (Emeryville)Educational software and hardwareEducational201-500
Linden LabSecond LifeVirtual Worlds?
Loot Drop (San Bruno)Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon CommanderSocial11-50
Machine Zone (Palo Alto)Original Gangstaz, Global WarMobile51-200
Mastiff GamesReload, Heavy Fire AfghanistanConsoles, Handhelds1-10
Maxis (Emeryville)The Sims, Sim CityPC, Consoles51-200
MeezMeez NationSocial11-50
Metro Games (Mountain View)Coco Girl, Auto HustleSocial, Mobile51-200
Mighty PlayLicensed titlesMobile, Web1-10
MunkyFunBounty Bots, My HorseMobile11-50
Namco Bandai (Santa Clara)Tekken, PAC-MANConsoles, Handhelds, Mobile201-500
Natsume (Burlingame)Harvest Moon, Reel FishingConsoles, Handhelds51-200
ngmoco:)We Farm, RolandoMobile51-200
nStigate (Novato)?Mobile51-200
Number NoneBraidDownloadable1-10
OutsparkFiesta, LuviniaPC, Web11-50
Perfect World (Foster City)Legend of Martial Arts, Perfect World seriesPC51-200
Planet Moon StudiosDrawn to Life, Armed and DangerousConsoles500+
PlayFirstDiner Dash, ChocolatierMobile, PC, Online51-200
Playfish USA?Social?
Pocket GemsTap Paradise Cove, Tap SafariMobile51-200
Quark Games (Cupertino)Champs BattlegroundsMobile11-50
Red Robot Labs (Palo Alto)Life is Crime, Forever DriveMobile11-50
Redbana (San Mateo)Hellgate, AuditionWeb11-50
Robot Invader (Mountain View)Wind-up KnightMobile?
Rocket NinjaWrestler UnstoppableSocial11-50
RockYou (Redwood City)Zoo World, Galactic AlliesSocial51-200
Rumble Games (Redwood City)Kings RoadSocial, Mobile11-50
Sanzaru Games (Foster City)Mystery Case Files, The Sly FilesConsoles11-50
SecretBuilders (San Mateo)SecretBuildersVirtual Worlds?
Sega?Consoles, Handhelds?
Social Gaming Network (Palo Alto)Jewels of the Amazon, Bubble AtlantisSocial, Mobile51-200
SilverTree Media (Palo Alto)Cordy Sky, Pixie HollowMobile, Web11-50
Skunk StudiosDaily Mah Jong, Flux Family SecretsWeb, Mobile11-50
Slang (Redwood City)?Consoles?
Sledgehammer Games (Foster City)Call of DutyConsoles51-200
Sony Computer Entertainment (Foster City)OperationsOperations500+
Sourcebits?Contract development11-50
SpyraGlobal AttackMobile11-50
Star Filled Studios??1-10
StickeryMermaid WatersMobile1-10
Storm8 (Redwood CityWorld War, Pets LiveMobile51-200
Stupid Fun Club (Berkeley)??1-10
Super Evil Megacorp (San Mateo)VaingloryMobile11-50
Supergiant GamesBastionDownloadable1-10
Tagged?Social?
Tecmo Koei AmericaPublishing of Tecmo and Koei titlesPublishing, Localization?
Telltale Games (San Rafael)The Walking Dead, Sam and MaxEpisodic Games, PC51-200
Three RingsDoctor Who - Worlds in Time, Spiral KnightsWeb11-50
TikGames (San Mateo)Gold Fever, Scary GirlMobile, Downloadable, Handheld51-200
Tin Truck (San Mateo)Grem LegendsMobile1-10
Tintash (Palo Alto)Lonely Planet - Globetripper, StickcricketMobile?
Tiny SpeckGlitchWeb11-50
Toys for Bob (Novato)Skylanders: Spyro's AdventureConsoles, Handhelds51-200
Trion Worlds (Redwood City)RIFTPC, Operations?
UbisoftRocksmith, Just DanceConsoles, Handhelds?
Unknown WorldsNatural SelectionPC, Tools1-10
Vector Unit (San Rafael)Shine Runner, Riptide GPMobile1-10
Virtual Space Environment (San Rafael)Varis RiftVirtual Worlds?
Visceral Games (Redwood Shores)Dead Space, Dante's InfernoConsoles, PC51-200
Wolfire Games (Berkeley)Overgrowth, LugaruPC, Mac, Mobile1-10
ZyngaFarmvilleOperations, Social500+

References:  Wikipedia (game company list), GameDevMap, Linkedin, studio pages

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  • http://www.gamejobhunter.com/ Paul Teall

    Removed Bigpoint Games.  Their SF office was shuttered last month.

  • http://www.gamejobhunter.com/ Paul Teall

    Big Fish Games acquired Self Aware Games earlier this year – that change is now reflected in the list.

  • http://www.gamejobhunter.com/ Paul Teall

    Added Star Filled Studios, a new studio affiliated with Valve.  Not sure what they’re working on yet.

  • Stephen Shippritt

    Are there any companies in the area that specialize in RPG’s? I’m looking for a company similar to Obsidian, but they’re located in Irvine. I’m moving to the Bay area in August with my fiance, so I’m seeing what is available out there. Any information is appreciated!

  • Ted

    Bioware is well known for making RPGs.

  • Nick Kitten

    A couple needed updates: LucasArts has been closed, and Nihilistic changed their name to nStigate and they now work on mobile games.

  • http://www.gamejobhunter.com/ Paul Teall

    Hi Nick – thanks for the tips. The list has been updated!

    LucasArts – removed
    nStigate replaces Nihilistic

  • Joe

    A bit lucky was bought out by Zynga. Thank You for creating this blog/list and updating it I appreciate it

  • Joe

    Paragon Studios is closed

  • http://www.gamejobhunter.com/ Paul Teall

    Thanks Joe – Paragon removed from the list.

  • http://www.gamejobhunter.com/ Paul Teall

    Thanks Joe – glad you like the list! Removed A Bit Lucky, as they are now rolled into Zynga SF.

  • http://www.gamejobhunter.com/ Paul Teall

    2 changes:
    - Removed Paragon Studios (RIP)
    - Removed A Bit Lucky – they were acquired by Zynga, and rolled into the Zynga SF office.

  • meh

    this an awesome resource! hats off to you my friend :)

  • Joe

    add the company perfect world entertainment http://www.pwe-inc.com they updated their website not sure if its the same at the current one you have listed

  • http://www.gamejobhunter.com/ Paul Teall

    Updated the link to Perfect World. Thanks!

  • Fuzzybunny

    Quark Games just pushed out Champs: Battlegrounds

  • http://www.gamejobhunter.com/ Paul Teall

    Added Quark Games to the list.

  • http://www.gamejobhunter.com/ Paul Teall

    Just got them added to the list, thanks.

  • Eric Ezlife

    Add Disney Interactive. They house several groups including Disney Mobile, Tapulous, Playdom, and LucasArts licensing. Social + mobile games.

  • http://www.gamejobhunter.com/ Paul Teall

    Hi Eric – interesting, I didn’t realize they had a presence in the area. Do you know if they handle any development, or is it just operations? Do you have any more info on the studio? Location, headcount, etc.?

  • Jane

    Trion Worlds also has the game Defiance.

  • Paula Foster

    There is also IGG (in Fremont) http://www.igg.com/

  • http://www.gamejobhunter.com/ Paul Teall

    Paula – do you know how big the IGG studio in Fremont is? I’m having trouble finding any specific info about that location.

  • Paula Foster

    They have about 15 employees in Fremont (the company used to be located in Santa Clara before). The main office from the company is based in China (200+ employees).

  • http://www.gamejobhunter.com/ Paul Teall

    Great, thanks! Got them added, sorry about the delay.

  • john sellers

    cool so this site helps me find a job? what do you know about valve

  • http://www.gamejobhunter.com/ Paul Teall

    They’re working on Half-Life 3, I hope.

  • Sarah

    Thanks so much for this! Just went down the list and applied to every job possible! Sadly I’m not an engineer or a software designer so I really had to be creative… Hopefully I get a call back. I very much appreciate this site!!

  • http://www.gamejobhunter.com/ Paul Teall

    Glad it helped, good luck!

  • Sarah

    Don’t know if you’ve heard of ROBLOX in San Mateo, CA I found while job hunting, they make computer games.
    Here’s a link to their jobs: http://corp.roblox.com/jobs
    Linkedin: http://www.linkedin.com/company/roblox?trk=top_nav_home

  • Khilbill

    They have multiple development studios here at Palo Alto, size would surely be 500+

  • http://www.gamejobhunter.com/ Paul Teall

    Ok, talked to a contact at Disney and have adjusted the list. Deleted Playdom, and added Disney Interactive. He wasn’t sure they were over 500, so have them at 201-500. Thanks for pointing this out!

  • Sareidron

    wrong place for that

  • Mathilde

    An update: ZipZapPlay was acquired by PopCap Games and PopCap Games was acquired by Electronic Arts in 2011. The ZipZapPlay team is now EA PopCap located in San Francisco, notable game: Plants vs Zombies Adventures, focusing on Social, Mobile 11-50 people.

  • http://www.gamejobhunter.com/ Paul Teall

    Thanks, Mathilde. The page has been updated!

  • http://www.fablelabs.com/ Thomas Wu

    FableLabs is a San Francisco based studio making story-driven tablet games. We’re 11-50 and our first titles will be launched sumer of 2014

  • http://www.gamejobhunter.com/ Paul Teall

    Hey Thomas – got you guys added. The games look awesome, can’t wait to play them!

  • Randy

    Paul, do these companies you have listed take outside work ? I want to build a mobile game app for iOS. Thanks

  • http://www.datesofasia.com Jose Abril

    Thanks so much for this! I very much appreciate this site!!

  • http://futureworktechnologies.com/ Future Works

    Check out Future works
    http://futureworktechnologies.com/

  • http://www.gamejobhunter.com/ Paul Teall

    Added Super Evil Megacorp to the list!

  • Portman

    All the games on the list are games which everyone expects except maybe 2
    or 3. I just hope everything isn’t revealed the week before E3 like
    last year. I look forward to watching all the E3 streams, even nintendo. cat mario online

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  • Arun

    Arum. I wanted to buy a license for a major distribution. How do I approach these gaming companies. There is no reply if I send an email

  • Random guy

    The link for Disney is the same as the link for Digital Praise, which is right above it. Needless to say, this isn’t correct.

  • http://www.gamejobhunter.com/ Paul Teall

    Hi Random guy – thanks for the catch, it has been fixed!