5 Game Development Companies in the South West

When you think of the South West, you probably think of beaches, holidays, the sea and cider, but you may not think about games development. There’s an assumption that all video games are made in big cities and in other countries which just isn’t true! 

South West England map

There are plenty of smaller companies working in the South West who provide a more hands-on approach and focus on making independent games without the pressure of big studios. You also get the bonus of being in one of the most beautiful parts of the country! That alone should provide plenty of inspiration for making games. Today we’re going to highlight some of the development companies that have created games in the South West. 


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Aardman Studios

When you think about Aardman Studios, you probably think about Chicken Run or Wallace & Gromit with their incredible claymation, but did you know that Aardman also makes video games? They’ve only officially made two so far, the most popular being 11-11: Memories Retold which is an adventure game set during the horrific events of World War I. The game was nominated and won awards in the year of its release, and praised for its unique setting. Aardman Studios is also currently working on Chicken Run: Eggstraction as a stealth game set to release in 2024. 


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Mutant Labs

Based in Plymouth, Mutant Labs works with the slogan of, “Original ideas from the void of the unknown” and pride themselves on creating unique games. They’ve worked with Cartoon Network and Because Music on projects. You may have played their hit mobile game “Hot Seat” which puts players on the spot to come up with quick-fire responses to silly prompts. 

Great for a party setting! They have also used their animation and design skills to work with local councils and companies to produce graphics and videos. Mutant Labs benefits from being one of the few games companies inside Plymouth City Centre, giving them a chance to shine a spotlight on the city and its beauty. As well as being able to form connections with local companies to provide them with extra work as seen in their portfolio. Most of their employees studied in the city at the University of Plymouth and the company was originally set up when the original co-founders were studying in Plymouth.


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Triangular Pixels

Triangular Pixels is a small studio based in Cornwall and are focused exclusively on creating VR (virtual reality) games. VR is a relatively new space for game development, so studios can focus on it easily and develop unique experiences that players can really enjoy. They made the BAFTA-nominated game Unseen Diplomacy, which sees the player undertake the trials and tribulations of being a spy, but in VR, the stakes are raised even higher. 

They are currently working on a sequel to the game, with more details to arrive soon! Triangular Pixels also design and create tools that they sell on the Unity Store. This allows other developers to save time and purchase things from them – an easy way to make some extra money as a developer if you don’t have a game being created! Triangular Pixels has also done something incredible for the local NHS, they developed an award-winning sensory application that will be used in the new NHS unit in an attempt to support mental health patients between 13 and 18 years old.

Working for a games company allows you to support all kinds of industries with what we call “Serious Games” that are designed with the purpose of education or supporting health care and world issues. 


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Neon Play

Neon Play is a developer and publisher, this means they will also help fund and support game developers to give them backing in exchange for some of the profits. They focus solely on creating mobile games. In total, their games have over 170 million downloads and that number is constantly growing. They focus on making idle tycoon games which have the player checking in daily to grow their empire across a multitude of genres including Scrapyard, Ancient Egypt and Airports. 

Alongside these games, they have also created mobile puzzle games such as Buca! and Cannon Man. Their first game was called Flick Football which had the player trying to score increasingly difficult goals using their fingers to bend it like Beckham. Back when the game was released, it was the first of its kind. They’ve been at the forefront of the mobile game market with their focus on tycoon games leading them to a huge amount of success! To the point where they even met the Queen after winning her innovation award. They were even above Angry Birds at one point on the charts.


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Ndemic Creations

Ndemic Creations have probably made the game you’ve most heard about. They are responsible for the global hit Plague Inc and its follow-up Rebel Inc. 

Plague Inc has been popular for years, starting as a simple infection game. It now has lots of scenarios and different ways to play the game. The game has you try to infect the entire world with a deadly disease, evolving to avoid being cured with the end goal of becoming the most deadly virus in human history. Depending on where the virus starts can make the game harder or easier. The game saw an increase in popularity in 2020 as it seems the global pandemic had people wanting to morbidly experience their lives in game at the same time. The game is one of the top five most successful paid mobile games of all time with over 180 million downloads. 

As a company, Ndemic Creations sent over $70 million for ebola relief charities back in 2015 during an in-game event. They followed up Plague Inc with Rebel Inc, which sees the player engaging in deep political and militaristic simulations as they challenge to balance the military with civilian lifestyle to win the hearts and minds of the populace. 

As you can see, the variety and scope of game developers in the South West is massive and they don’t only focus on games! And remember this is only a small fraction of the teams working hard daily to create incredible games. There are hundreds of solo developers working in the South West as they create indie games, or are working remotely on big AAA (Big-budget productions like Call of Duty or Assassin’s Creed) projects. 

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Studying at ACC Plymouth is a great way to embed yourself in the developer culture here and work with passionate talented individuals. We offer Games Art which focuses on enhancing and elevating your artist’s skills in character and world design across 2D art, 3D art and entry-level animation. If you prefer to focus more on competitive games and business then we also offer Esports Management which will give you all the necessary skills to thrive in the Esports industry, including coaching, casting, analysing and video production. Apply online today to join one of the UK’s leading creative and digital colleges!

Last updated on: 20th June 2024