30 Gaming Business Ideas You Can Start (2024)

Updated: July 24th, 2023

Looking to start a gaming business but not quite sure what to start?

Data shows that more people in the US play games than ever before. Therefore, starting your own gaming business today will pay huge dividends in the future.

The good news is there are so many opportunities to become an entrepreneur and build an innovative video game small business.

If you are looking to start your own business for gamers, we put a list of the most profitable gaming business ideas you can start today!

Here they are:

1. Start a retro gaming business

2. Create a card game

If you love card games and have dreamed of starting your own business, why not consider starting a card game business? This can be a great way to bring people together and create a fun, social atmosphere while also making a profit.

To get started, you’ll need to decide what type of card game you want to focus on. Do you want to offer a variety of games like poker, blackjack, and baccarat, or do you want to specialize in a specific game like bridge or magic gathering? Once you’ve decided on the type of card game you want to offer, you’ll need to find a location to host your business. This could be a physical storefront or even an online platform.

Next, you’ll need to consider what types of services you want to offer. Some options could include hosting card game tournaments, offering lessons or classes for people interested in learning how to play or even selling card game supplies like decks, chips, and other accessories.

You'll need to advertise your business and create a strong online presence to attract customers. This could include creating a website, promoting your business on social media, and reaching out to local card game communities to spread the word about your business.

Overall, starting a card game business can be a rewarding and exciting venture. It allows you to share your love of card games with others while also building a successful business. You can turn your passion for card games into a thriving business with the right planning and dedication.

How much you can make: $500 — $400,000/month

How much does it cost to start: $5,500 (?)

How long does it take to build: 25 days (?)

How We Created A $400K/Month Card Game To Bring People Closer Together

Co-founders of Vertellis, a mindfulness brand that sells card games, journals, and an online course, discuss their mission to bring people closer together and their business model which involves around 30% of sales on Amazon and a Facebook ad spend of $2.5 million in 2019, bringing in an average of $400K per month with peaks during Q4.

About
Bart started Vertellis over 3 years ago
Revenue
Bart grew the business to $400K/month
Read by 10,690 founders

3. Start a gaming marketplace

How much you can make: $3,750 — $1,000,000/month

How long does it take to build: 14 days (?)

How We Launched A $1M/Month Video Games Boosting Services Marketplace

Overgear, a gaming marketplace offering assistance and training in WoW, Path of Exile, Destiny, Call of Duty, and Valorant, saw over $8 million in revenue and a 6x increase in clients in the past year by prioritizing user experience and customer retention through SEO and Google Ads, reinvesting profits, and creating a user-friendly product, amongst other things.

About
Tony started Overgear about 7 years ago
Revenue
Tony grew the business to $1M/month
Costs
It cost Tony $50000 to start the business
Read by 9,900 founders

4. Create a coding tool for game developers

How much you can make: $10,000 — $100,000/month

How much does it cost to start: $1,000 (?)

How long does it take to build: 180 days (?)

We Created A $100K/Month No-Code Tool For Video Game Developers

Construct 3, a browser-based game engine that allows anyone to create games without coding, has grown from a pay-once model to generating $100k per month in revenue through a subscription-based system, after launching with the help of early-adopter customers and a focus on organic growth, customer feedback, and white-hat SEO.

About
Thomas started Scirra Ltd almost 13 years ago
Revenue
Thomas grew the business to $100K/month
Costs
It cost Thomas $1000 to start the business
Read by 9,392 founders

5. Create an online simulation game

An online simulation game business involves creating and managing virtual games that mimic real-life situations or scenarios.

These games can range from running a virtual farm to managing a city or even simulating professional activities like flying an airplane.

To start this business, you'll need basic computer skills, creativity, and a passion for gaming.

You can use free or low-cost game development platforms to create your simulations, and once they’re ready, you can sell or offer them online for a profit.

This low-cost venture taps into the growing demand for engaging virtual experiences, making it a potentially lucrative option for budding entrepreneurs.

How much you can make: $200 — $500,000/month

How much does it cost to start: $100 (?)

How long does it take to build: 30 days (?)

How I Built A $500K/Month Golf Simulator Business

Australian startup founder Igor built a virtual golf empire selling affordable golf simulators for personal and commercial use, leading to the growth of his e-commerce platform and establishment of an event hire business, all through the power of online networking.

About
Igor started 24/7 Golf over 7 years ago
Revenue
Igor grew the business to $500K/month
Read by 13,147 founders

6. Start a video games franchise

How much you can make: $1,000,000/month

How long does it take to build: 8 days (?)

I Launched An NFT Project That Made $1M

Chibi Dinos NFT, a play-to-earn NFT community co-founded by 25-year-old Sean Kelly, earned $2.4M in revenue during its initial sale, reinvesting 60% of its earnings into staffing and marketing while earning $2,005.0453th in secondary sales on OpenSea, thanks to tapping into Twitter users as part of its marketing strategy.

About
Sean started Chibi Dinos over 2 years ago
Revenue
Sean grew the business to $1M/month
Costs
It cost Sean $100000 to start the business
Read by 3,902 founders

7. Start a video game tv/radio talk show

How much you can make: $25,000/month

How Two Best Friends Are Making A Killing With Party Game Products

Barry and Jason Games & Entertainment created Game Night in a Can, a party game made up of 30 different creative challenges and games of skill, which raised over $20,000 on Kickstarter, and is now sold in Barnes & Noble and independent stores across the US.

About
Barry started Barry & Jason Games and Entertainment almost 9 years ago
Revenue
Barry grew the business to $25K/month
Read by 5,683 founders

8. Start a coding competition for game developers

How long does it take to build: 365 days (?)

9. Create a game marketing website

How much you can make: $10,000 — $773,000/month

How long does it take to build: 195 days (?)

How I Started A $500K/Month Website About Online Casinos

This case study follows a successful online casino website generating $500k/month in revenue and holding the world's #3 position in its segment, sharing the story of its founders' journey from starting out with SEO strategies, to redesigning their website, and diversifying their business with new products and brands.

About
Jan started Casino Guru over 8 years ago
Revenue
Jan grew the business to $773K/month
Costs
It cost Jan $150000 to start the business
Read by 10,370 founders

10. Develop a gamified learning platform

How much you can make: $40,000 — $666,667/month

How long does it take to build: 82 days (?)

How We Developed A $40K/Month Game-Based Learning Platform

Games for Business created a game-based learning platform for multinational organizations that doubled its revenue in the first three years and was recently acquired after landing deals on three continents.

About
Balázs started Games for Business about 8 years ago
Revenue
Balázs grew the business to $40K/month
Costs
It cost Balázs $150000 to start the business
Read by 3,729 founders

11. Start a board game business

Creating your own board game can be fun, challenging, and rewarding. Games are an integral part of our culture and are played by people from all walks of life.

You can create a board game from scratch with basic programming knowledge or several hours of practice. Board games are easy to manufacture, can be made from home, and can become top-rated and profitable businesses.

How much you can make: $1,500 — $30,000/month

How much does it cost to start: $300 (?)

How long does it take to build: 30 days (?)

Time commitment per week: Min. 10 hours/week

How I Built A Successful Business Out Of My Passion For Board Games

Facade Games has raised over $1 million on Kickstarter and sold about 80,000 copies of their board games around the world, with the goal to publish one new game a year on Kickstarter and build on their line of games in books as well as a new party game line in the near future.

About
Travis started Facade Games almost 9 years ago
Revenue
Travis grew the business to $30K/month
Read by 9,488 founders

12. Start a video game modding business

How much you can make: $230,000/month

How I Started A $27K/Month Business Modifying And Upgrading Game Consoles

Founder Kyle Capel started Hand Held Legend, a DIY upgrade shop for vintage handheld consoles, which generates an average revenue of $27,000 a month and grew 30% in Q1 of 2020, offering an array of modern LCD upgrades for various consoles and serving an audience of mostly male customers aged between 13 and 45, 40% of which are international.

About
Kyle started Hand Held Legend about 10 years ago
Revenue
Kyle grew the business to $230K/month
Read by 10,274 founders

13. Start a game publishing business

How much you can make: $1,250/month

How much does it cost to start: $4,000 (?)

How long does it take to build: 180 days (?)

How I Started And Sold A $15K/Year Video Game Marketing Business

Aspiring founders looking to start a profitable business can learn from the story of how Hassan founded UltraShock Gaming, an indie game marketing firm, built up an audience of over 500,000 gamers, and generated $15k in annual revenue (with $12k profit) in just 2 years by offering marketing and advertising services for indie game developers.

About
Hassan started UltraShock Gaming about 8 years ago
Revenue
Hassan grew the business to $1.25K/month
Costs
It cost Hassan $4000 to start the business
Read by 4,081 founders

14. Become a gaming content provider

How long does it take to build: 365 days (?)

15. Start a game development business

How much you can make: $2,500 — $1,725,000/month

How much does it cost to start: $3,700 (?)

How long does it take to build: 180 days (?)

How I Started A $40M-Revenue Business Creating Tabletop Games

How one founder turned a successful Kickstarter campaign into a $40 million tabletop game company with a focus on crafting a few special products each year and using social media to build community and relationships with customers.

About
Jamey started Stonemaier Games over 11 years ago
Revenue
Jamey grew the business to $1.73M/month
Costs
It cost Jamey $2400 to start the business
Read by 11,194 founders

16. Start a gaming blog

Starting your gaming blog enables you to make money and have a successful career in the gaming industry. You do not have to be a gamer to earn money through a gaming blog. You can start a blog and hire experienced gamers to write reviews of their favorite games at a fee.

How much you can make: $5,000/month

Graduating and Raising $15,000 for a New Clothing Brand

This case study highlights how a men's apparel company founded by Paul in California successfully raised $15,000 through Kickstarter.

Revenue
They grew the business to $5K/month
Read by 1,001 founders

17. Start an amusement arcade

18. Start a game testing business

19. Become a game animation designer

How much you can make: $330,000/month

Inspired By The Game Dev Industry, I Built A $5M/Year Game Art & Dev Studio

This case study article is about RetroStyle Games, a game art and development studio that has over 100 projects a year and a turnover of about 4.5-5 million dollars per year, despite being based in Ukraine during the war, and provides insights into the process of building and launching a successful game development business.

About
Pavel started RetroStyle Games almost 17 years ago
Revenue
Pavel grew the business to $330K/month
Costs
It cost Pavel $1000 to start the business
Read by 718 founders

20. Start a video game parlor

A video game parlor is a business that provides a space for people to play video games, either on a console or computer. The business typically charges customers an hourly or daily fee to access the gaming systems and may also offer food and drinks for purchase.

To run a successful video game parlor, it is essential to have various games available for customers. This can include the latest and most popular games and older classic titles. Keeping the gaming systems and equipment well-maintained and in good working order is also essential.

Another critical aspect of running a successful video game parlor is creating a welcoming and enjoyable customer atmosphere. This can include comfortable seating, clean and well-lit facilities, and friendly and helpful staff. It is also essential to have strict rules for behavior and enforce them to ensure a positive experience for all customers.

Finally, it is crucial to have a strong marketing and advertising strategy to attract and retain customers. This can include social media campaigns, advertising in local publications, and hosting events or tournaments.

Overall, a video game parlor can be a fun and lucrative business opportunity for entrepreneurs passionate about gaming and creating a positive customer environment.

21. Start a vr gaming business

How much you can make: $3,750 — $300,000/month

How long does it take to build: 30 days (?)

How We Make $3.6M/Year Building The Top World's Metaverses

EDIIIE is a creative technology company that uses AR/VR/MR and gamification to design and develop next-generation experiences for global brands, with over 150 experienced employees across three offices, having successfully delivered 200+ projects to businesses worldwide, including training modules for leading manufacturing firms, delivered some of the top projects to many leading firms across industries, and are currently looking to hire for senior positions.

About
Gautam started EDIIIE about 7 years ago
Revenue
Gautam grew the business to $300K/month
Costs
It cost Gautam $150000 to start the business
Read by 2,261 founders

22. Become a video game seller

23. Become a gaming app developer

24. Start a video game reality show

25. Start a gaming accessories store

How long does it take to build: 500 days (?)

26. Create a gaming tutorial

How much you can make: $4,000/month

$4000 a Month Playing Video Games

This case study highlights how a gamer teacher and YouTuber is earning thousands of dollars each month by teaching through Outschool and guiding players on her YouTube channel.

Revenue
Devyn grew the business to $4K/month
Read by 747 founders

27. Start a video games center

28. Start a gaming gadgets rental business

29. Become a professional gamer

Are you passionate about gaming and want to turn your hobby into a business? Consider starting a professional gamer business! Professional gaming, also known as esports, involves competing in video game tournaments and earning prize money. The esports industry is rapidly growing, with revenues projected to reach $1.5 billion by 2020, according to Newzoo.

To start a professional gamer business, you’ll need a vital skill set in a popular game or genre. You’ll also need to invest in high-quality gaming equipment, such as a gaming computer and headset. In addition, you’ll need to practice consistently and stay up-to-date on the latest strategies and techniques in your game of choice. To successfully run a professional gamer business, it’s essential to have good communication and teamwork skills, as you’ll likely be playing on a team with other gamers. You’ll also need to handle the pressure of competition and maintain a positive attitude.

One way to grow your professional gamer business is by streaming your gameplay on platforms like Twitch or YouTube. This allows you to build a following and potentially monetize your content through sponsorships and advertisements.

Starting a professional gamer business can be a rewarding and lucrative venture for those who are dedicated and skilled in esports. With the right approach and dedication, you can turn your love of gaming into a successful business.

How much you can make: $4,000/month

Time commitment per week: Min. 2 hours/week

$4000 a Month Playing Video Games

This case study highlights how a gamer teacher and YouTuber is earning thousands of dollars each month by teaching through Outschool and guiding players on her YouTube channel.

Revenue
Devyn grew the business to $4K/month
Read by 747 founders

30. Create a betting game

How do I start a gaming business?

Starting a gaming business can be a daunting task, but with the right planning and execution it can be a very successful venture.

The first step is to come up with a great game concept. This is the foundation of your business, so it needs to be something that will appeal to a wide audience.

Once you have your concept, you need to assemble a team of talented developers who can turn your vision into reality.

Funding is another important consideration; you'll need to raise enough money to cover the costs of development and marketing.

Once your game is complete, you'll need to launch a marketing campaign to generate interest and drive sales.

If you can successfully navigate these steps, you'll be well on your way to starting a successful gaming business.

How profitable is the gaming industry?

The gaming industry is extremely profitable. In 2020, it generated $155 billion in revenue. By 2025, analysts predict it will generate more than $260 billion in revenue. This means the gaming industry is growing rapidly and is a lucrative investment opportunity.

meet the author
Pat Walls

I'm Pat Walls and I created Starter Story - a website dedicated to helping people start businesses. We interview entrepreneurs from around the world about how they started and grew their businesses.