Sunday, 8 March 2015

Game Connection Development Award Winners Announced

San Francisco, CA, USA – March 4, 2015 – Game Connection unveiled the winners of the 2015 Game Connection Development Awards today. Formerly known as “Selected Projects”, the award honors yet unsigned or highly original game projects and is open to console, mobile, social, casual, and online games at any stage of development with no restriction to genre, platform, or distribution method. Out of over 170 applicants, the jury picked twenty-four different game projects from 15 countries before narrowing down the winners in each of the ten categories. Vlad Micu from VGVisionary hosted the ceremony.

Japanese Active Gaming Media took home two of the ten trophies for Astebreed, making them the biggest winners of the day. The Shoot-Em-Up PC game was named both “Best Hardcore” and “Best Console/PC Hardcore Game.” Two German studios had a reason to celebrate, as industry veteran Bigpoint was awarded “Best Desktop/Downloadable” for the browser-based MOBA Shards of War. While indie-studio Brainseed Factory won “Best Casual” for their word-based puzzle Typoman(multi-platform). “We are highly honored to receive one of the most relevant industry awards,” said Bilal Chbib, Founder and CEO of Brainseed Factory. “Three years after the initial idea for Typoman was born, it has made huge leaps on its journey and increases our motivation to create a game players will hopefully fall in love with.”

The Canadian games industry can also boast two winning studios, as Hitman GO from Square Enix Montréal was named “Best Mobile/Tablet”, and “Best Social” went to Hololabs for their mobile scrap-gaming title Papercade. "We are very excited about the reception of Hitman GO,” said Genevieve St-Onge, Brand Manager at Square Enix Montréal. “We think it shows that taking risks in game design can definitely pay off. We cannot wait to show you what's coming next."

"We are thrilled to win the award for Best Social Game and to be included among so many talented developers for the award,” said Mike Wozniewski, President and CTO of Hololabs Studio Inc. “For all others interested in making games, we hope that Papercade can be the first step in expressing your ideas and creativity through games. Come join our scrapgaming community!" 

US-based LyteShot managed to trump the competition in the main category “Most Original and Creative Project” for their self-titled mobile/live-action platform. Further winners include Czech studio Madfinger Games for mobile model-kit simulatorMonzo (“Excellence in Art”), Norwegian Sarepta Studio for PC puzzle-adventure Shadow Puppeteer (“Most promising IP”), and Spanish indie A Crowd of Monsters for their multi-platform episodic noir story Blues and Bullets (“Excellence in Story and  Storytelling”). “Being nominated and winning at the Game Development Awards has been a really good platform to get more visibility and interest from the big publishers," Rafael González, President and CEO of A Crowd of Monsters.

The 2015 Game Connection Development Awards were given out in partnership with Microsoft Studios, Bandai Namco Games, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, and Michael Meyers Public Relations.

All winners (bolded) and nominees at a glance, including trailers: 

Best Console / PC Hardcore (Microsoft Studios)
•  Astebreed by Active Gaming Media, Inc. (Japan)
•  Hand of Fate by Defiant Development (Australia)
•  Typoman by Brainseed Factory (Germany)
•  Hue by Mudvark (United Kingdom)
•  Shadow Puppeteer by Sarepta Studio AS (Norway)

Best Mobile / Tablets
•  Hitman GO by Square Enix Montréal (Canada)
•  Epic of Kings by Dead Mage (United States)
•  Papercade by Hololabs (Canada)
•  Piano City by Room 8 Studio (Ukraine)
•  Raids of Glory by Nitro Games Ltd. (Finland)

Best Desktop / Downloadable
•  Shards of War by Bigpoint (Germany)
•  My Night Job by Webcore Games (Brazil)
•  DUR by ZHdK (Switzerland)

Best Casual Game
•  Typoman by Brainseed Factory (Germany)
•  Hitman GO by Square Enix Montréal (Canada)
•  Piano City by Room 8 Studio (Ukraine)
•  Puny Stupid Humans by GORANGE LLC (United States) and  SteelMonkeys (Belarus)
•  Sequenced by Apelab (Switzerland)

Best Social Game
•  Papercade by Hololabs (Canada)
•  Shadow Puppeteer by Sarepta Studio AS (Norway)
•  Raids of Glory by Nitro Games Ltd. (Finland)
•  Monzo by MADFINGER Games (Czech Rrepublic)
•  LyteShot by LyteShot, Inc. (United States)

Best Hardcore Game
•  Astebreed by Active Gaming Media, Inc. (Japan)
•  Epic of Kings by Dead Mage (United States)
•  First Strike by Blindflug Studios (Switzerland)
•  Hue by Mudvark (United Kingdom)
•  Medusa's Labyrinth by Guru Games (Sweden)

Excellence in Art
•  Monzo by MADFINGER Games (Czech Republic)
•  Epic of Kings by Dead Mage (United States)
•  Hitman GO by Square Enix Montréal (Canada)
•  Astebreed by Active Gaming Media, Inc. (Japan)
•  Raids of Glory by Nitro Games Ltd. (Finland)

Excellence in Story and StoryTelling
•  The Perils of Man by IF Games (Switzerland)
•  Hitman GO by Square Enix Montréal (Canada)
•  Epic of Kings by Dead Mage (United States)
•  Shadow Puppeteer by Sarepta Studio AS (Norway)

Most Promising IP (SCEE)
•  Shadow Puppeteer by Sarepta Studio AS (Norway)
•  Hitman GO by Square Enix Montréal (Canada)
•  Typoman by Brainseed Factory (Germany)
•  Astebreed by Active Gaming Media, Inc. (Japan)

Most Creative and Original Project (Bandai Namco)
•  LyteShot by LyteShot Inc. (United States)
•  Papercade by Hololabs (Canada)
•  Sequenced by Apelab (Switzerland)
•  Puny Stupid Humans by GORANGE LLC (United States) and SteelMonkey (Ukraine)
•  First Strike by Blindflug Studios (Switzerland)

For further details visit: www.game-connection.com/development-awards

The 2015 Game Connection Development Awards were given out on Tuesday, March 3rd at 10:00 AM at the AMC Theater – METREON in San Francisco.

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