Continuing our round-up of this year's potential winners, here are the best companies that have helped developers bring their games to market
A division of EA, Chillingo is a leading independent mobile games publisher with a proven track record of attracting the world’s most talented developers and assisting them to releasing the best possible titles.
In the past year, Chillingo has published over 50 games across iOS, Android and PlayStation Mobile, including the critically acclaimed and award-winning titles Icycle: On Thin Ice, Mega Dead Pixel, Fightback, Dead Ahead, Feed Me Oil 2, In Fear I Trust, and Another Case Solved.
Chillingo strives to understand the needs of indie developers, support them with business advice, design expertise and resources. Working with prominent licensors, the publisher is also engaged in strategic partnerships with Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Mozilla, PlayStation Mobile, Samsung and LG, enabling developers to be connected with remarkable opportunities.
After working as a traditional game developer for the first ten years of its existence, Curve Digital has become a pioneer in the field of indie publishing, responsible for bringing indie hits like Thomas Was Alone and The Swapper to PlayStation formats.
Curve’s uniqueness in the field comes from the combined application of decades of development experience with the duties of a digital publisher, allowing the company to provide a full service to indie developers; from code, QA and production through to sales and marketing expertise. Very few other publishers are able to combine these skills to provide a full service to developers with one eye on the console landscape.
Curve’s focus has been to work with developers that wouldn’t otherwise be able to bring their games to PlayStation, providing a valuable and unique route-to-market for development teams.
Focused entirely on the indie sector, across PC, mobile and console, the Hemel Hemstead-based Kiss Ltd is one of the fastest-growing games labels in the industry.
In the past 12 months, Kiss Ltd has helped 38 independent developers get their titles accepted on Steam, providing management and support throughout the release process.
The company has managed successful Kickstarter campaigns, including one for GameCrafterTeam’s Project Nimbus - which more than doubled its funding goal - and gained ID@Xbox and Sony PSN access for its catalogue of games.
In addition, Kiss Ltd has also re-launched 18 classic PC games onto the digital platform with great success, establishing a huge following in the retro and classic section of the market.
SCE STRATEGIC CONTENT
Leading Sony’s “developer’s first” charge, SCE Strategic Content has been instrumental in bringing exciting, diverse and innovative games to the PlayStation platform.
Lead by Shahid Ahmed, the team has strived to open up lines of communication with independent developers, listening to their needs and adapting approaches wherever possible, in order to find new ways to deliver great content.
Streamlining the PR, legal and business restrictions that previously acted as a barrier for smaller developers, SCE Strategic content has made self-publishing across the company’s platforms easier than ever, paving the way for hundreds of indies.
Revitalising the PS Vita and ensuring a steady stream of new titles for both PS3 and PS4, SCE Strategic Content’s refreshing approach has paved the way for a golden age of indies on console.
Microsoft offers a number of programmes designed to support and encourage new developers. From its Greenshoots funding program set up with Creative England, to the BizSpark and AppCampus support initiatives, the company is committed to independent studios.
Beyond this, the Microsoft Ventures London Accelerator programme, piloted in 2013, now offers technical, business and legal advice to developers starting out in the industry, helping them to grow from talented enthusiasts to informed business owners.
Meanwhile, Microsoft’s ID@Xbox program also opened the doors to independent developers this year, making it possible to self-publish on the company’s platforms. Announced during GDC 2014, the first wave of games constitutes 25 titles made by teams ranging from experienced indies to student teams.
It has never been easier to launch a game on a Microsoft platform.
Committed to innovation, the Milan, Italy-based 505 Games prides itself on championing new and exciting games from a range of developers.
In 2013, the company successfully launched a number of titles from independent studios, most notably Overkill Software’s Payday 2 and Starbreeze’s Develop Awards nominated Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons.
Beyond that the publisher has also worked extensively with Brighton’s Zoe Mode for the popular Zumba range of fitness games, as well as numerous others, helping to bring independently developed games to PC, console, handheld and mobile.
With a number of exciting new titles coming in 2014 - including the highly anticipated Sniper Elite 3 - 505 Games’ dedication to supporting, assisting and promoting the work of developers is sure to continue.
Born out of an idea shared by developers Finblade, Proper Games, Niffler, Onteca, Supersonic and Chromativity, AppyNation is a developer-led collaborative consortium of independent UK studios who - with the backing of innovation charity NESTA - offers an alternative to the traditional publisher model.
Operating across all digital platforms, AppyNation strives to take the worry and time-consuming work of marketing, PR and communication away from developers, giving teams and individuals more time to focus on what they do best: making games. It’s an approach that has seen great success, with a impressive number of popular mobile titles launched in 2013.
Recognised by the UK Government as providing foundations for growth and development within the industry, Culture Minister Ed Vaizey has praised the scheme, saying that it is “exactly what the games industry needs to grow”.
Founded and run by Cliff "Cliffski" Harris, for over a decade Positech has independently developed games to great success. And it continues to do so. But in 2013, in an effort to diversify, Positech published its first game, Redshirts.
Created by the Develop Awards nominated micro studio The Tiniest Shark - comprised of just one developer, Mitu Khandaker-Kokoris - Redshirts is a strategic social sim that riffs on Star Trek and social media to offer a satirical look at modern life.
Positech’s debut experiment in publishing, with the promise of more to come, Redshirts represents the first step in an exciting new era for the company. As one of the UK’s longest-serving independent developers, Cliff Harris is well-placed to offer seasoned advice and much needed exposure to new talent.
About The Develop Awards
The 2014 Develop Awards will take place on Wednesday, July 9th at the Hilton Metropole Hotel in Brighton, and recognises the best innovators and development talent in the UK and Europe.
If you want to attend, you can book single seats and standard or gold tables by contacting Kathryn.Humphrey@intentmedia.co.uk or calling 01992 535646.
There are multiple new awards this year, with a total of 24 prizes up for grabs, while PlayStation 4 lead architect Mark Cerny is 2014's Development Legend.
There is a host of big names backing this year's Develop Awards, including Crytek and Deep Silver as Platinum Partners, a slew of Gold Partners in UKIE, Amiqus, Keywords International, Codemasters, Perforce, Cubic Motion and Unity, Event Partners Wales Interactive, InnoGames and Tandem Events and Table Gift Partner OPM.
For more information on the sponsorship and partnership opportunities still available, contact Alex.Boucher@intentmedia.co.uk or call 01992 535647.
You can find out more about the Develop Awards at the official Develop Awards website.