Continuing our round-up of this year's potential winners, we look at some of the great work developers have down with third-party brands in the last year
BATMAN: ARKHAM ORIGINS MULTIPLAYER
Batman: Arkham Origins represents a series of firsts for the popular action-adventure series. Developed by Warner Bros. Montreal, it’s the first Arkham game to be made outside of Rocksteady Studios and the first to offer multiplayer.
Developed by Enemy Territory and Brink creator Splash Damage, Batman: Arkham Origins’ multiplayer provides players with an inventive asymmetric experience, in which teams of super-villain-lead thugs face off against Batman and Robin for superiority. It’s a refreshingly different approach.
Drawing on the core stealth and combat gameplay of the series, while providing players with the option of fighting as Bane and the Joker for the first time, Splash Damage’s work with Batman: Arkham Origins proves that introducing multiplayer to existing properties doesn’t have to mean slapping on Team Deathmatch.
DISNEY INFINITY: PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN
Developed by the East Sussex-based Studio Gobo, Disney Infinity’s Pirates of the Caribbean playset was one of only three included at the launch of the hybrid game-toy series. It remains one of the most popular and well-received playsets.
Offering swashbuckling adventure, hack-and-slash combat, platforming, puzzle solving and naval warfare on the high seas, the Pirates of the Caribbean playset captures the spirit of the movie while maintaining an eye for detail throughout. Every character has its own distinct feel to its movement, including Johnny Depp’s boozy swagger as Jack Sparrow.
Both a fun game in its own right and a creative use of the license, Studio Gobo’s Disney Infinity: Pirates of the Caribbean playset has helped the game to over 3 million sales.
JOE DENVER’S LONE WOLF
With Joe Dever’s Lone Wolf, Italian developer Forge Reply took the classic RPG gamebooks of the 1980s and bought them into the 21st century via the power of mobile and tablets.
Lone Wolf maintains the non-linear, interactive storytelling of the classic format while adding elements that are only possible on interactive devices. These include refined 2D and 3D graphics, cinematics, a fully-fledged combat system that mixes turn-based actions with real-time mechanics, and interactive puzzles.
Joe Dever’s Lone Wolf is being published in four acts, the first two of which have already been released, capturing the imaginations of a new generation while satisfying the nostalgia of those that were around the first time. Joe Denver’s Lone Wolf is a brilliant mix of old and new.
LEGO MARVEL SUPER HEROES
Over the course of eight years and a dozen or so LEGO titles, TT Games has shown a masterful understanding of how best to use a license. LEGO Marvel Super Heroes is no exception.
Displaying just the right combination of reverence and tongue-in-cheek humour, LEGO Marvel Super Heroes takes 132 characters from the comics universe and gives them life within an entertaining, varied adventure that stretches across both tightly designed levels and an open-world New York.
From well-known characters like Iron Man and Spider-Man, to more obscure figures like Rick Jones and Squirrel Girl, LEGO Marvel Super Heroes drew on every corner of the universe.
Overflowing with charm and energised by the sheer amount of love shown for the source material, LEGO Marvel Super Heroes launched to great acclaim in 2013, strengthening TT Games’ impeccable reputation.
METRO: LAST LIGHT
While many licensed games ride on the coattails of their source material, the Metro series is the result of a unique partnership with Russian author Dmitry Glukhovsky.
The first game in the series, Metro 2033, adapted Glukhovsky’s post-apocalyptic story of the same name and gained from author’s input. Last year’s sequel, Metro: Last Light, took this relationship even further.
For Metro: Last Light, Glukhovsky created a new plotline from scratch, contributing almost all of the dialogue. The author’s work was so extensive that it became the basis for his latest novel, Metro 2035, bringing the creative cycle full-circle.
The depth of 4A Games and Dmitry Glukhovsky’s collaboration on Metro: Last Light is unprecedented, driving the success of both the games and the novels to new heights. It’s an utterly unique and incredibly successful use of a license.
MOSHI MONSTERS: KATSUMA UNLEASHED
Developed by Sheffield’s Sumo Digital, Moshi Monsters: Katsuma Unleashed took Mind Candy’s incredibly popular children’s brand in new directions following its release in October 2013.
A side-scrolling, action-adventure platform game for Nintendo 3DS, Katsuma Unleashed is the first title in the franchise to focus on a sole character; Katsuma, the most popular of all the Moshi Monsters.
Katsuma Unleashed takes players through six brand new worlds packed with mini arcade challenges and boss battles, allowing players to unlock Super Moshi Powers as they go. It was warmly received by fans.
Designed to appeal to a broader audience of both existing and new Moshi fans, the Activision-published Katsuma Unleashed continues the franchise’s impressive diversification into new forms, extending the brand’s already extensive reach.
PEPPA PIG’S HOLIDAY
Strawdog Studios is passionate about making quality tailored products for the often overlooked 3-6 year-old age group, a dedication that has seen the Derby-based outfit find success with a series of apps designed and developed for Eone & P2 Games over the last four years.
The latest of these is the educational game Peppa Pig’s Holiday, which since its release in summer 2013 has consistently placed in the Top 10 Paid App Charts. It is just one of eight children's games Strawdog currently has in the top 100 paid download chart for iOS.
Nominated for best multiplatform product in the 2013 Children’s BAFTAs, Peppa Pig’s Holiday is testament to Strawdog’s ability to craft fun educational experiences for a young audience from existing IP.
SHERLOCK: THE NETWORK
THE PROJECT FACTORY
Created by The Project Factory in collaboration with production company Hartswood Films, Sherlock: The Network is an interactive iOS adventure that features performances by Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman and Mark Gatiss, as well as an all-new script supervised by Steven Moffat.
Sherlock: The Network sees the player join Sherlock Holmes’ infamous Homeless Network, helping him to find clues, navigate London, hear from witnesses, solve cases, and ultimately thwart one overarching plot: the kidnapping of Mrs Hudson.
Sold at a high price-point (£2.99/$4.99), and well-received by critics, the game shows that TV apps don’t have to be marketing exercises or second-screen add-ons. Sherlock: The Network is a viable, fully-fledged game in its own right, the result of an exemplary collaboration between a developer and TV producer.
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.