Everything you need to know about this year's Develop Awards, the new categories and how to win
The prestigious Develop Awards will once again celebrate the best industry innovators from the UK and Europe this July – and lobbying is now open.
You'll find a complete rundown of the criteria for each and every category below, including the four new awards: Musical Composition, QA & Localisation, Talent Investment and special prize Studio of the Year.
The only way to be nominated is to lobby. Send us your suggestions for which of your friends, your peers, your rivals or even yourselves deserve a Develop Award for your work over the past year. Read through our extensive guide below to find out which categories you are eligible for.
The Develop Awards ceremony will take place on Wednesday, July 9th at the Brighton Hilton Metropole Hotel.
The deadline for lobbying is Tuesday, April 15th. Find out more about the lobbying process below and send in your suggestions – a 350 word pitch with five bullet points – to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- New Games IP
- Use of a Licence or IP
- Visual Arts
- Audio Accomplishment
- [New] Musical Composition
- Use of Narrative
- Publishing Hero
- Technical Innovation
- Tools Provider
- [New] QA & Localisation
- Creative Contribution: Audio
- Creative Contribution: Visuals
- [New] Talent Investment
- Business Development
- Micro Studio
- Independent Studio
- In-House Studio
- New Studio
THREE STEPS TO WINNING A DEVELOP AWARD
Step One: Make sure you are eligible
- The games in question must be released somewhere in the world between May 1st, 2013 and April 30th, 2014. And yes, commercial public beta phases are also eligible.
- Is your business based in Europe or the UK? If so, you are eligible – even if you have worked on games developed outside of the region.
- If you’re based outside Europe, can you prove worthwhile support or collaboration with studios in the region over the past year? If so, you’re eligible for selected categories (check the award description).
Step Two: Prepare to lobby
- Write a short pitch of 350 words.
- Provide five bullet points highlighting any relevant accomplishments.
- Add a list of links to any videos, images, music, websites and so on that support your nomination.
Step Three: Send it in
- Email your nominations to email@example.com before 5pm GMT on Tuesday, April 15th.
What happens next?
When all nominations are in, they are each carefully appraised by the Develop editorial team. A shortlist for each award is drawn up based on the lobbying documents and industry standing.
Profiles of the shortlisted companies are then sent out to a judging panel made up of 100 industry executives hand-picked by the Develop team.
The judges confidentially disclose their choices, and those nominees with the most votes win in their award category. The names of the judges are only named after the event.
DEVELOP AWARDS: LOBBYING GUIDE
Any UK or European studio-made IP released for the first time in the last year, either as a boxed or downloadable product. New IPs should have introduced an original brand plus new gameplay aspects and/or original characters to consoles, portable devices or PC.
2013: Clash of Clans (Supercell)
2012: Frozen Synapse (Mode 7 Games)
2011: Enslaved (Ninja Theory)
2010: Heavy Rain (Quantic Dream)
2009: LittleBigPlanet (Media Molecule)
2008: Lost Winds (Frontier Developments)
Any game released in the previous 12 months by a UK or European studio that is a proven quality title, but is based on an external property (licensed or otherwise) not owned or created by its developer.
2013: Angry Birds Star Wars (Rovio)
2012: Batman: Arkham City (Rocksteady Studios)
2011: F1 2010 (Codemasters Birmingham)
2010: Batman: Arkham Asylum (Rocksteady Studios)
2009: LEGO Batman (Traveller’s Tales)
2008: LEGO Indiana Jones (Traveller’s Tales)
2007: LEGO Star Wars II (Traveller’s Tales)
Any UK or European studio that has demonstrated impressive graphical and/or distinct, iconic design work in the games or gaming content it has produced and released during the past year.
2013: Crytek (Crysis 3)
2012: Ubisoft Montpellier (Rayman Origins)
2011: Playdead (Limbo)
2010: Black Rock Studio (Split/Second)
2009: Media Molecule (LittleBigPlanet) [For Best Audio & Art]
2008: Rockstar North (GTA IV) [For Best Audio & Art]
2007: Rare (Viva Piñata) [For Best Audio & Art]
Any UK or European studio that has demonstrated pitch-perfect audio design, sound, or music creation in its games released during the past year. This refers to the audio design of the whole game. Use of licensed and original tracks can be taken into account.
2013: Sony London Studio (Wonderbook: Book of Spells)
2012: EA DICE (Battlefield 3)
2011: Somethin’ Else (Papa Sangre)
2010: FreeStyleGames (DJ Hero)
2009: Lionhead?Studios (Fable II)
2008: Rockstar North (Grand Theft Auto IV)
This brand new award recognises the achievements of composers and music designers based on a single track from a game or gaming content released in the last year. The track nominated should have been composed by a composer or team based in the UK or Europe.
Any game that has made clear efforts to balance storytelling and gameplay design, or experiment with how they are combined. Finalists will be those games that have successfully mixed narrative into the interactive experience. A project’s specific writers will be credited where possible.
2013: Mike Bithell (Thomas Was Alone)
2012: The Chinese Room (Dear Esther)
Any games publisher, developer, hardware manufacturer, platform-holder or investor – from any country – that has supported UK and European games developers during the past year via the publishing, funding, distribution and/or co-development of new games.
2013: Kickstarter UK
2010: Channel 4
Any UK or European studio or company that has demonstrated impressive technical innovation in any aspect of games development. The award can be given to a specific tech, title or studio – provided it has been active/released as a new product in the last 12 months.
2013: Oculus VR (Oculus Rift)
2012: Geomerics (Enlighten)
2011: Microsoft Research Cambridge (Kinect)
2010: Unity Technologies (Unity 3D)
2009: Media Molecule (LittleBigPlanet)
2008: NaturalMotion/Image Metrics (GTA IV)
Any company, of any nationality, that has released middleware or tools that have enhanced or supported the work of UK or European games development teams in the past year. Developer collaboration, new technology and industry relations are all key.
2013: Unity Technologies
2012: Epic Games
This is an award for the best third-party engines. It’s open to any engines, regardless of where it is made, that has enhanced the work of UK or European games development teams in the past year. Weight is given to new versions or significant upgrades.
2013: Unreal Engines (Epic Games)
2012: Unity 3.5 (Unity Technologies)
2011: Unreal Engine 3 (Epic Games)
2010: Unreal Engine 3 (Epic Games)
2009: Unreal Engine 3 (Epic Games)
Any UK or European studio or company that has demonstrated impressive technical innovation in any aspect of games development or aided UK or European development in a significant way. The award can be given to a specific technology, title or studio – provided it has been active/released as a new product in the last 12 months.
2012: VMC Game Labs
This new award is open to any UK or European company that has contributed significantly to usability, testing and translation of games and gaming content, providing these have been released or actively developed in the past 12 months.
Any creative outsourcer that has worked on an individual project in terms of the game’s audio. This applies to businesses or individual external contractors that have helped produce, manage or directly generate audio material (music, voice recording or VFX) for games released in the last 12 months.
2013: Side (Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch)
2012: Side [for previous Audio Outsourcer award]
2011: Side [for previous Audio Outsourcer award]
2010: Side [for previous Audio Outsourcer award]
2009: Side/Sidelines [for previous Creative Outsourcing award]
Any creative outsourcer that has worked on an individual project in terms of the game’s visuals. This applies to businesses or individual external contractors that have helped produce, manage or directly generate visual material (CG, video or assets) for games released in the last 12 months.
2013: Realtime UK (Wargaming trailers)
2012: Cubic Motion [for previous Visual Outsourcer award]
2011: Axis Animation [for previous Visual Outsourcer award]
2010: Axis Animation [for previous Visual Outsourcer award]
Any UK or European company working in the field of recruitment and human resources that has demonstrably served the needs and demands of the UK and/or European development community during the last 12 months.
Our third new award recognises efforts made by UK and European studios or companies that have put significant effort into bringing new development talent into the industry and generating interest in games development careers.
Any UK or European studio that has, in the previous 12 months, improved its business as demonstrated by studio growth, acquisitions, investments both inward or outward and/or steps to improve its output, efficiency or commercial performance. This can include the release of works in progress through Beta programmes or appropriate platforms, such as Steam’s Early Access.
2012: NaturalMotion Games
2011: Mind Candy
2010: Sony XDev
2008: Realtime Worlds
Any UK or European games developer – consisting of an individual or small collective of people up to a maximum of ten at the time of nomination – who have had significant original output in the past year.
2013: Fireproof Games
2012: The Chinese Room
2011: Mojang Specifications
2010: Hello Games
Any UK or European games development company, staffed by 11 people or more, and which is not owned or managed by a publisher working on any available game platform. Lobbying studios should have had some significant output in the last year.
2010: Quantic Dream
2009: Media Molecule
2008: Splash Damage
Any UK or European publisher-owned games development company or in-house games development resource – including those acquired recently –with title(s) released for any games platform in the past year.
2013: Boss Alien
2012: Creative Assembly
2011: Media Molecule
2010: Rocksteady Studios
2009: Rockstar North
2008: Rockstar North
2007: Ubisoft France
Any new UK or European studio that has had its first game commercially released – either via retail or digital distribution – during the past 12 months. Companies do not need to have been founded during that period to qualify.
2013: Playground Games
2012: Bossa Studios
2011: Mojang Specifications
2010: Hello Games
2009: Media Molecule
2007: Realtime Worlds
This new Special Award gives singular recognition to a studio that has produced outstanding work in the past twelve months, primarily though any retail or download games that have been released commercially in the past 12 months. It is open to any UK or European games development studio and the winner will be selected by the Develop team.
The winner of this award, especially chosen by the Develop team, is an individual who has made a significant impact on games development – in a commercial, creative or technological sense – during their lifetime and career. As of last year, this award is open to games sector icons from around the world.
2013: Tim Sweeny & Mark Rein, Epic Games
2012: David Perry
2011: Ian Livingstone
2010: The Gower Brothers (Jagex)
2009: Phil Harrison
AWARDS CHECKLIST: HAVE YOU FORGOTTEN ANYTHING?
Have you lobbied?
No? Then follow our easy three-step process detailed above and send your nomination to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Are you free on Wednesday, July 9th?
If so, come on down: the Develop Awards will be held in the evening at the Brighton Hilton Metropole, during the Develop Conference 2014.
Have you booked your place?
We continue to ensure the Develop Awards is an affordable way to attend a key industry event, honour your peers and network with some of the finest of the global games industry.
Single seat ticket prices are the same as last year, full prices after the early bird remain the same – or even cheaper in the case of the Gold Table deal.
Early bird prices, for those tickets or tables booked on or before June 7th, are:
- Gold Table of 10 – £2,250 + VAT
- Standard Table of 10 – £1,950 + VAT
- Single Seats – £195 + VAT
From June 7th the prices change to:
- Gold Table of 10 – £2650 + VAT
- Standard Table of 10 – £2350 + VAT
- Single Seats – £235 + VAT
To book your place at the event contact Kathryn.Humphrey@intentmedia.co.uk.
Do you want to sponsor the Awards?
Contact Alex.Boucher@intentmedia.co.uk to find out about the opportunities available, both at the event and in editorial coverage before, after and during the Awards.