DALLAS, TX– August 27, 2009– Professional and non-professional video game developers with their sights set on winning some of the almost $300,000 in prizes and a chance to present their games to top publishers in the Indie Game Challenge are in luck. The Academy of Interactive Arts&Sciences (AIAS), GameStop Corp. (NYSE:GME) and The Guildhall at Southern MethodistUniversity today announced the entry deadline has been extended from Oct. 1 to Oct. 31, 2009.
“Since we announced the kick-off of the Indie Game Challenge on July 15, the response from the development community has exceeded our expectations,” said Joseph Olin, president, AIAS.“However, a consistent request we’ve heard from developers is that they want more time to create and refine their betas and pitch videos in order to create the highest-quality entries possible. Given that the overall goal of this inaugural competition is to allow as many people as possible to participate, the three partners agreed that extending the contest period a month makes perfect sense. We’re confident the AIAS’s panel of judges will have more than enough time to review and evaluate each entry on its own merits to ensure the best of the best is duly rewarded.”
Olin points out new, as well as previously developed, games are eligible for entry so long as they have not been professionally published in accordance with the complete rules found at www.indiegamechallenge.com. This includes the eligibility of games previously submitted to other awards competitions, whether or not those games received awards or not, including online or self-published games that appear in the Apple store so long as they are not from a major publisher.
Mike Hogan, senior vice president of marketing, GameStop Corp., said the Indie Game Challenge is the preeminent competition for video game developers.“Winners will split up almost $300,000 in prize monies and scholarships, including $100,000 grand prize awards for both the winning professional and non-professional games,” he said.“Even more important for the finalists is the exposure they will receive. Their pitch videos will be posted on GameStop.com and GameStop TV where they will be seen by millions of people and be eligible for additional prize money and People’s Choice Award voting. For aspiring game developers, such visibility is priceless.”
Judging will be conducted by the Academy of Interactive Arts&Sciences after Oct. 31. Up to 12 finalist teams will be announced on or about Jan. 15, 2010, and up to five members of each finalist team will be flown to an awards reception Feb. 19, 2010, at the Red Rock Casino Resort Spa in Las Vegas following AIAS’s D.I.C.E. (Design, Innovate, Communicate, Entertain) Summit.
Each finalist team will be rewarded with the opportunity to pitch their game idea face-to-face to executives from top publishers such as Sony, Nintendo, Electronic Arts, Capcom, Microsoft, NAMCO/Bandai, THQ and Ubisoft. These meetings will allow teams to receive valuable input from industry icons and have the opportunity to pursue commercial avenues for their games.
Dr. Peter E. Raad, founder and executive director of The Guildhall at SMU, said he is already aware of several student teams creating IGC entries for the non-professional category.“We have heard from a number of our friends at other game development educational programs, and weexpect a number of student games to be entered,” he said.“The Challenge provides a tangible opportunity for students across the country to bring their ideas to fruition while developing their aptitude for teamwork and collaboration. We’re looking forward to seeing some of the fresh ideas these teams are capable of creating.”
About the Academy of Interactive Arts&Sciences
The Academy of Interactive Arts&Sciences (AIAS) was founded in 1996 as a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement and recognition of the interactive arts. The Academy’s mission is to promote and advance common interests in the worldwide interactive entertainment community; recognize outstanding achievements in the interactive arts and sciences; and conduct an annual awards show (Interactive Achievement Awards) to enhance awareness of the interactive art form. The Academy also strives to provide a voice for individuals in the interactive entertainment community. More information can be found at http://www.interactive.org
About GameStop Corp.
Headquartered in Grapevine, TX, GameStop Corp., a Fortune 500 and S&P 500 company, is the world's largest video game and entertainment software retailer. The company operates 6,244 retail stores in 17 countries worldwide. The company also operates an e-commerce site, GameStop.com, and publishes Game Informer ® magazine, a leading multi-platform video game publication. GameStop Corp. sells new and used video game software, hardware and accessories for video game systems from Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft. In addition, the company sells PC entertainment software, related accessories and other merchandise. General information on GameStop Corp. can be obtained at the company's corporate website: http://www.gamestopcorp.com.
About The Guildhall at SMU
The Guildhall at Southern Methodist University is the premier graduate video game education program in the U.S. Many of the school’s founders are industry icons, and classes are taught by industry veterans. In six years, the program has graduated over 300 students, and alums work at more than 80 video game studios around the world, with several graduates now serving in leadership positions. SMU offers both a Master’s degree and a graduate Professional Certificate of Interactive Technology in Digital Game Development, with specializations in art creation, level design, and software development. For more information, please visit www.smu.edu
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Geri Gordon Miller
Academy of Interactive Arts&Sciences
The Guildhall at SMU