Independent Games Competition winners may not see publishing deal with industry giant

Activision: Signing indie winners not a priority

Activision may not publish the two games that emerged victorious from the company’s Independent Games Competition.

The Call of Duty publisher said its priority was instead to “help small developers bring their passions to life”.

The company will have handed over $500,000 by the time the competition ends.

The first-place winner was Californian indie Peter Angstadt who was awarded a cash prize of $175,000 for wowing judges with his game Dstroyd. Taking second place, and $75,000, is San Franciscan group Engient.

But Activision production boss Laird Malamed suggested that neither winning entry will be signed by Activision.

“The goal of the Indie Games Competition centres on helping small developers bring their passions to life,” he told Develop.

“Certainly, if those passions focus on games that match our publishing slate objectives, we will work to create a deal together.

“However, our intent in funding the competition is first and foremost about supporting the indie games community regardless of how the titles get out to players.”

The competition, which was thought to have suffered an unexplained delay, is due to enter its second phase in a matter of weeks.

The judging process in the contest is independent from Activision until the finalist round, Activision added.

“As such, we only see the few entries our industry veteran panel recommends to be potential winners.”

But Activision remains open-minded about publishing future contest winners, Malamed said.

“If a game in the contest has a unique concept that we think we can help be successful by bringing our publishing expertise on, we will consider publishing the game.

“However, we did not launch the contest with an expectation that the games presented would be types we normally bring to market.

“In fact, in fostering the next generation of star game makers, we hoped to give creative freedoms without worrying if a company such as Activision would publish the game.”

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