We profile Channel 4, Electronic Arts, Lockwood Publishing, Microsoft, Namco Bandai, Sony XDEV and Valve

Develop Awards 2011: The finalists for Publishing Hero

The ninth annual Develop Industry Excellence Awards is just around the corner, with more than 90 studios competing for top honours at the July 20th event in Brighton.

In the run up to the big night, Develop is running a series of profiles of all the nominees in each category.

We continue here with the finalists for Publishing Hero. To be eligible, a company will need to have shown exceptional skill in bringing a European studio’s game to market.

The final choices, chosen by Develop’s editorial team, are found below. The ultimate winner will be decided by a 100-person-strong judging panel of industry pros, and announced at the awards show on July 20th.

To watch the event live, email Kathryn.humprey@intentmedia.co.uk to book your seat.

Publishing Hero

Channel 4 Education

Channel 4 Education continues to impress following its collection of the Publishing Hero gong at the 2010 awards. Now run by Jo Twist, the team has been working diligently with indie studios across the length and breadth of the UK to produce educational titles for British teens.

Electronic Arts

The EA Partners Program has published Bulletstorm, Shadows of the Damned and Crysis 2 to name a few. Now backed up by the impressive iOS and casual publishing work of Chillingo and Playfish, the publishing powerhouse is looking to be a sure bet for external studios.

Lockwood Publishing

The publishing arm of outsourcing firm Outso has had a great run of inventive PlayStation Home output recently, entering an exciting profit sharing deal with Capcom for the items it builds in the platform. The release of new IP Sodium reinvigorated Home, and new lines with indie studios setting up there look sure to deliver exciting things.


XBLA continues to supply gamers of all shapes and sizes with the very best that the international indie scene has to offer, and publishing titles like Crackdown 2 and Kinectimals has seen the firm take great strides in core and casual markets. Now that Minecraft is heading to Live, anything seems possible for this publishing giant.

Namco Bandai

The release of Enslaved marks the conclusion of a big and noble risk on the part of Namco Bandai – and that move alone secures Namco Bandai on our 2011 shortlist. The publisher is beginning to sign up some huge content from Europe, including a new Ridge Racer title from Bugbear.


Sony’s XDEV program, based within SCE’s Studio Liverpool, has had another notably strong industry showing this year. The Fight: Lights Out, Tumble, The Shoot, Start The Party and dozens of LittleBigPlanet content updates all prove just how much work the group puts in to content release.


It’s been an exciting time of expansion on the divisive digital platform. While the unmissable Portal 2 ARG flaunted Valve’s astute marketing acumen, it also showed how Steam can be the indie scene’s loudest cheerleader. Adding free-to-play is yet another bold risk from a publisher that appears fearless.

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