Sumo Digital, Polygon Treehouse and No More Robots win big at the Develop:Star Awards

The winners for this year’s Develop:Star Awards 2021, hosted during Develop:Brighton this week, have been announced.

This year’s Develop:Star Awards, and Develop:Brighton more broadly, saw a return to the physical format with winners in 17 categories. Additionally, Team17’s  founder and CEO Debbie Bestwick MBE was celebrated for her outstanding achievements and contributions to the games industry as this year’s Develop Star recipient.

Polygon Treehouse went home with the Best Micro Studio award – a well-deserved win following their excellent title Röki, about which we spoke to the developer not too long ago.

Sumo Digital meanwhile was awarded the Best Studio award for the second time, following their win in 2019.

PlayStation exclusive games had a big night too. Returnal picked up Best Visual Art and Game of the Year, Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales won Best Audio, while Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout picked up two prizes in the Best Game Design and Best Original IP categories.

The full list of winners is below:

  • Best Visual Art: Returnal
  • Best Narrative: Röki
  • Best Game Design: Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout
  • Best Audio: Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales
  • Best Innovation: Lost Words: Beyond the Page
  • Best QA & Localisation Provider: Keywords Studios
  • Recruitment StarAmiqus Recruitment
  • Best Creative Provider: Atomhawk
  • Best Original IP (Sponsored by Hiro Capital): Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout
  • Diversity Star (Sponsored by PTW): Anisa Sanusi
  • Tomorrow’s Star (Sponsored by Amiqus): Reema Ishaque
  • Best Technology Provider: Unreal Engine
  • Publishing StarNo More Robots
  • Best Mobile Game: Little Orpheus
  • Game of the Year: Returnal
  • Best Micro Studio (Sponsored by Talenthouse): Polygon Treehouse
  • Best Studio (Sponsored by Epic Games): Sumo Digital
  • The Develop Star AwardDebbie Bestwick – Team17

“The Develop:Star Awards made their debut in 2019 and we were disappointed not to be able to return with a physical ceremony in 2020, but last night was a special one for us and it’s safe to say it was worth the wait,” said Andy Lane, managing director at Tandem Events.

“We’d like to thank everyone who joined us and congratulate all the worthy winners, but in truth last night was a celebration of the entire industry after an often difficult 18 months.”

“It was humbling to receive the award last night,” added Develop Star award winner Debbie Bestwick MBE. “It continues to be a pleasure to be part of this incredible and creative industry, and play a role in building a better environment for developers to realise their ambitions and make games loved around the world.”

The Develop:Star Awards are organised by Tandem Events, and will return next year to the Hilton Brighton Metropole on Wednesday 13 July for Develop:Brighton 2022.

About Chris Wallace

Chris is MCV/DEVELOP's staff writer, joining the team after graduating from Cardiff University with a Master's degree in Magazine Journalism. He can regrettably be found on Twitter at @wallacec42, where he mostly explores his obsession with the Life is Strange series, for which he refuses to apologise.

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