We profile the shortlisted studios and their games that break the trend of terrible tie-ins

Develop Awards 2016: The Finalists – Use of a Licence or IP

Batman: Arkham Knight

Rocksteady’s time at the reigns of The Dark Knight’s contemporary interactive adventures has given the studio the chance to become entirely familiar with praise and accolades. And so it continued with Arkham Knight, which thrived in carefully coupling Batman lore with appropriate gameplay mechanics. The result? A game that plays like Batman comics read.

Lego Dimensions
TT Games
TT Games has devoted a lot of time constructing virtual worlds from LEGO pieces. But with Dimensions, the studio moved into a whole new realm, fusing real-world brick building with on-screen assembly and adventuring, setting a new standard for the ‘toys to life’ concept. The game also excelled at IP mash-ups, gracefully matching seemingly incompatible properties.

Mad Max
Avalanche Studios

Not only did Avalanche Studio’s homage to the dystopian world of Mad Max acutely capture the tone and style of its source material; it also made good on reinterpreting the film series’ barren desert landscape as arich playground of distractions, filled with good ideas and high drama.

Star Wars: Twilight of the Republic
Ninja Theory

Working with Avalanche Studios, Ninja Theory developed a compelling Disney Infinity 3.0 Edition Play Set based on Star Wars: Twilight of the Republic. Featuring an original story set in the film’s universe, it confidently respected the source IP while bringing something new to the table; no small task when extending George Lucas’ creation.

The Escapists: The Walking Dead

Not long after The Escapists had burst onto the global gaming scene Mouldy Toof was already parodying its own creation with the help of Team17, blending the game’s trademark visual style and gameplay with the world of The Walking Dead comics. The result was the perfect remix; a merger of two beloved worlds that always sung in harmony.

The Witcher 3
CD Projekt Red

Showered in extremely positive reviews, The Witcher 3 offered its considerable fan-base remarkable depth and detail, capturing the atmosphere and setting of the Polish fantasy novel series on which it is based with flair. Its standout feature may have been the gameplay choices it offered its audience, which consistently felt meaningful and tense.

Warhammer 40,000: Freeblade
Pixel Toys

Pixel Toy’s effort with the beloved Warhammer intellectual property didn’t stop with simply mirroring and elaborating on the tabletop games; the studio’s original contributions to Freeblade were even reproduced to be sold in Games Workshops stores, presenting a synergy rarely seen when developers embrace a licensed property.

The Develop Awards 2016 takes place on Wednesday, July 13th at the Brighton Hilton Metropole, and honours the best in games development talent from across the UK and Europe. You can find a full list of this year’s finalists here.

The awards are supported by headline partner CV Bay, with gold partners MoGi Group, Amiqus, Epic Games, Sumo Digital, Crytek, Perforce, Games London, UKIE, and King. OPM returns as table gift partner, alongside exclusive drinks reception partner Keywords Studios, table drink and gold partner Nordeus, and event partner Tandem Events. Epic Games are also an award partner, as are Aardvark Swift. Unity is award and opening video partner.

Contact Charlotte Nangle via cnangle@nbmedia.com to find out about the opportunities available, both at the event and in editorial coverage before, during and after the Awards. 

To book your place at the event, email Georgia Blake via gblake@nbmedia.com – or book online at www.developawards.com.

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