Take a blast from the past in our Develop Awards retrospective ahead of next week's ceremony

Develop Awards: Relive the big nights

Next week’s Develop Awards ceremony is just one week away, and as anticipation builds for the big night we’ve taken a look back at the success stories from previous years.

The Develop Awards is always a great indicator of industry trends, showing where developers are finding the most success, and what studios can strive for.

Last year’s big winners included indie developer Thechineseroom for its hit title Dear Esther, which took away two awards for Use of Narrative and Micro Studio, apps powerhouse NaturalMotion Games, which took home the Business Development prize, Valve and Wargaming.

Gaikai CEO and industry veteran David Perry was honoured with the Development Legend award for his achievements in the industry, including selling the cloud gaming outfit to Sony for $380 million.

You can view the full history of the Develop Awards below, including past winners and images from the nights. We’ve also included this year’s nominees to give you a glimpse at how much the industry has changed over time.

And don’t forget, the Develop Awards 2013 is just one week away. A limited number of places to attend the awards remain. To book a place, contact Kathryn.Humphrey@intentmedia.co.uk or call 01992 535 646 as soon as possible.



2013 nominees:

Clash of Clans – Supercell

Clay Jam – Fat Pebble

Dishonored – Arkane Studios

Hotline Miami – Dennaton Games

Surgeon Simulator – Bossa Studios

The Room – Fireproof Games

Thomas Was Alone – Mike Bithell

Warface – Crytek

Frontier Developments picks up the award for Lost Winds in 2008

Past winners:
2012: Frozen Synapse (Mode 7 Games)
2011: Enslaved (Ninja Theory)
2010: Heavy Rain (Quantic Dream)
2009: LittleBigPlanet (Media Molecule)
2008: Lost Winds (Frontier Developments)


2013 nominees:

Angry Birds Star Wars – Rovio

DmC: Devil May Cry – Ninja Theory

LEGO City Undercover – Traveller’s Tales

LittleBigPlanet Vita – Tarsier Studios

Magic 2013 – Stainless Games

Sonic All-Stars Racing Transformed – Sumo Digital

The Snowman and the Snowdog – Crash Lab

Wonderbook: Book of Spells – London Studio

Codemasters Birmingham wins the Use of a Licence or IP accolade in 2011

Past winners:
2012: Batman: Arkham City (Rocksteady Studios)
2011: F1 2010 (Codemasters Birmingham)
2010: Batman: Arkham Asylum (Rocksteady Studios)
2009: LEGO Batman (Traveller’s Tales)
2008: LEGO Indiana Jones (Traveller’s Tales)
2007: LEGO Star Wars II (Traveller’s Tales)


2013 nominees:

Awesomenauts – Ronimo Games

CSR Racing – Boss Alien

Crysis 3 – Crytek

Forza Horizon – Playground Games

Hotline Miami – Dennaton Games

LittleBigPlanet Vita – Tarsier Studios

Rayman Jungle Run – Pastagames

The Room – Fireproof Games

Playdead’s Dino Patti collects its prize for platformer Limbo

Past winners:
2012: Ubisoft Montpellier (Rayman Origins)
Previous Winners (BEST ART & AUDIO)
2011: Playdead (Limbo)
2010: Black Rock Studio (Split/Second)
2009: Media Molecule (LittleBigPlanet) (for Best Art & Audio)
2008: Rockstar North (GTA IV) (for Best Art & Audio)
2007: Rare (Viva Piñata) (for Best Art & Audio)

Audio Accomplishment

2013 nominees:

Crysis 3 – Crytek

Fable: The Journey – Lionhead 

Forza Horizon – Playground Games

Hotline Miami – Dennaton Games

Kinect Sesame Street – Soho Productions

Sniper Elite 2 – Rebellion

The Room – Fireproof Games

Wonderbook: Book of Spells – London Studio

Somethin’ Else wins the Audio Accomplishment accolade (2011)

Previous winners:
2012: EA Dice (Battlefield 3)
2011: Somethin’ Else (Papa Sangre)
2010: FreeStyleGames (DJ Hero)
2009: Lionhead Studios (Fable II)
2008: Rockstar North (Grand Theft Auto IV)


2013 nominees:

Crysis 3 – Crytek

Dishonored – Arkane Studios

The 39 Steps – The Story Mechanics

The Room – Fireproof Games

Thomas Was Alone – Mike Bithell

Xi: Continuum – nDreams

ZombiU – Ubisoft Montpellier

Wonderbook: Book of Spells – London Studio

Past winners:

2012: Dear Esther (Thechineseroom) (Pictured above)


2013 nominees:


Kickstarter UK 


NaturalMotion Games


Square Enix London Studios

Strategic Content – SCEE


Valve picks up the Publishing Hero award for a second time in 2012 thanks to its digital distribution platform Steam

Past winners:

2012: Valve
2011: Valve
2010: Channel 4
2009: Apple
2008: Nintendo


2013 nominees:

Curiosity – 22Cans

Hitman: Absolution – Contracts – IO Interactive

Illyriad – Illyriad

RaceNet – Codemasters

Smart As – Climax Studios

Turbulenz Platform – Turbulenz

Wargaming became the first winner in the Use of Online category last year

Past winners:
World of Tanks (Wargaming.net) (for Use of Online)

Technical Innovation

2013 nominees:

Dimensional Imaging

GameMaker – YoYo Games

Hitman Absolution Crowd Tech – IO Interactive

Just Dance TV – Ubisoft

Marmalade Juice – Marmalade

Oculus Rift – Oculus VR

Unreal Engine – Epic Games

Wonderbook – London Studio

Naturalmotion and Image Metrics win a Develop Award for their contributions on Grand Theft Auto IV

Past winners:

2012: Geomerics (Enlighten)
2011: Microsoft Research Cambridge (Kinect)
2010: Unity Technologies (Unity 3D)
2009: Media Molecule (LittleBigPlanet)
2008: NaturalMotion/Image Metrics (GTA IV)

Tools Provider

2013 nominees:

Donya Labs

Epic Games






Unity Technologies

Autodesk collects the Tools Provider accolade in 2011

Past winners:

2012:Epic Games
2011: Autodesk
2010: Hansoft
2009: Autodesk


2013 nominees:

CryEngine 3 – Crytek

GameMaker – YoYo Games

Havok Vision Engine – Havok

HeroEngine 2 – Idea Fabrik

Unity Engine – Unity Technologies

Unreal Engine – Epic Games

Mark Reign collects Epic’s first award for best engine in 2009, before the company went on to win the accolade another two times

Past winners:

2012: Unity 3.5 (Unity Technologies)
2011: Unreal Engine 3 (Epic Games)
2010: Unreal Engine 3 (Epic Games)
2009: Unreal Engine 3 (Epic Games)


2013 nominees:



Nimrod Productions

Pinewood Studios

Player Research

Quantic Dream

Testronic Labs

VMC Game Labs

The 2010 award for services goes to Testology

Past winners:

2012: VMC Game Labs
2011: Audiomotion
2010: Testology

Creative Contribution – Audio

2013 nominees:

David Housden – Thomas Was Alone

High Score Productions – Harry Potter Kinect

Savalas Sound – Halo 4: Spartans Ops

Side – Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch

The Audio Guys – Sonic & AllStars Racing Transformed

Wave Studios – Kinect Sesame Street

Side picks up the accolade for best audio outsourcer in 2012

Past winners:
2012: Side (for Audio Outsourcer)
2011: Side (for previous Audio Outsourcer award)
2010: Side (for previous Audio Outsourcer award)
2009: Side/Sidelines (for previous Creative Outsourcing award)

Creative Contribution – Visuals

2013 nominees:

Axis Animation – Halo 4: Spartan Ops

Cubic Motion – LEGO City Undercover

Faceware Technologies and CounterPunch Studios – Crysis 3

Rabcat – Forza Horizon

Realtime UK – Wargaming trailers

Tarsier Studios – LittleBigPlanet Karting

Axis Animation wins the award in 2011 following its infamous Dead Island trailer

Past winners:

2012: Cubic Motion (for Visual Outsourcer)
2011: Axis Animation (for previous Visual Outsourcer award)
2010: Axis Animation (for previous Visual Outsourcer award)


2013 nominees:

Aardvark Swift


Avatar Games

Creative Personnel

Guru Careers

OPM Recruitment



Amiqus circa 2010 comes out in force to collect its award for recruitment

Past winners:
2012: Amiqus
2011: Specialmove
2010: Amiqus
2009: Amiqus
2008: OPM

Micro Studio

2013 nominees:

Big Head Games

Crash Lab

Dennaton Games

Fireproof Games


Hotsauce Interactive

Mike Bithell

Terry Cavanagh

Mojang receives the award for top Micro Studio, going on to become one of the industry’s mose successful developers with runaway blockbuster Minecraft

Past winners:
2012: Thechineseroom
2011: Mojang Specifications
2010: Hello Games

Business Development

2013 nominees:

Abertay University Prototype Fund



The Foundry


Mind Candy



Michael Acton Smith collects Mind Candy’s award following its success with Moshi Monsters

Past winners:

2012: NaturalMotion Games
2011: Mind Candy
2010: Sony XDev
2009: Playfish
2008: Realtime Worlds

Independent Studio

2013 nominees:




Ninja Theory

Playground Games

Sumo Digital


Yippee Entertainment

CCP wins best independent studio for its work on popular MMO Eve Online

Past winners:
2012: CCP
2011: Crytek
2010: Quantic Dream
2009: Media Molecule
2008: Splash Damage

In-house Studio

2013 nominees:

Arkane Studios

Boss Alien

Creative Assembly

Criterion Games

IO Interactive

Sports Interactive

Traveller’s Tales

Ubisoft Montpellier

Rockstar North developers collect their award in 2008, before winning the same prize again a year later

Past winners:
2012: Creative Assembly
2011: Media Molecule
2010: Rocksteady Studios
2009: Rockstar North
2008: Rockstar North
2007: Ubisoft France

New Studio

2013 nominees:


Born Ready Games

Boss Alien



Hotsauce Interactive

Playground Games

Soho Productions

Hello Games celebrates its big win in 2010

Past winners:

2012: Bossa Studios
2011: Mojang Specifications
2010: Hello Games
2009: Media Molecule
2008: Doublesix
2007: Realtime Worlds

Special Recognition: Development Legend

Phil Harrison is honoured with the Development Legend accolade in 2009

2013 winners:
Tim Sweeney and Mark Rein

Past winners:
2012: David Perry
2011: Ian Livingstone
2010: The Gower Brothers (Jagex)
2009: Phil Harrison

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