We look at the franchises of the future that will be competing for glory next week

Game Connection Awards finalists 2015: Most promising IP

All of the biggest selling franchises started as a new IP. Less than ten years ago, Assassin’s Creed was less of a guaranteed hit than it was a risky project. The Game Connection Development Awards will honour promising IP that could grow into something greater.

Popular business and networking event Game Connection America will once again run alongside GDC in San Francisco next week, and will be highlighting some of the most promising upcoming titles with its own awards ceremony.

Previously known as Selected Projects, the Game Connection Development Awards are designed to reward some of the most innovative titles from studios big and small, across various platforms and in various states of development.

All this week, Develop will be rounding up the finalists in all ten categories. You can find out more about the awards at www.game-connection.com.

Here are the finalists for Most Promising IP:

Hitman Go

Studio: Square Enix Montreal

Country: Canada

Platforms: Tablets and smartphones

Stage: Released

While IO Interactive’s Hitman franchise is well established, this mobile spin-off by Square Enix Montreal could have legs as a series in its own right. Swapping convoluted puzzles and fast-paced shootouts for intense strategy and a simplified diorama-esque visual style, Hitman Go takes the IP’s ethos down to its most basic level and refines it.


Studio: Brainseed Factory

Country: Germany

Platforms: PC, Wii U, PS4

Stage: Playable Demo

A stylish 2D puzzle platformer, Typoman draws players into a game world constructed from letters and worlds. As they guide the small, anonymous Hero through this dark environment, they can use letters to alter their environment, defeat enemies and solve puzzles. If it proves to be popular, consumers could certainly demand more from this unique world.

Mutant Football League

Studio: Digital Dreams

Country: United States

Platforms: PC, XBLA and smartphones

Stage: Playable Demo

Digital Dreams’ brutal parody of American Football pits teams of mutants and monsters against each other in matches packed with over-the-top gore and humourous moments. The developers have taken the time to come up with 30 teams of fictional players to give this world some personality, and the blend of action and sport lends itself to regular follow-ups akin to those of more traditional sporting franchises.

Shadow Puppeteer

Studio: Sarepta Studio

Country: Norway

Platforms: PC, Wii U

Stage: Release Candidate

This smart puzzle platformer puts two players in the role of a boy and his recently separated shadow. Working co-operatively, the two must learn to manipulate light and darkness to solve puzzles and enable each other to progress through a dark fantasy world. Plenty of acclaimed puzzle games have gone on to spawn sequels, so why not Shadow Puppeteer?


Studio: Active Gaming Media

Country: Japan

Platforms: PC, PSN

Stage: Released

While the gameplay itself revolves around traditional side-scrolling shooting action, Active Gaming Media has taken time to flesh out the world and context around each level. Astebreed is set in a future where humanity is locked in a galactic war with an ancient mechanical alien race. Players take on the role of a young pilot trying to live up to his father’s legend while saving a young girl who was forced through horrific experiments.

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