The biggest ever Develop Awards saw 17 different companies score major games industry accolades this evening.
But the biggest winner overall was the New Wave of indie developers reshaping our exciting, fast-moving industry.
Over 550 of the global games development elite were on hand to see the hottest studios in Europe take home key prizes. Independent games developers free of publisher control dominated the winners list.
Indie PC game Minecraft and its developer Mojang Specifications won three honours (New Studio, Micro Studio and Download IP) and Angry Birds creator Rovio Mobile took two. Rovio was named best Handheld Studio but also collected the ultimate accolade: the Grand Prix.
Rovio’s win of the Grand Prix – which comes after a year that saw Angry Birds soar to new heights of ubiquity – is emblematic of a major shift in the industry that has empowered developers to strike out on their own.
Other key independent winners included Playdead’s Limbo (winner of Visual Arts), Ninja Theory’s Enslaved (New IP), Moshi Monsters creator Mind Candy (Business Development), Valve (which won Publishing Hero for its Steam platform) and Crytek (Independent Developer).
The Develop Awards also single out great technical innovation. Microsoft’s Kinect motion-sensor peripheral for Xbox 360 won the Technical Innovation prize. Epic’s Unreal Engine 3 was named best Engine – its third consecutive win in that field.
As previously announced, Ian Livingstone – co-founder of Games Workshop, the man who published Tomb Raider and current Square Enix life president – was awarded Development Legend, honouring his many contributions to the games industry.
A packed house of the industry elite saw the cream of European games development take home much-deserved accolades, showing our industry in excellent health.
Key winners such as Rovio, Minecraft, Mind Candy and Valve all prove that independent companies have been reinvigorated, and are today empowered by new platforms and business models to create best-selling games properties without needing publisher support or interference.
The full list of winners for the 21 awards can be found below.
A panel of 100 games industry executives vote for the winners of the 19 main awards across categories for Creativity, Technology and Services and Studios. Recipients for Special Industry Recognition prizes – Development Legend and Grand Prix – are chosen after serious deliberation by the editorial team behind Develop, the games development publication which hosts the event.
The Develop Industry Excellence Awards is sponsored by Crytek (Platinum Sponsor), Amiqus (Gold sponsor), Supermassive Games (Gold Sponsors), Nova Scotia Business (Gold sponsor), Eurogamer (After-Party Partner), Imagination Studios (Drinks Reception Sponsor), Green Man Gaming (Category Partner), OPM Jobs (Table Gift Partner), Babel Media (Development Legend Award Partner), FMOD/Firelight Technologies (Event Partner), MPG Universal (Event Partner), Gamecity Hamburg (Event Partner) and The Develop Conference (Event Partner).
DEVELOP INDUSTRY EXCELLENCE AWARDS 2011: THE WINNERS IN FULL
Enslaved (Ninja Theory)
NEW DOWNLOAD IP
Minecraft (Mojang Specifications)
USE OF A LICENCE OR IP
F1 2010 (Codemasters Birmingham)
Papa Sangre (Somethin’ Else)
CATEGORY: TECHNOLOGY AND SERVICES
Kinect (Microsoft Research Cambridge)
Unreal Engine 3 (Epic Games)
SPECIAL INDUSTRY RECOGNITION