Google has announced that fantasy game Reigns has won its inaugural indie games contest.
The “Tinder-style fantasy title” (via GamesIndustry.biz) topped 20 other finalists to secure prizes that include a YouTube influencer campaign worth €50,000, an Android Developer Story documentary about the development of the game, tickets for GDC and Google I/O, one month’s premium placement on Google Play, and a Pixel C tablet.
As Reigns also secured the Unity prize, developer Nerial also secured two tickets to a Unite event and a 12-month subscription to Unity Pro.
Press and public were invited to play 20 games from finalists who’d been selected from over a 1000 submissions from 12 countries around the world, and then vote for their favourites.
The final ten presented to a panel of industry experts, and from those pitches the winners were selected. To qualify, entrants had to have 15 people or less working in the studio and though the developers could be supported by “some investors”, Google Play’s business development lead Matteo Vallone confirmed they “shouldn’t the huge financial power that other companies have over certain studios”.
“Winning this feels great,” Nerial founder, François Alliot told GamesIndustry.biz. “The exposure it gives me for Reigns will help me with Reigns 2. That’s very important for me, building that brand. Having new devices to test the game is also helpful.”
Other top 10 finalists include Pinout, Rusty Lake: Roots, Happy Hop: Kawaii Jump, Blind Drive, Lost In Harmony, Paper Wings, and Gladiabots. Causality, a time-travelling puzzle game developed by UK team Loju, and The Battle of Polytopia, a Swedish strategy game, were runner-ups.
Google is already planning a second contest for next year.