The Client

For years, Google Play has been running the Indie Games Showcase event, dedicated to highlighting and celebrating the passion and creativity of global game developers. Competitions happen each year in multiple countries, with developers vying to get their games in the spotlight to be lauded by industry pros and players alike. Google Play’s goals are to inspire game developers to achieve greater success and strive for innovative approaches to gaming. The showcase events include the Indie Games Accelerator and the Indie Games Festival.

The Situation

Since 2016, Google Play sought support for its European Indie Games contests, which has since expanded to include the Global Indie Games Showcase over the summer. The showcase is intended to promote game developer talent across the world. With the large number of applicants and the complexity of the larger, developer-oriented program, Google Play increasingly needed help with the scrubbing, testing, selection, and reporting of submissions. This time-intensive process involved constant oversight, compiling the results, and performing market research to determine optimal ways to promote the event in various social channels. Google Play also needed a supporting agency with gaming industry experience that could spin up a team to assist with all of these tasks in the proper context.

The Solution & Results

Over the past five years, Catchy has worked hand in hand with Google to build and manage the IGF. Catchy implemented a robust monitoring system to review applications for the Indie Games Showcase and process them according to Google Play’s criteria, filtering out ineligible submissions and managing applicant reviews. A series of weekly reports was established so Google Play could remain updated on program progress, analyzing the data and comparing participation to activity from previous years. 

During this time, Catchy kept up a dialogue with Google Play about the validity and quality of the submissions, noted the sources from various countries, and the timeline in which games were submitted. This also included researching applicants to get a better sense of their developer history, previous awards, and their current activity in the marketplace. Much of this benefited from Catchy’s experience in the gaming sector, which helped the team make informed steps and achieve a strategic impact for the client. 

For this year, Catchy oversaw 350+ submissions, with a higher average quality of games submitted compared to prior years, as well as fewer ineligible submissions that had to be removed. After helping Google Play process and promote all the results, Catchy then provided a comprehensive report on how to improve marketing outreach via Google and partner channels and pointed out geographic markets that could increase submission numbers in future events. Developer feedback was also gathered to improve the end-to-end process and provide a more user-friendly experience for applicants. 

As a result of this, Google Play Indie Games Showcase continues to grow, and now is run through the Indie Games Festival and the Indie Games Accelerator--both of which are partnering with Catchy for ongoing support.