We’ve had the opportunity of helping Google Play with the 2nd edition of their Indie Games Contest. As we helped to support the event last year we knew what to expect, but this year Google Play raised the stakes to make it even bigger and better than the previous year.
Google Play Indie Games Contest Europe
The 2nd edition of the contest invited indie game developers from across Europe to compete for the chance to win prizes, showcase their game and get the opportunity to grow their business on Google Play. This year Google Play doubled the number of eligible markets that could enter, extended the submission period and allowed larger companies to apply, increasing it up to a maximum of 30 employees.
Over 10 weeks, indie developers submitted their games hoping to scoop the top place. The prizes on offer were awesome, with the first place winner bagging 100,000 EUR in paid digital marketing campaigns, 50,000 EUR in influencer marketing campaigns, premium placements in the Google Play Store, the latest Google devices and tickets to attend GDC and Google I/O 2018 – to name just a few!
20 finalists from 12 countries were shortlisted from an incredible amount of submissions and invited to the Saatchi Gallery, London for the final event where they got to present their games to a room full of industry experts, game enthusiasts and press. All top 20 finalists received a paid trip to London, promotion of their game, a Pixel 2 device and tickets for the 2018 Playtime event.
Winners were decided through a voting process, where attendees were invited to play and test out the games before voting for their favorites. The top 10 were shortlisted by the audience votes and the Google Play team, they were then given the opportunity to pitch their game to an expert panel, the jury was made up of 9 industry experts and 3 Google Play employees. Our favorite pitch was from Broken Rules, who spoke about the emotional and sentimental story behind their game, Old Man’s Journey.
After some tough decision making, the top prize was awarded to Bury Me, My Love by Pixel Hunt. Bury Me, My Love is a reality-inspired interactive fiction designed for mobile phones, which tells the story of Nour, a Syrian woman trying to reach Europe in hope of a better life. We also want to say a huge congratulations to the two runners-up: Old Man’s Journey and Yellow.
The 2nd edition of the Google Play Indie Games Contest was another big success and the final event was a really great evening. We really enjoyed interacting with the developers and hearing their journeys, especially State of Play who were super excited to show us the AR version of their game, Kami 2 which was very impressive.
Check out the highlights video below to see the best bits from the final event:
Developer community marketing at its best
The most successful developer marketing teams are employing enabling tactics and strategies – practices that encourage conversation and engagement from the right developer segment. By understanding the meaning of community it enables you to apply to right marketing principles to help developers discover, understand, and realise the value of products and services that can augment their ability to build and deploy working software. Google Play really are a best practice example of this and are very good at understanding how to tailor messaging, outreach, microsites and even all of the prizes specifically for this community.
Google Play has recognised a subculture of developers within indie game developers. They all have the same struggles, challenges and goals and Google Play recognise they need support and empowerment by giving them the things that truly matter to them as a community – recognition, and promotion. Trying to get noticed as an indie game developer among the big publishers can be really hard. Google Play has designed an event all about their particular community, they are reaching out to them via community channels, and striving to create a positive sentiment in the community.