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Activision launches own independent games contest

Offers $250,000 prize pot to help with indie development

Activision is calling for entries to its new Independent Games Competition, offering development assistance - as well as prestige - to the winning indie developers.

Round one of the contest runs from today until August 31, whereupon the first place winner will be awarded $175,000 and the runner up $75,000. A second round has been confirmed but not detailed as yet.

"This competition underscores our commitment to supporting the creative spirit and innovation of developers," said Dave Stohl, executive vice president of Studios at Activision. "I started my career as a software developer, so this opportunity is something I'm personally very proud to offer to the industry's young visionaries."

The publisher boasts that this is the first contest of its kind from a major third-party publisher, though the likes of Epic and Intel run similar competitions.

The contest is currently open only to US residents, and requires the submission of a design brief, proposed team structure, budget and schedule and, optionally, a gameplay demo. Entries must be in English, and must not have been made in any way public outside of Activision's competition - thus submissions to other contests, such as the Independent Games Festival, will not be accepted.

Entrants will be whittled down to five finalists, selected by a panel of third-party independent judges, themselves chosen by Activision. Each submission will be judged on the respective merits of its general idea, innovation, execution plan and presentation.

All finalists will be required to offer Activision first right of refusal for publishing or development, and to feature their logo on a splash screen in the finished game.

Winners of the Activision Independent Games Competition will be announced in October. Full rules of entry are available at the contest's site.

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Alec Meer

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A 10-year veteran of scribbling about video games, Alec primarily writes for Rock, Paper, Shotgun, but given any opportunity he will escape his keyboard and mouse ghetto to write about any and all formats.

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