French developer Playdius has emerged victorious from yesterday's Google Indie Games Contest, winning over the judges with mobile epic Bury Me, My Love.
This was the second European version of Google's contest, which aims to celebrate the best independent games on the Google Play Store. There were 20 finalists from 12 countries on display at the final yesterday, held in London's Saatchi Gallery.
A shortlist of ten was chosen based on public votes - with attendees required to play a set number of titles before they could vote - before pitching to a jury of developers, publishers and investors, as well as Google execs.
Bury Me, My Love was crowned the winner, thanks to its tale of a Syrian man's conversations with his wife while she flees across Europe as a refugee. Read our interview with the developers to find out more about the game and how titles like this can contribute to real-world debates.
Austrian studio Broken Rules Interactive and Belgium developer Bart Bonte were selected as runners up with Old Man's Journey and Yellow, respectively. The former is a heartwarming adventure game, while the latter is an innovative puzzle title.
The rest the Top 10 included:
- Captain Tom Galactic Traveller, an open world platformer by French indie Picodongames
- UK studio Zut's relaxing colour-based puzzler I Love Hue
- Jodeo, a title by Turkish dev Gamebra.in that combines 3D objects and 2D phsyics
- Kami 2, the latest outing from UK indie and Lumino City creator State of Play
- Tile-sliding puzzler Kensho from Russian indie FiftyTwo
- No More Buttons, an hand-drawn innovative platformer from one-man developer Tommy S°reide Kjaer
- Ukrainian developer Catfishbox's The Big Journey, a LocoRoco-esque affair in which a cat collects dumplings
All 20 finalists won promotion for their game around the contest, including a month's placement on a London billboard, as well as two tickets to Google's Playtime event and a Pixel 2 device.
The Top 10 also received a Daydream View, plus promotion through Google's consumer and developer marketing channels, and highlights in the indie section of the PlayStore.
The Top Three were promised premium placement on the store in 42 countries, a €50,000 marketing campaign and €25,000 influencer marketing campaign, €75,000 vouchers for various marketing and promotion agencies, tickets to Google's I/O event in San Francisco and a Google Home Mini.
On top of all this, Playdius won a €100,000 marketing campaign, a €50,000 influencer campaign, an additional €75,000 in vouchers, two extra I/O tickets and will be featured in an Android Developer Story video.
All in all, Google estimates that prizes include €100,000 in marketing support and €50,000 of influencer marketing.