Thursday 26th July/...A record-breaking 500 games industry executives last night gathered at Develop Magazine's Industry Excellence Awards to honour the visionaries behind the year's best games.
Now in their fifth year, the Develop Industry Excellence Awards are Europe's only dedicated games developer awards ceremony. Voted for by an independent panel of industry experts, they reward the creative achievements across all areas of game development, from visuals arts through to innovation.
In all, there were 17 different companies and individuals claiming the 18 awards.
Evolution Studios' MotorStorm (PS3) and Zoe Mode's Crush (PSP) were voted best new intellectual property, whilst Traveller's Tales picked up best independent developer and best use of a licence for its brilliant Lego Start Wars II.
Realtime Worlds picked up the innovation award for the thrillingly originally Crackdown, Eden Studios grabbed the award for best use of online for test Drive Unlimited, whilst Rare's Viva Piñata bagged the award for visual arts.
Other big winners included Sega - voted the industry's publishing hero - and Ubisoft France, who was unveiled as the best in-house developer.
Ian Hetherington, co-founder of the 80s publishing powerhouse Psygnosis and ex managing director of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, was crowned Development Legend. He is currently chairman of Evolution Studios and Real Time Worlds - two of the evening's winners - illustrating the continued contribution he continues to make to the industry.
Sony was crowned the Grand Prix winner, capping 12 months which have seen the firm deliver a new hardware format that has inspired developers around the world to make cutting-edge next generation games and continue its tradition supporting great ideas devised by both its internal studios and external partners."
Guest of Honour at this year's event was Richard Garriott, creator of the Ultima series and Executive Producer of NCsoft's Tabula Rasa.
"The fact that no one company dominated the awards this year shows what a diverse range of talent this industry boasts," said Michael French, editor, Develop Magazine. "It's been a brilliant year for games, with new hardware allowing developers to really stretch their imagination with new ways to play - so competition for these prestigious awards has been fiercer than ever. Whilst the winners and the finalists will undoubtedly grab the headlines, everyone involved in games development should be applauded for continuing to broaden the market and those playing our games. Here's to another fantastic 12 months."
The winners in full are:
New Console IP
MotorStorm (Evolution/SCEE External Development)
New Handheld IP
Crush (Zoe Mode)
Best Use of a Licence
Lego Star Wars II (Traveller's Tales)
Rare (Viva Pinata)
Real Time Worlds (Crackdown)
Best Use of Online
Eden Studios (Test Drive Unlimited)
Services & Outsourcing
New UK Studio
The Develop Industry Excellence Awards were designed to seek excellence in every facet of the UK and European development business, from new start-up studios to multi-team in-house developers, as well as tools providers, service providers and publishers. Judged in secret by a jury of almost 100 independent industry experts they single out those companies who keep this part of the globe at the very forefront of game development.
Develop magazine is the international monthly for games programmers, artists, musicians and producers. It is published by Intent Media.
The Develop Industry Excellence Awards are managed by Intent Media and Barrington Harvey.