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Devolver Digital, Steam and Wings triumph at the Indie Publishing Awards

Victoria Tran scoops community management prize and Sea of Stars named best crowd-funding campaign

Devolver Digital was named best indie publisher at the inaugural Indie Publishing Awards.

Meanwhile, Fall Guys, which the firm published alongside developer Mediatonic, scooped the PR & marketing campaign prize.

Devolver's 'Mr Meatless' said: "Thank you for recognising our greatness, and then making an award just so you can tell people how great we are."

"We would not be where we are as an industry without indie developers."

Gabe Newell, Valve

It was a packed 30-minute ceremony, which celebrated the business side of indie games. The show was also chock full of familiar faces, including Valve head Gabe Newell, PlayStation's Shuhei Yoshida, Romero Games' Brenda Romero, Minecraft boss Helen Chiang, Xbox/Sega/EA veteran Peter Moore and OtherSide Entertainment's Warren Spector.

Other big winners included Victoria Tran of Innersloth, who picked up the community management award for her work on Among Us. Sea of Stars from Sabotage Studio claimed the crowdfunding campaign of the year, Steam won the indie storefront of the year prize, Kowloon Nights was named best investor and Harmony's Odyssey by MythicOwl won 'Unsigned Game of the Show' -- that is the best game without a publisher that we saw during GI Live: Online.

Cover image for YouTube video

Accepting the award for storefront of the year, Valve boss Gabe Newell said: "Independent game developers are the bedrock of our industry, for their willingness to take risks, for their innovation, and for their willingness to go places that the rest of us aren't ready to go yet. We would not be where we are as an industry without them."

Mediatonic's Hayley Uyrus, accepting the PR & marketing award for Fall Guys, said: "We are so honoured to win this award. Ever since Fall Guys was pitched, we knew something was special there and it's been amazing to see that players feel the same way as we do. We put a lot of care around the comms that go around Fall Guys, so it's really great that people have been able to see the design behind our simplicity."

The final award of the night was the special recognition award, which went to Wings Interactive. Wings won the award for its investment in diverse teams, for its GDC relief fund where it helped indie developers left out of pocket due to last year's GDC cancellation, and for its Elevate online development incubator.

"At Wings, we invest in games created by teams in which female and gender diverse developers hold key positions," said head of communications Corina Diaz.

"We believe in diversity and inclusion and we are excited to make real change in the industry. Beginning with the GDC relief fund and continuing with the Elevate global online incubator, we've been able to help hundreds of game development teams who were affected by COVID-19 cancellations. This year we continue with bringing Elevate back for 2021, and investing in a whole array of game development projects."

The Indie Publishing Awards was sponsored by Renaissance PR and Curve Digital.

Here is the full list of winners:

Community Management of the Year
Victoria Tran, Innersloth

PR & Marketing Campaign of the Year
Fall Guys

Investor of the Year
Kowloon Nights

Crowdfunding Campaign of the Year
Sea of Stars by Sabotage Studios

Unsigned Game of the Show
3rd Place: Thirsty Heroes (Bit by Bit Studios)
2nd Place: Hell is Others (Strelka Games)
1st Place: Harmony's Odyssey (MythicOwl)>

Publisher of the Year
Devolver Digital

Storefront of the Year

Special Recognition Award:

The finalists were decided by the GamesIndustry.biz team, and each award had its own panel of judges to help decide the eventual winners. The Unsigned Game of the Show was judged by video games journalists, including members from GamesIndustry.biz and Video Games Chronicle.

The full list of judges were:

Publisher Category: Bobby Wertheim (Sega), Callum Underwood (Kowloon Nights), Ella Romanos (Fundamentally Games), Guha Bala (Velan Studios), Jo Twist (UKIE), Nika Nour (IGDA), Raul Rubio (Tequila Works), Richie Zhu, Agostino Simonetta (Xbox).

Investor Category: Bobby Wertheim (Sega), Debbie Bestwick (Team17), Des Gayle (Altered Gene), Ella Romanos (Fundamentally Games), John Cooney (Armor Games), John Polson (Humble Bundle), Nika Nour (IGDA Foundation), Roberta Lucca (Bossa Studios).

Storefront Category: Debbie Bestwick (Team17), Des Gayle (Altered Gene), Gina Jackson (Safe In Our World), John Clark (Curve), John Cooney (Armor Games), Peter Kang (Snail Games), Raul Rubio (Tequila Works).

Community Management Category: Audrey Leprince (Wings Interactive), Grace Carroll (Creative Assembly), Hollie Bennett (CD Projekt), Mike Williams (PCMag), Stefano Petrullo (Rennaissance PR), Stevie Ward (PC Gamer).

PR & Marketing Category: Hollie Bennett (CD Projekt Red), Lisa Carter (Mimiram Media), Mike Williams (PCMag), Peter Kang (Snail Games USA), Susan Cummings (Tiny Rebel Games), Tim Woodley (Hello Games).

CrowdFunding Category: Anya Combs (Kickstarter), David Kaye (Snapshot Games), Gavin Price (Playtonic Games), Raul Rubio (Tequila Works), Rebekah Valentine (IGN), Stefano Petrullo (Renaissance PR).