The organizers of the Independent Games Festival (IGF) have entered into a new multi-year partnership with Microsoft Studios and its Xbox LIVE Arcade publishing team, to offer a new prize to support notable indies.
A standalone jury of independent game creators will work with Microsoft to identify a short list of finalists for the new ’XBLA Prize’. The winner’s prize will consist of a guaranteed first-party publishing deal to release the selected title on Microsoft’s LIVE-enabled platforms, including the Xbox LIVE Arcade service, Windows Phone, and Windows. The sponsor-supported prize includes full game funding to complete the title, if desired.
The first honoree for the award, picked from one of the 2012 Independent Games Festival entrants from either Main Competition or Student Showcase, will be announced on stage at the IGF Awards during Game Developers Conference in San Francisco on March 7, 2012.
If the creator of the selected game opts to accept the prize and associated contract, they will also get access to IGF Platinum Sponsor Microsoft’s extensive suite of first-party publishing services. This includes best in class usability, testing, and production aid to help complete their game, as well as the game gaining a sought-after ’slot’ to officially release the title on Xbox LIVE Arcade and other platforms.
This much coveted first party funding and publishing contract adds to the already impressive roster at IGF 2012, which has nearly $60,000 in cash prizes, including the $30,000 Seumas McNally Grand Prize. The IGF will showcase more than 30 of its finalists on the GDC 2012 show floor next March.
The 2012 Independent Games Festival and Independent Games Summit takes place from March 5-9, 2012 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. For more information on the contest, including lists of entrants and upcoming announcement dates, please visit www.igf.com.