Develop:Star Awards Logo

About the Develop:Star Awards

Bringing together the game dev community to celebrate the very best games and talent.

Taking place at the Brighton Dome on the evening of Wednesday 10 July during Develop:Brighton, the Develop:Star Awards 2024 will recognise the very best games and talent within the industry with categories that enable studios of every size to shine.

These awards are all about the game dev community celebrating the creative excellence of the game makers behind the best games of the previous 12 months. 

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The Stars Schedule 

  • 31 January - Nominations open
  • Midday 3 April - Entry deadline
  • 8 April to 3 May - Judging for the shortlist
  • 16 May - Shortlist announced and online voting for the winners opens
  • 31 May - Voting closes
  • Early Bird Deadline - 5 June
  • 10 July - Winners announced at the awards ceremony

The 2024 Finalists

We’re delighted to announce the shortlisted entries for this year’s Develop:Star Awards.

The winners are selected by an industry vote, open to anyone who has either attended Develop:Brighton in the last 3 years or registered for a 2024 conference pass before 10 May.

Voting is now closed and winners will be announced at the ceremony on 10 July.

Best Game Design

This award recognises a team responsible for exceptional and creative game design via the use of controls, level design, pacing and mechanics – across all genres and platforms.

FINALISTS:

  • Balatro - LocalThunk/Playstack
  • Baldur's Gate 3 - Larian Studios
  • DAVE THE DIVER - MINTROCKET
  • Helldivers 2 - Arrowhead Game Studios/Sony Interactive Entertainment
  • Jusant - DON'T NOD
  • Viewfinder - Sad Owl Studios/Thunderful Publishing
Best Audio

Rewarding a game that demonstrates distinction in the use of sound or music to improve player experience – across all genres and platforms.

FINALISTS:

  • A Highland Song - inkle
  • Alan Wake 2 - Remedy Entertainment/Epic Games
  • Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora - Massive Entertainment/Ubisoft
  • Baldur's Gate 3 - Larian Studios
  • COCOON - Geometric Interactive/Annapurna Interactive
  • Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 - Insomniac Games/Sony Interactive Entertainment
  • Suicide Squad: Kill The Justice League - Rocksteady Studios/WB Games
Best Original IP

This award will recognise the creation of the best new intellectual property – across all genres and platforms.

FINALISTS:

  • American Arcadia - Out of the Blue Games/Raw Fury
  • Balatro - LocalThunk/Playstack
  • Classified: France '44 - Absolutely Games/Team17
  • DAVE THE DIVER - MINTROCKET
  • Jusant - DON'T NOD
  • Viewfinder - Sad Owl Studios/Thunderful Publishing
Best Visual Art

Recognising a game which demonstrates exceptional achievement in visual art and/or animation – across all genres and platforms.

FINALISTS:

  • A Highland Song - inkle
  • Alan Wake 2 - Remedy Entertainment/Epic Games
  • Baldur's Gate 3 - Larian Studios
  • Chants of Sennaar - Rundisc/Focus Entertainment
  • COCOON - Geometric Interactive/Annapurna Interactive
  • FINAL FANTASY XVI - SQUARE ENIX
Best Narrative

Rewarding a team who have far exceeded expectation in their storytelling to create an outstanding player experience, through innovative or ground-breaking writing – across all genres and platforms.

FINALISTS:

  • A Highland Song - inkle
  • Alan Wake 2 - Remedy Entertainment/Epic Games
  • Baldur's Gate 3 - Larian Studios
  • Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty - CD PROJEKT RED
  • FINAL FANTASY XVI - SQUARE ENIX
  • Starfield - Bethesda Game Studios
Best Technical Innovation

The award which recognises technological innovation in the video game space. This could be a pioneering gameplay experience, a breakthrough new development technique, inventive hardware or anything showing true innovation across all genres and platforms.

FINALISTS:

  • Audiomob
  • COCOON - Geometric Interactive
  • Dead Island 2 - Deep Silver Dambuster Studios, Dambuster Studios
  • Helldivers 2 - Arrowhead Game Studios
  • Marvel's Spider-Man 2 - Insomniac Games
  • Noun Town: VR Language Learning - Noun Town
    Viewfinder - Sad Owl Studios
Sustainability Star

Recognising an individual, team or company that has put in place significant changes to the way their studio or company works to reduce impact and be more sustainable.

FINALISTS:

  • Green Game Jam
  • nDreams
  • PlanetPlay
  • Smartdc
  • Sports Interactive
  • YRS TRULY
Diversity Star

This award celebrates an individual who has shown a commitment to promoting diversity and inclusivity within the games industry.

FINALISTS:

  • Adam Clewes-Boyne, BetaJester
  • Fida Zourob, Games for Love
  • Danielle Udogaranya (aka Ebonix), Evolotu & Black Twitch UK
  • Leon Hijazi-Killin, Sumo Group
  • Liz Prince Amiqus, G Into Gaming & Empower-Up
  • Moo Yu, POC in Play
  • Sara Machado, Sumo Digital & Bird's Eye View
Marketing Star

Recognising a UK-based individual, in-house team or external agency that has shown outstanding achievement in promoting a game – including marketing, PR, influencer relations and community development.

FINALISTS:

  • Claire Sharkey, Freelance
  • Dan Allman, Kepler Interactive
  • FuturLab
  • Hannah Flynn, Failbetter Games
  • ICO Partners
  • nDreams
  • Neonhive
NEW - Supporting Star

This award champions those companies that work with developers to share their understanding of the sector and have provided exceptional support to enable them to thrive and prosper.

FINALISTS

  • Barclays Games and Creative
  • Coutts & Co
  • Fourth Floor Group
  • Game Republic
  • GG Insurance Services
  • Urban Ledgers
Best QA and Localisation Provider

Recognising the organisation that has provided the highest quality of service and contributed the most to usability, testing and localisation within the game developer community.

FINALISTS

  • Keywords Studios
  • Player Research
  • PTW
  • Testronic
  • Universally Speaking
  • Warlocs
NEW - Best Creative Lead

Recognising the achievements of an outstanding individual working as a Creative Director or equivalent creative leadership position within a game development team.

FINALISTS:

  • AJ Grand-Scrutton, CEO, Dlala Studios
  • Andria Warren, Director of Creative Operations, Rare
  • Helen Andrzejowska, Senior Producer, Secret Mode
  • Kostas Zarifis, MD, Rogue Sun
  • Naoki Yoshida, Director & Producer, SQUARE ENIX
  • Sam Lake, Creative Director, Remedy Entertainment
Best Creative Provider

This award recognises the organisation that has provided exceptional audio assets (voice acting, music or sound effects) or visual assets (porting or creating sections of the game) for the game developer community.

FINALISTS:

  • Atomhawk
  • Flix Interactive
  • Liquid Crimson
  • PitStop Productions
  • Room 8 Group
  • SIDE
  • TrailerFarm
Best Technology Provider

For this award we’ll be rewarding the organisation that has provided outstanding hardware and/or technological support for UK game developers. This could include third party engines, motion capture tools, dev kits or microprocessors.

FINALISTS:

  • GameMaker
  • Genba Digital
  • i3D.net
  • PopcornFX
  • Speech Graphics
  • Unity
  • Unreal Engine
Talent Development Star

Recognising an in-house team that has shown outstanding policies and initiatives, and produced impressive results in successfully recruiting, retaining and developing talent within their team.

FINALISTS:

  • Dlala Studios
  • Flix Interactive
  • NaturalMotion Games
  • nDreams
  • REALTIME
  • Ripstone
  • Sumo Group
Recruitment Star

Recognising an external organisation that has shown outstanding policies and initiatives, and produced impressive results in successfully recruiting new team members for development studios.

FINALISTS:

  • Aardvark Swift
  • Amiqus
  • Avatar
  • Datascope Recruitment
  • mustard jobs
  • Skillsearch
Tomorrow's Star

The Tomorrow's Star award will recognise the achievements of new talent in the games industry. Nominees should be below senior management or director level.

FINALISTS:

  • Ackeem Durrant, Surgent Studios
  • Alif Trevathan, Sumo Group
  • Amy Elliott, Sumo Leamington
  • Charlotte Pang, Chirashi Games
  • Dora Vasiliou, Dlala Studios
  • Jazeena McCallum, Surgent Studios
  • Rach Macpherson, Neonhive
Publishing Star

Recognising an organisation that has shown outstanding support helping developers get their game published. This can include via funding, discoverability, research or anything else that helped secure a successful route to market for new games.

FINALISTS:

  • Curve Games
  • Kepler Interactive
  • nDreams
  • No More Robots
  • Playstack
  • Secret Mode
  • TEAM17


Best Mobile Game

This award will be given to the game that offers the best overall player experience on a mobile phone or tablet.

FINALISTS:

  • Cityscapes: Sim Builder - Magic Fuel Games/Playstack
  • Football Manager 2024 Mobile - Sports Interactive/SEGA
  • Lost Words: Beyond the Page - Sketchbook Games/PID
  • MONOPOLY GO! - Scopely
  • Sonic Dream Team - HARDlight/SEGA
  • The Queen's Gambit Chess - Rockwater Games/Netflix Games
Best Game

Rewarding the game that stands out above all others in terms of gameplay, storytelling, art style, character development, creativity and overall player experience – across all genres and platforms.

FINALISTS:

  • Alan Wake 2 - Remedy Entertainment/Epic Games
  • Balatro - LocalThunk/Playstack
  • Baldur's Gate 3 - Larian Studios
  • DAVE THE DIVER - MINTROCKET
  • Helldivers 2 - Arrowhead Game Studios/Sony Interactive Entertainment
  • Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 - Insomniac Games/Sony Interactive Entertainment
Best Small Studio

This award celebrates exceptional studios with ten or fewer employees.

FINALISTS

  • Bytten Studio
  • Geometric Interactive
  • inkle
  • Interflix Media
  • Noun Town
  • Rogue Sun
  • Sketchbook Games
Best Studio

This award celebrates exceptional studios with ten or more employees.

FINALISTS:

  • Arrowhead Game Studios
  • d3t
  • FuturLab
  • Larian Studios
  • nDreams
  • Playground Games
  • Remedy Entertainment

Develop:Star Awards Party

The Develop:Star Awards winners will be announced at a ceremony on the evening of Wednesday 10 July during Develop:Brighton.

Venue

This year we have moved from the Brighton Hilton Metropole to the Brighton Dome a short walk or taxi ride away:
Brighton Dome
New Road
Brighton
BN1 1UG

Party Timings

  • 19:00 Drinks and Canapes
  • 20:00 Awards Presentation
  • 21:00 Dinner
  • 22:00 Awards Presentation
  • 22:30 After Party
  • Late bar with dessert stations, a live DJ and some surprises..

Party Tickets

  • Premium Table of 10
    Ticket includes access to the pre-dinner drinks reception, prime table location, your logo displayed on your table, dinner and access to the after party.
  • Early Bird Rate (by 5 June): £3,250 (+ VAT)
  • Full Rate (after 5 June): £3,650 (+ VAT)
  • Standard Table of 10
    Ticket includes access to the pre-dinner drinks reception, dinner and access to the after party.
  • Early Bird Rate (by 5 June): £2,900 (+ VAT)
  • Full Rate (after 5 June): £3,300 (+ VAT)

  • Single Seat at a Table
    Ticket includes access to the pre-dinner drinks reception, dinner and access to the after party.
  • Early Bird Rate (by 5 June): £290 (+VAT)
  • Full Rate (after 5 June): £330 (+VAT)
  • Single Seat at a Table Micro Indie Rate
    (Dev studios with 4 or fewer employees only)
    Ticket includes access to the pre-dinner drinks reception, dinner and access to the after party.
  • Early Bird Rate (by 5 June): £180 (+VAT)
  • Full Rate (after 5 June): £225 (+VAT)

Please note: If you've booked a ticket for the Awards you'll need a wristband to get in, which you can collect from the Develop:Brighton Registration desk in the lobby of the Hilton Metropole Hotel between 2pm and 6.30pm on that Wednesday.

Book Your Tickets Now

Sponsorship

The Develop:Star Awards offer a range of sponsorship opportunities to help you achieve your marketing & promotional goals. Whatever your aims, there’s something to suit every pocket - all designed to maximise your exposure.

To find out how you can get involved contact us at:

E: [email protected]
T: +44 (0)20 3927 6440

The Develop:Star Award


Guerrilla were the recipient of the 2023 Develop Star Award which recognises outstanding achievements and contributions to the games industry. This is the first time a development studio has received the award rather than an individual - congratulations to the Guerrilla team.
The 2024 Star Award will be announced soon so watch this space!


The 2023 Develop:Star Awards Winners:

  • Best Studio: Roll7
  • Best Small Studio: Black Salt Games
  • Best Game: God of War Ragnarök – Santa Monica Studio | Sony Interactive Entertainment
  • Publishing Star: Team17 Digital
  • Best Mobile Game: Desta: The Memories Between – ustwo games | Netflix
  • Best Game Design: Vampire Survivors – poncle
  • Best Original IP: Hi-Fi Rush – Tango Gameworks | Bethesda Softworks
  • Best Narrative: God of War Ragnarök – Santa Monica Studio | Sony Interactive Entertainment
  • Best Visual Art: Horizon Call of the Mountain – Guerrilla Games | Sony Interactive Entertainment
  • Best Audio: God of War Ragnarök – Santa Monica Studio | Sony Interactive Entertainment
  • Best QA & Localisation: Keywords Studios
  • Best Technical Innovation: Horizon Call of the Mountain – Guerrilla Games | Sony Interactive Entertainment
  • Best Technology Provider: Unreal Engine
  • Best Creative Provider: Atomhawk
  • Diversity Star: Dom Shaw – Ukie
  • Sustainability Star: ustwo games
  • Recruitment Star: Amiqus
  • Talent Development Star: Sumo Group
  • Marketing Star: nDreams
  • Tomorrow’s Star: Shaye Poulton Richards – INTERIOR/NIGHT
  • The Develop Star Award: Guerrilla
  • Special Recognition Award: Dr Jo Twist OBE
Highlights from the Develop:Star Awards 2023