Posted: 1st September 2021
​​​​​​​Winners will be revealed at ceremony on Wednesday 27 October during Develop:Brighton 2021

Tandem Events has today announced the shortlists for the Develop:Star Awards 2021. The winners will now be selected by industry vote, open to previous delegates.

The vote opens today and closes on 24 September. Winners will be announced at the Develop:Star Awards ceremony on the evening of Wednesday 27 October, during Develop:Brighton 2021.

Shortlists were decided across 17 categories by a panel of industry experts and developers, who reviewed a record number of submissions.

PlayStation 5 exclusive Returnal, from Housemarque and Sony Interactive Entertainment, is the most nominated game with six nominations, followed by The Chinese Room and Sumo Digital’s Little Orpheus with five nominations.

Seven finalists will compete for the Best Studio award: Creative Assembly, FuturLab, Housemarque, Mediatonic, nDreams, Sumo Digital and ustwo games.

Those who have attended Develop:Brighton since and including the 2017 conference, plus anyone who has registered for this year’s conference, will be invited to vote through a dedicated awards platform. Attendees will be contacted directly with further instructions.

“This incredible collection of games, teams and individuals shows the best the games industry has to offer, and we’re excited to offer the opportunity to recognise and celebrate the hard work of so many over the past year, “said Andy Lane, managing director of Tandem Events.

“I’d like to shout out the new Tomorrow’s Star category in particular, recognising some of the incredible future talent emerging in the industry. Good luck to all our nominees, we’re looking forward to seeing you at the ceremony on 27 October.”

Table bookings and individual tickets for the awards are available to purchase now with an Early Bird discount of up to £400 until 15 September. Further details and links to purchase tickets can be found at: https://www.developconference.com/whats-on/develop-star-awards

All tickets include a three-course dinner and invite to the drinks reception and after party.

The nominees for the Develop:Star Awards 2021 are:

Best Visual Art

  • Before I Forget - 3-Fold Games
  • Little Orpheus - The Chinese Room, Sumo Digital
  • Mundaun - Hidden Fields, MWM Interactive
  • Returnal – Housemarque, Sony Interactive Entertainment
  • South of the Circle - State of Play
  • The Last Campfire - Hello Games

Best Narrative

  • Little Orpheus - The Chinese Room, Sumo Digital
  • Orwell's Animal Farm - Nerial, The Dairymen
  • Returnal – Housemarque, Sony Interactive Entertainment
  • Röki - Polygon Treehouse, United Label
  • South of the Circle - State of Play
  • The Dark Pictures Anthology: Little Hope - Supermassive Games, Bandai Namco

Best Game Design    

  • Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout – Mediatonic, Epic Games
  • Lost Words: Beyond the Page - Sketchbook Games, Modus Games
  • Magic: The Gathering Arena (Mobile) - Wizards of the Coast
  • Returnal - Housemarque, Sony Interactive Entertainment
  • Sackboy: A Big Adventure - Sumo Sheffield, Sony Interactive Entertainment
  • Weaving Tides - Follow the Feathers, Crytivo

Best Audio    

  • A Total War Saga: Troy - Creative Assembly, SEGA
  • DIRT 5 - Codemasters
  • Little Orpheus - The Chinese Room, Sumo Digital
  • Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales - Insomniac Games, Sony Interactive Entertainment
  • Returnal - Housemarque, Sony Interactive Entertainment
  • Sackboy: A Big Adventure - Sumo Sheffield, Sony Interactive Entertainment

Best Original IP    

  • Alba: A Wildlife Adventure-  ustwo games
  • Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout - Mediatonic, Epic Games
  • Little Orpheus - The Chinese Room, Sumo Digital
  • PowerWash Simulator – Futurlab, Square Enix
  • Returnal – Housemarque, Sony Interactive Entertainment
  • Rogue Company - First Watch, Hi-Rez Studios

Best Innovation    

  • Before I Forget - 3-Fold Games
  • Hardspace: Shipbreaker - Blackbird Interactive, Focus Home Interactive
  • Lost Words: Beyond the Page - Sketchbook Games, Modus Games
  • South of the Circle - State of Play
  • The Oeuvre - 89o
  • Watch Dogs: Legion - Ubisoft

Diversity Star    

  • Anisa Sanusi - Limit Break
  • Cinzia Musio - Splash Damage
  • Dan Bernado - Playtra
  • Rebecca Sampson - Hangar 13
  • Robin Gray - Gayming Mag
  • Tentacle Zone Incubator - Payload Studios

Best QA & Localisation   

  • Keywords Studios 
  • Localsoft 
  • Player Research 
  • PTW 
  • Testronic 
  • Universally Speaking 

Best Creative Provider    

  • Atomhawk 
  • Keywords Studios 
  • Liquid Crimson 
  • Pitstop Productions 
  • PlayStation Studios Creative Arts 
  • SIDE UK 

Best Technology Provider   

  • GameMaker Studio 2 
  • Genba Digital 
  • Keywords Studio 
  • Unity 
  • Unreal Engine 
  • Utopia Analytics   

Tomorrow’s Star     

  • Dominic Shaw - Ukie
  • Joshua Brown - Futurlab
  • Julia Kenny - SEGA
  • Julian Mair-MacFarlane - Mediatonic
  • Melissa Chaplin - Robot Teddy
  • Reema Ishaque - Splash Damage

Recruitment Star    

  • Aardvark Swift 
  • Amiqus Recruitment 
  • Datascope Recruitment 
  • OPMjobs 
  • Skillsearch Limited 
  • Sumo Group 

Publishing Star   

  • Curve Digital 
  • Kwalee 
  • No More Robots 
  • Team17 
  • Wales Interactive 
  • Wired Productions 

Best Mobile Game    

  • A Monster's Expedition - Draknek & Friends
  • Alba: A Wildlife Adventure - ustwo games
  • Little Orpheus - The Chinese Room. Sumo Digital
  • Magic: The Gathering Arena (Mobile) - Wizards of the Coast
  • Orwell's Animal Farm - Nerial, The Dairymen
  • South of the Circle - State of Play

Game of the Year    

  • Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout – Mediatonic, Epic Games
  • Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales - Insomniac Games, Sony Interactive Entertainment
  • Returnal – Housemarque, Sony Interactive Entertainment
  • Sackboy: A Big Adventure - Sumo Sheffield, Sony Interactive Entertainment
  • The Dark Pictures Anthology: Little Hope - Supermassive Games, Bandai Namco
  • The Last Campfire - Hello Games

Best Micro Studio   

  • Denki 
  • Hidden Fields 
  • inkle 
  • Perchang 
  • Polygon Treehouse 

Best Studio    

  • Creative Assembly 
  • FuturLab 
  • Housemarque 
  • Mediatonic 
  • nDreams 
  • Sumo Digital 
  • ustwo games   

For more information visit the Develop:Brighton website and follow us on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and Facebook

Or you can contact the team via email on developstars@bastion.co.uk.

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The Develop:Brighton conference is where the European developer community comes together to learn from each other and share experiences, be inspired by world renowned experts and gurus, get up-to-date with the latest development tools and techniques, make new contacts and catch up with old ones.

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