Posted: 12th May 2021
Winners will be announced on Wednesday 27 October during Develop:Brighton 2021

Tandem Events has today announced that entries are now open for this year’s Develop:Star Awards. The awards will take place on Wednesday 27 October at the Hilton Brighton Metropole, during Develop:Brighton 2021.

Entries can be submitted by anyone across 17 categories through the dedicated Develop:Star Awards website. The deadline for submissions is 23:59 BST on Friday 2 July. Further details on the submissions process are available through the website.

“This year’s Develop:Star Awards will recognise and celebrate the achievements of our industry’s best and brightest after what has been a tough year for everyone,” said Tandem Events Managing Director Andy Lane.

“As we look forward, this year we’re proud to be introducing the Tomorrow’s Star award. This award will recognise an inspiring individual with a long and promising future in game development ahead of them. We’re looking for someone who inspires others and has the potential to become an industry leader.”

The 2020 Develop:Star Awards took place as part of Develop:Brighton Digital and saw Dreams from Media Molecule and Sony Interactive Entertainment take home the coveted Game of the Year prize, as well as Best Innovation and Best Game Design.

Remedy Entertainment and 505 Games were also big winners, taking home three awards for Control. These were Best Narrative, Best Original IP and Best Visual Art. Best Studio was awarded to Mediatonic, with Best Micro Studio awarded to inkle.

In addition to the 17 categories, the Develop Star Award will once again honour an extraordinary industry figure for their outstanding achievements and contribution to the industry. Hello Games’ Sean Murray was awarded the prize in 2019, with Bethesda Game Studios’ Todd Howard accepting the honour in 2020. This year’s recipient will be announced over the coming months.

The qualifying period for entries is from 1 June 2020 to 31 May 2021. Only games released during this period are eligible for nomination. Any supporting evidence for individual nominees must also fall within this timeframe.

The submitted entries will be judged by a panel of industry experts, who will whittle them down into the final shortlist. These will be announced over the summer ahead of an industry vote to determine the winners in each category.

Further details are below for each of the 17 award categories now open for nominations:

  • Best Visual Art
    Recognising a game which demonstrates exceptional achievement in visual art and/or animation, across any genre.
  • Best Narrative
    Rewarding a game that far exceeded expectations in storytelling to create an outstanding player experience – through innovative or ground-breaking writing.
  • Best Game Design
    This award recognises the game that demonstrated exceptional and creative game design via the use of controls, level design, pacing and mechanics.
  • Best Audio
    Rewarding a game that demonstrates distinction in the use of sound or music to improve player experience.
  • Best Original IP
    This award will recognise the creation of the best new intellectual property in a game.
  • Best Innovation
    The award which recognises any game, studio or organisation that has created something ground-breaking within the games industry. This could be a technical advance, a pioneering gameplay experience or anything showing true innovation.
  • Diversity Star
    This award celebrates an individual who has shown a commitment to promoting diversity and inclusivity within the games industry.
  • 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.

  • 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.
  • Recruitment Star
    Recognising an organisation that has shown outstanding support helping development studios successfully recruit and retain new team members.
  • Best Technology Provider
    For this award we’ll be rewarding the organisation who have provided outstanding hardware and/or technological support for UK game developers. This could include third party engines, motion capture tools, dev kits or microprocessors.
  • 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. 
  • 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.
  • Best Mobile Game
    This award will be given to the game that offers best overall player experience on a mobile phone or tablet.
  • Game of the Year
    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.
  • Best Micro Studio
    This award will go to a studio with four or fewer employees who’ve achieved exceptional critical and commercial success during the qualifying period.
  • Best Studio
    This award celebrates any studio with five or more employees who’ve achieved exceptional critical and commercial success during the qualifying period.

For more information on The Develop:Star Awards and how to submit nominations, please visit:

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About The Develop:Star Awards

Taking place alongside the conference, the Develop:Star Awards recognise the very best of the game development community. The achievements of developers and success of great games and creativity will be celebrated across 17 categories including one ultimate ‘Develop Star’.

About Develop:Brighton conference & expo

Develop:Brighton 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.


With a programme that is shaped by some of the industry's key figures, the conference touches all levels of the development community from the largest studios to micro indies.


Twitter: @developconf

LinkedIn: develop-brighton

​Facebook: developconference

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