Sackboy Earns His Own Trophies

The last twelve months have been a rough ride for game developers worldwide and the UK has seen its fair share of studios and publishers go under with the likes of Free Radical and Midway Newcastle being two of the higher profile losses.  At least last night the games industry could emphasise the positives for a change and celebrate successes at the Develop Industry Excellence Awards.

Now in their seventh year the awards are intended to highlight excellence throughout the UK and European game development industry whether that excellence is to be found in new start-up studios, multi-team in-house developers, tools providers, service providers or publishers.  They are judged in secret by a jury of almost 100 independent industry experts with the aim of singling out those companies who keep this part of the globe at the very forefront of game development.

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Media Molecule were nominated for five different awards and won all of them enabling them to populate their mantelpiece back in Guildford with the awards for Best New IP, Visual Arts and Technical Innovation being won specifically for LittleBigPlanet.  The other two awards were Best New Studio and Best Independent Developer.

“It’s just brilliant that a game which has been commercially successful across the world should be rightly honoured so extensively by the territory in which it was created,” says Michael French, editor in chief, Develop Magazine. “LittleBigPlanet is a real exercise in smart, imaginative game development, and one which put Media Molecule on the map. When the industry is often wrongly criticised for its reliance on licensed titles, Media Molecule has shown the value in a wholly original approach.”

Other highlights included everyone’s favourite former head of Sony Worldwide Studios, now Atari non-executive Director of the Group, Phil Harrison winning one of the evening’s Special Recognition awards, the Development Legend award, for his outstanding contribution to the European games industry during a long and illustrious career.

The DIE awards in full:

Creativity

Best New IP
LittleBigPlanet (Media Molecule)

Best Use of a Licence
Lego Batman (Traveller’s Tales)

Visual Arts
LittleBigPlanet (Media Molecule)

Audio Accomplishment
Fable II (Lionhead)

Publishing Hero
Apple

Technology and Services

Technical Innovation
LittleBigPlanet (Media Molecule)

Best Tools Provider
Autodesk

Best Engine
Unreal Engine 3 (Epic Games)

Recruitment Company
Amiqus

Services
Audiomotion

Creative Outsourcing
Side & Sidelines

Studios

Best New Studio
Media Molecule

Best Handheld Games Studio
Rockstar Leeds

Business Development
Playfish

Best Independent Developer
Media Molecule

Best In-House Team
Rockstar North

Special Recognition

Development Legend
Phil Harrison

Lifetime Achievement Award
Jacqui Lyons

Grand Prix
Codemasters

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