Think Services, organizers of the Game Developers Conference and the Independent Games Festival (and the owners of Gamasutra), have entered a new partnership with high-profile iPhone game publisher ngmoco.
The deal will add a $10,000 'Best iPhone Game' prize to 2009's Independent Games Festival Mobile, and increase the maximum amount of prizes in the hotly contested indie mobile competition to a record $30,000.
The partnership with ngmoco, the Kleiner Perkins-funded iPhone publisher co-founded by former EA executive Neil Young, includes a Gold Sponsorship of the IGF Mobile event, which is now in its second year.
The mobile-centric indie event, originally created by Think Services and Founding Sponsor Nvidia, is expanding to include iPhone games this year.With last year's Grand Prize winner Critter Crunch already a successful title on Apple's handheld, organizers are expecting a surge in iPhone game entries.
“ngmoco is proud to support the independent development community and burgeoning micro-studios who are dedicated to creating device defining “only on iPhone” games”, Alan Yu, Vice President, Artist & Repertoire, ngmoco, said. “As gamemakers, we’ve long admired the IGF for showcasing and highlighting innovation and independent thinking in games.”
iPhone developers entering their games will be eligible for all IGF Mobile categories, which also include game design, art, technical and audio awards, a Best Game award, and other major prizes. In addition, entry into IGF Mobile is free this year, meaning it's easy for 'bedroom programmers' and upwardly mobile indies alike to enter the competition.
The finalists in the 'Best iPhone Game' category will be invited to showcase their games on the expo floor at the industry-leading Game Developers Conference 2009, to be held in San Francisco from March 23th-27th, 2009. In addition, the winners of the category will be revealed onstage at the special IGF Mobile awards ceremony at GDC 2009, and also highlighted at the flagship Independent Games Festival Awards event at the show.
"We're delighted to be working with ngmoco to help discover the best iPhone games out there," commented Simon Carless, Chairman, Independent Games Festival. "We're starting to see open platforms and innovation spread indie goodness into fascinating new places, and highlighting worthy, high quality iPhone games is something that will benefit both discerning consumers and developers."
In addition to the IGF Mobile sponsorship, ngmoco has also partnered as the exclusive sponsor of Think Services' new iPhone and iPod Touch-specific weblog, FingerGaming. The site, one of the leading outlets in the rapidly expanding space, covers business announcements, gaming news, trends, and impressions regarding games for Apple's touchscreen handheld.
For more information on IGF Mobile and entering this year’s competition, for which the deadline is November 17th, please visit the IGF Mobile website.