Retail giant GameStop is partnering with industry association the AIAS and Texan game school The Guildhall at Southern Methodist University to launch the Indie Game Challenge, with over $200,000 in cash prizes in major "professional" and "non-professional" categories.
The newly announced Challenge, which is open to U.S. residents, is offering $100,000 grand prize awards for both the winning professional and non-professional games, with a separate $10,000 People's Choice Award being judged through GameStop.com and GameStop TV.
Submission for the new independent-focused event costs $100 and opens today, and teams must submit their games and pitch videos on CD-ROM or DVD by October 1.
Up to twelve finalist teams will be announced in mid-January 2010, and finalist teams will each get a $500 travel stipend per competitor to travel to Las Vegas for a reception following the AIAS-hosted D.I.C.E. Summit in February.
Winners will then be awarded at the event immediately following D.I.C.E. In addition to the Grand Prize winnings and a full scholarship to The Guildhall at SMU, three $2,500 prizes - for "technical skill," "art skill," and "gameplay skill" will be handed out.
In addition, each finalist will be able to pitch directly to executives from publishers such as Sony, Nintendo, Electronic Arts, Capcom, Microsoft, Namco Bandai, THQ, and Ubisoft. According to the competition, the meetings will "allow competitors to receive valuable input and have the opportunity to open up commercial avenues for their games."
Further information on the competition, including a full set of rules, is available on the official Indie Game Challenge website