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[This unedited press release is made available courtesy of Gamasutra and its partnership with notable game PR-related resource Games Press.]


March 2, 2013 (Cambridge, Mass.) – The Massachusetts Digital Games Institute announces 82 Apps, a Cambridge-based independent game development studio, has won Grand Prize honors for PWN, its fast, fun and futuristic game about competitive hacking in the 2 nd Annual MassDiGI Game Challenge.

“MassDiGI did an amazing job organizing the event and bringing so many great developers, mentors, and speakers together. The feedback and experience I got during the Game Challenge was extremely valuable, and I'd recommend it to anyone who is making a game and wants it to succeed,” said Erik Asmussen of 82 Apps. “The Game Challenge was a perfect way to develop and sharpen a game pitch, which is critical for any kind of outreach efforts.”

The Game Challenge, a pitch contest, helps indie and student game development entrepreneurs hone their ideas and products for launch. Forty-four teams consisting of indie game developers and student teams from around New England competed in a sold-out event from March 1-2 at the Microsoft New England Research and Development Center showcasing the rapidly expanding game industry cluster in the region. A panel of videogame industry veterans served as judges for the competition.

As the Grand Prize Winner and Best Indie Entertainment Game Winner, 82 Apps receives $2,250; Adobe Creative Cloud licenses; a legal services package from Morse-Barnes, Brown & Pendleton; customized mentor and PR/marketing packages; a Penny Arcade Expo “mini-session”; Blackberry PlayBooks; a trophy and certificates.

“The MassDiGI Game Challenge is unlike any other competition held in Massachusetts and the wider game industry as a whole,” said Elliott Mitchell, Game Challenge mentor and founder of Vermont Digital Arts. “It has been thrilling to see and meet with all of the teams, many of which have presented truly groundbreaking ideas showcasing the strength of the game development community around Boston.”

Other Boston area top indie winners include Zoe Quinn, Patrick Lindsey and Isaac Schankler for their creative interactive fiction game Depression Quest, which took home Best Indie Serious Game Winner honors.

“Our first Game Challenge in 2012 was a big success, but 2013 has really blown last year’s event out of the water – in more ways than one,” said Monty Sharma, MassDiGI’s managing director.  “With over 40 passionate, creative teams competing this year and over 30 VIP mentors and speakers participating, along with a stellar line-up of game industry judges, the 2013 Game Challenge exceeded our expectations. The talent we have seen in this competition promises a bright future for game development in the region!”

In addition, the Best Online Game Winner and Best Indie Entertainment Game Runner-up, Pathogen, a turn-based strategy game by Vermont-based studio Birnam Wood Games, received $1,500 as well as a legal services package from Greenberg Traurig and other prizes.

The Best Online Game Runner-up was a serious game by Zeebi Lab, a team from Harvard Medical School.

Indie serious and entertainment runners-up and honorable mentions went to Neocolonialism by Subaltern Games and Captain Astronaut’s Last Hurrah by Popcannibal, two local developers.

The Best Student Entertainment Game Winner went to Play Nimbus, a team from Becker College, for its well-conceived game Wobbles. The Best Student Serious Game Winner was earned by UMass Medical School for Small Victims. Student runners-up and honorable mentions went to teams from Champlain College, Becker and WPI.

“It’s an exciting time to be a game developer,” said Timothy Loew, executive director of MassDiGI, “And the Game Challenge shines a spotlight on that excitement.”

By entering, all Game Challenge game concepts are also eligible for the 2013 MassDiGI Summer Innovation Program, a $20,000 value, to help develop their game for launch.

Students entering their second year of college looking to break into the interactive entertainment industry are welcome to apply for the 2013 MassDiGI Summer Innovation Program. Accepted applicants will work full-time alongside a team of students under the guidance of industry mentors over 11 weeks on the campus of Becker College in Worcester, Mass. Students accepted into the program will receive free housing over the summer, as well as a stipend. To apply, visit The deadline for applications is April 5.

The 2013 Game Challenge was made possible through the support of sponsors including Microsoft; GSN Digital; Becker College; The Innovation Institute; Greenberg Traurig; Muzzy Lane Software; Turbine; PAX East; Morse, Barnes-Brown & Pendleton;; Stomp Games; Adyen; Roadhouse Interactive and Adobe.

About the Massachusetts Digital Games Institute (MassDiGI)

MassDiGI, based at Becker College in Worcester, is statewide center for academic collaboration, entrepreneurship and economic development across the local games ecosystem. MassDiGI’s initiatives support entrepreneurship and enhance the talent pipeline between higher education and the digital games industry. For more information about MassDiGI, visit, join us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.