The shortlists for the inaugural CasinoBeats Game Developer Awards see more than 60 companies recognised for the innovation and creativity they have demonstrated over the last 12 months.
These new awards are focused on the game development sector and celebrate its ongoing success, importance to the entire igaming industry, and commitment to producing titles that entertain players around the world.
The winners of the 14 categories will be announced during a ceremony at the InterContinental in St Julian’s, Malta on 15 July, the final day of the CasinoBeats Summit conference and exhibition.
Among the companies eagerly awaiting the results will be SG Digital and Relax Gaming, which have earned seven nominations each. They are closely followed by six-times shortlisted Kalamba Games and Push Gaming, while Yggdrasil Gaming is in the running in five categories, and Evolution’s NetEnt and Red Tiger brands have netted four nominations apiece.
Those studios feature heavily in the shortlist for the hotly-contested Slot of the Year 2021 crown, with SG Digital’s Cluedo Cash Mystery, Red Tiger’s Gonzo’s Quest™ MegaWays™, Yggdrasil Gaming’s Hades Gigablox, Relax Gaming’s Money Train 2, and Push Gaming’s Wheel of Wonders all making the cut.
They face competition from Nolimit City, which is nominated for both East Coast vs West Coast and San Quentin xWays, while the 14-strong shortlist also includes Hacksaw Gaming’s Chaos Crew, AvatarUX’s CherryPop™, True Lab’s Crazy Mix, iSoftBet’s Morgana Megaways™, Habanero’s Orbs of Atlantis, Quickspin’s Sticky Bandits 3 Most Wanted, and Pragmatic Play’s The Dog House Megaways™.
Reflecting the fact that the Awards encompass the whole industry, another of the five categories in the Game Performance section is designed to honour the rising stars of the development world.
The Slots Studio Debut 2021 shortlist features Alchemy Gaming for Wheel of Wishes, Black Pudding Games for Aeterna, Peter & Sons for Johnan Legendarian, and Silverback Gaming for Aztec Luck.
The Game Creation section of the Awards celebrates the teams working on all the key elements that come together to make successful titles, such as narrative, soundtrack, visual design and effects, and use of licensed content.
One of the six categories in the section is Game Innovation, which has a shortlist that features: 3 Fruits Win: Double Hit™ by Playson, Aeterna Slot by 1×2 Network and Black Pudding Games, Aviator by Spribe, AstroBoomers: To The Moon! by FunFair Games, CherryPop™, TikiPop™, HippoPop™ by AvatarUX, East Coast vs West Coast by Nolimit City, Fruit Million by BGaming, Lucky Neko and Hades – Gigablox mechanic by Yggdrasil Gaming, Money Train 2 by Relax Gaming, Moon/Rekt and Tix Wix by HXRO Games, Moriarty Megaways by iSoftBet, and Slingo Starburst by Gaming Realms.
As the Game Developer Awards celebrate every element that goes into making a successful slots title, there are also three Game Marketing categories. They include the Content Creator of the Year honour, which recognises the companies that have shown the greatest imagination and most effective delivery when using content such as trailers and activation events to promote new games.
The shortlist is: ELK Studios for Nitropolis 2, FunFair Games for AstroBoomers: To The Moon!, iSoftBet’s Virtual Tea Party, Kalamba Games and CasinoTest24 for Sadie Swift:Guns ‘n Glyphs, and Push Gaming for Jammin’ Jars 2.
Rasmus Sojmark, CEO and founder of the Game Developer Awards’ organiser SBC, said: “We wanted to do something different with these awards by celebrating the huge contribution that the teams behind the games make to the igaming industry. The quality of the shortlists demonstrates why these teams are so important, as they are packed with titles that customers find engaging, playable and fun.
“It’s appropriate that the Awards ceremony will take place in Malta, which has become a centre of excellence for igaming and is now home to many of the most creative and innovative minds in the industry.”
Click here to read the full shortlists in all 14 categories.
Entry to the Game Developer Awards ceremony is included with a live pass for the CasinoBeats Summit conference and exhibition at the InterContinental in St Julian’s, Malta on 13-15 July 2021.
The dedicated igaming industry event takes place in a special integrated live and online format, with a selection of senior executives and decision makers attending in person and a wider international audience joining remotely for a parallel virtual edition.
Find out more about attending in person or joining the online version of the event at the CasinoBeats Summit website.