The winners of the Dutch Game Awards 2023 were announced at the leading awards show for the Dutch game industry. This thirteenth edition of the award show took place during Dutch Media Week in Beeld & Geluid in Hilversum.
The Dutch Game Awards has several categories, from ‘Best Game’ to ‘Best Innovation’ and four special awards. The winners are chosen by a professional and diverse jury. Besides an award, the winners also receive a place in the collection of Sound & Vision, where the games are preserved as cultural heritage for eternity. And the winners are…!
Best Game: Age of Wonders 4 – Triumph Studios
Best Art: Mail Time – appelmoes games
Best Audio: Isonzo – BlackMill Games
Best Innovation: Secret Shuffle – Adriaan de Jongh & Friends
Best Technology: Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered PC – Nixxes Software
Best Game Design: Secret Shuffle – Adriaan de Jongh & Friends
Best Applied Game: Klankkr8 – Game Tailors
Best Debut Game: Kayak VR: Mirage – Better Than Life
Best Student Game: Iron Line – Team Trainwreck (BUas)
Triumph Studios with Age of Wonders grabs Best Game 2023 award: “Age of Wonders 4 proves to be an excellent continuation of the series. The game is innovative within the strategy genre and combines old and new mechanics to create a masterpiece. The depth and complexity give the game a feeling of epic proportions.”
The jury chose Secret Shuffle as the winner in the Best Innovation and Best Game Design categories: “What a way to put a smile on people’s faces! The game offers a very accessible way to connect people, through a form of gameplay never before seen by us. The different dance games will surprise at many parties, and the intuitive UI and low entry threshold make the game easy for anyone to understand and use. Making yourself uncomfortable has never felt better than with Secret Shuffle!”
Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered PC by Nixxes Software wins Best Technology: “Where most PC ports don’t hold up to the original game, the PC port of Marvel’s Spider-Man surpasses it. The PC version adds subtle details like the enhanced reflections in the windows of the buildings, without sacrificing performance. With many custom solutions to the technological challenges Nixxes has raised the bar for porting technology.”
Iron Line was voted Best Student Game: “The judges were frustrated that this is not a full game (yet). Iron Line offers a unique twist on the Tower Defense genre. It cleverly combines cargo management with the placement of turrets. Add well-designed elements like the game economics and it makes the whole game fit together like a glove.“
Best Debut Game was won by Kayak VR: Mirage: “The judges really felt like they were outside while playing this game. The kayak moves very lifelike and the attention to detail in the environment adds up to an experience that feels beyond realistic. Next to that the game shows an intuitive UI and fun competitive multiplayer races.”
Klankkr8 wins Best Applied Game: “It is noteworthy that Game Tailors used solid scientific theories and evidence as the basis for Klankkr8 and also conducted scientific research on the effectiveness of the game! These theories translated well into consistent, playful and simulating game design that introduces young children to letters, sounds and the first steps of learning to read. Klankkr8 is a full-fledged, interactive game that serves different audiences.”
Best Audio was won by Isonzo: “Isonzo excels with the integration of realistic audio from the historic World War I setting and excellently balances the chaos of sounds in the frantic multiplayer battles. This really adds to the immersion and depth of the game, and what’s more, the soundtrack is an orchestral masterpiece!”
Mail Time wins Best Art: “The studio describes itself as “a very small studio” and so it is impressive that Mail Time’s art feels so ‘wholesome’ and ‘cosy’ even though it was created by only one person. The unique complementary mix of 2D and 3D art certainly contributes to this depth, which the jury says is very hard to achieve!”
The Special Awards were created for the studios, individuals or initiatives that sometimes play more in the background, but are important for the Dutch game industry. The winners for the Special Awards are:
Best Studio: Triumph Studios
Inclusion Award: Esmeé van’t Hoff
Career Achievement: Angie Smets
Awesome Achievement: Deloryan Games
Triumph Studios wins Best Studio award: “Triumph Studios has been around since 1997 and has been going strong and quiet for over 25 years. Joining the Paradox family in 2017 did not negatively impact its own studio culture, but rather made the studio stronger in its own way. Employees stay with the studio for a long time and praise its good leadership. The studio’s rock-solid direction can also be seen in their games, with Triumph Studios not capitalizing on erratic trends, but rather following their own course.”
This year’s Inclusion Award goes to Esmeé van’t Hoff: “As the driving force behind Wholesome Games and Wholesome Direct, Esmeé has worked hard to create more space and recognition for “cozy games.” She is a figurehead for making these games visible to the broader public, which has given developers of these games a more prominent place in the game industry.”
The Career Achievement was won by Angie Smets: “Over the past 20 years at Guerrilla Games, Angie has proven to be a true cornerstone of the successful AAA game studio. But perhaps even more important is the role she has played in normalizing diversity, for both Guerrilla’s games and in the studio’s workplace! We wish her all the best in her new role at PlayStation Studios and look forward to more groundbreaking work from Angie!”
Last but not least, the Awesome Achievement goes to Deloryan Games: “Deloryan Hommers started as a one-person studio in her spare time, but her studio has since expanded to a team of eleven. Deloryan Games’ unique game serves a niche audience of diehard horse fans, but we’re not talking about little girls and glittering unicorns. Horse Reality brings a lot of depth to the market of horse management games by focusing on horse genetics, breeding programs, horse training and health statistics and all based on real-life data. The studio competes with studios ten times its size. Nevertheless, they have managed to grow in a tough market by taking their audience seriously.”
PopOk Gaming’s new Crash Game release Crash Extreme
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The Gamemasters Summit: Stellar Speaker Lineup Announced With 30+ Mobile Games Thought Leaders
The Gamemasters Summit, a pioneering digital conference powered by Kwalee and supported by media partner PocketGamer.biz and sponsors AppsFlyer and Embrace, has announced its full speaker lineup. The event will bring together developers, publishers, platforms, agencies, suppliers and talent in mobile games alongside students and graduates.
The one-day online event invites delegates to engage with panel discussions and keynote sessions led by some of the sector’s most influential figures. With both an Expert Track and Emerging Track, The Gamemasters Summit offers a range of sessions and networking opportunities for people at all stages of their career in mobile games, from entry level to C-Suite.
The Gamemasters Summit has a ‘no selling, no BS, opinions welcome’ mandate – so the content and discussion will be original, interesting and useful for all attendees.
A Lineup of Over 30 World Class Speakers and Insightful Panels
The Gamemasters Summit is proud to present an impressive roster of speakers, including industry leaders and innovators who will share their knowledge, experiences and visions for the future of mobile gaming. Highlights include:
Javier Castro, Head of EMEA AppDev Gaming at Google and John Wright, VP of Mobile Publishing at Kwalee, who will join forces in the keynote panel to explore the latest trends and challenges facing the mobile games industry in 2024.
Michail Katkoff, Founder of Deconstructor of Fun, and Adam Smart, Director of Product Gaming at AppsFlyer, will also join the keynote to provide their expert analysis on game trends and market strategy, shedding light on the keys to success in the rapidly evolving mobile games market.
Gabriel Stürmer, CEO of Clap Clap Games, will share their journey as a games studio, crafting hit games in collaboration with Kwalee, highlighting the strategies that led to their widespread success.
Allison Bilas, COO at GameAnalytics, will contribute her profound analytics and big data knowledge to the “Play By Numbers: Navigating Data Science and AI in Mobile Gaming” panel. Her experience with major game studios and tech providers underscores the critical role of data in the success of mobile games.
Vera Karpova, Product Manager at dev-to-dev, Chris Lefebvre, Chief Strategy Officer at ByteBrew and Eberhard Dürrschmid, CEO of Golden Whale Productions GmbH will also join the “Play By Numbers” panel, adding their insights on product analytics and the integration of enterprise-level analytics to support mobile game development.
Nikita Lord, Graduate Partnership Manager at Grads in Games – Aardvark Swift, will speak in the “Forging Your Career in Gaming” session. Nikita’s experience in bridging gaps between industry and academia is crucial for aspiring industry professionals and game developers looking to enter the games industry successfully.
Ben Hopkins, Creative Director at VCCP, and Justin Nield, Creative Solutions Lead at Kayzen, will explore the “Crafting Impact: Mastering the Ad Creative Lifecycle” session. Their combined expertise provides a comprehensive view of developing and optimising creative strategies for impactful advertising in the games industry and this panel will be chaired by Gavin McNicholl, Creative Director at Kwalee.
Harry Lang, VP of Marketing at Kwalee, brings over two decades of expertise to the Gamemasters Summit. Harry will kick off the event with an introduction to The Summit and its agenda, setting the stage for a day of insightful discussion and networking. Furthermore, his session “Beyond the Code: The A to Z of Marketing a Hit Mobile Game” promises to unravel the complexities of marketing in the mobile games industry.
William Cox, Head of Mobile Publishing at Kwalee, will moderate “Game Publishing Unveiled: Strategies for Emerging Developers.” This panel aims to shed light on the intricacies of game publishing, offering emerging developers insights into how they can make their games stand out. Will’s extensive experience in game publishing at Kwalee, Sega and Ubisoft will guide the conversation, providing actionable advice for attendees.
Simon Platt, VP of Kwalee’s Leamington Studio, has been at the forefront of designing and producing hit mobile games, leading Kwalee’s in-house mobile games to over 1 billion downloads. Simon will chair the “Crafting Hits: The Blueprint Unveiled” session, designed for emerging game developers. This discussion will dive into the creative and strategic processes behind successful game development, from ideation to execution.
Eric Futoran, CEO of Embrace and previously a co-founder of Scopely, will discuss how an obsession with delivering flawless player experiences is crucial to any game’s success, and why he is dedicated to helping teams resolve complex app issues quickly.
These speakers, among many others, will provide a comprehensive exploration of the tools, tactics, and innovations shaping the future of mobile game development and publishing. The Gamemasters Summit is an unparalleled opportunity to gain insights from the leading minds in the industry, offering strategic learning, career development, and exclusive networking opportunities.
Engaging Sessions Designed for Every Level of Expertise
The Gamemasters Summit features two distinct tracks catering to both seasoned professionals and newcomers to the industry so there’s something for everyone:
The Expert Track offers advanced insights into topics such as data science, AI in mobile gaming, and monetisation strategies. Sessions include “Play By Numbers: Navigating Data Science and AI in Mobile Gaming,” where panellists like Allison Bilas, COO of GameAnalytics, and Chris Lefebvre, Chief Strategy Officer at ByteBrew, will discuss the integration of data analytics and artificial intelligence in game development and marketing.
The Emerging Track focuses on foundational knowledge and career development, with sessions such as “Crafting Hits: The Blueprint Unveiled” by Simon Platt, Head of Studio (Hybrid) at Kwalee. Attendees will gain insights into the creative process behind developing successful mobile games, from concept ideation to execution.
Join the Leading Innovators In Mobile Gaming
The Gamemasters Summit is not only an event for learning and inspiration but also a prime networking opportunity for professionals looking to connect with peers and industry leaders. With discussions on the latest trends, innovations, and strategies, attendees will be better equipped to navigate the future of mobile gaming.
Join the Gamemasters Summit to connect with these and other industry leaders, gain valuable insights, and explore the latest trends and strategies in the mobile games industry – all this and more at zero cost!
Opportunities, Licensing and Technological Innovation: Gaming Meets Business at the Hamburg Games Conference 2024
On March 5 and 6, the Hamburg Games Conference (HGC) will become the meeting point for international games companies and start-ups as well as all those who want to understand the underlying issues and are aiming for cooperation with games studios.
Remedy Entertainment, Metacore, Thunderful Group, The Sandbox, Animoca Brands, Bigpoint, InnoGames, Sunday GmbH, Gamelight, London Venture Partners and GamesIndustry.biz are joining the HGC with speakers and representatives.
The organizers Gamecity Hamburg, GRAEF Rechtsanwalte and Super Crowd Entertainment offer impulses for companies and founders with the talk program, roundtables and MeetToMatch matchmaking to be able to position themselves strongly in the constantly changing market. Hamburg’s First Mayor, Dr Peter Tschentscher, will give a welcoming address at the HGC. Tickets for companies and start-ups are available https ://HGC2024. EventBrite.de.
The program addresses current issues with international speakers on topics such as licensing or the wave of layoffs in the industry.
International games experts:
On stage at the HGC 2024 will be Guido Schmidt, Associate Executive Producer for Remedy Entertainment, with a talk on ‘A Healthy Creative Process: Why Planning Stuff During Proof of Concept is a Bad Idea’, Tim Shepherd, Product Manager for Metacore, on ‘Learning What Your Players Really Want’, Christoph Sachsenhausen, co-founder and Managing Director for Sunday GmbH, on ‘The State of Hyper-Casual in 2024’, Michelle Zou, Chief Executive Officer for Bigpoint, on ‘Bridging East and West: The Power of Transnational Collaboration in the Gaming Industry’, Gunay Aliyeva, co-founder of Gamelight, on ‘How we Bootstrapped our Company to $1 Billion Revenues’, Rachit Moti, co-founder and Chief Executive Officer for Layer, with a talk on ‘Licensing IP Into Video Games: A Risky Investment or Profitable Partnership?’, and Davin Miyoshi, co-founder and Chief Product Officer for Skillprint, with a talk on ‘Unleashing the Power of AI to Personalize Games’.
Roundtables and panels on current topics:
In addition to keynotes and talks, the Licensing in Gaming, a Match Made in Heaven? panel will discuss how brands can cooperate with games. The How Web3 Enables Creative Freedom in Gaming panel is all about user-generated content. There will also be a roundtable on artificial intelligence (AI) and the legal implications for games studios.
Indie Arena Booth Pitch Royal – applications now open:
Indie devs and start-ups can apply until February 14 for the Indie Arena Booth Pitch Royal, which will be held live on-site on March 5. Whoever can convince the expert audience and the jury with their pitch in five minutes will receive a small booth at the Indie Arena Booth at gamescom 2024. Further information at https ://bit. ly/HGC24IAB.
In addition to an advisory board made up of the companies Sunday, Bigpoint, The Sandbox, InnoGames and 1SP Agency Holding, the sponsors Alibaba Cloud, 4Players, Bytro, Photon, Playa Games, Threaks and Tiny Roar support the HGC. The program is accessible via https: //www .GamesConference .com/talks-panels -2024/.
Networking and B2B matchmaking:
The Altonaer Museum offers all participants a MeetToMatch Cafe and the opportunity for extensive networking in a welcoming atmosphere. At the extended expo area in the museum, international companies and game studios will present themselves.
Business and start-up tickets available:
The business ticket for €349 grants guests access to the two-day conference program, B2B meetings via MeetToMatch and participation in the get-together on the evening of the first conference day. Start-up tickets are also available for newly founded companies at a discounted price of €199. Tickets for the HGC 2024 are available at https ://HGC2024 .EventBrite.de.
All current information on the HGC 2024 is available at www .GamesConference .com.
Cooperation with the German Creative Economy Summit on March 6 and 7, 2024 in Hamburg:
Visitors can also take part in the German Creative Economy Summit in Hamburg on March 7, organized by the Hamburg Kreativ Gesellschaft. All information is available at: https ://german- creative- economy-summit.de/. Anyone who purchases a ticket for the Hamburg Games Conference can benefit from a 20% discount on a ticket for the German Creative Economy Summit. If you are interested, please contact HGC @Super-Crowd .com.
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