The Ubisoft Indie Series presented by National Bank is an annual competition for independent game development studios, offering mentorship, cash prizes, and creative, marketing, and financial tools to help local developers reach new heights.
The 2020 Ubisoft Indie Series
Now in its fourth edition, the Indie Series looked a little different this year. In previous competitions, Indie Series culminated with finalists at an in-person Pitch Day at the Ubisoft Toronto studio, where they are each given 30 minutes to pitch their game in front of Ubisoft and National Bank experts. It’s always an exciting, inspiring (and, yes, nerve-wracking!) day.
Due to COVID-19 changing how people work and communicate, we switched to a digital format for Pitch Day. Finalists still had 30 minutes with our judges, but they met over video conferencing to present their games. We were so impressed to see the studios tackle the added challenge of virtual pitching, and we’re proud of the quality work they presented.
In lieu of our awards ceremony held each year at the Ubisoft Toronto studio, our judges shared the good news with the winning teams over video calls. While we missed the chance to unite the Ontario indie community at a celebratory event this year – and present a big novelty cheque to the winner (who doesn’t love a giant cheque?) – it was heart-warming to have the opportunity to deliver good news directly to the winning teams.
And the winners are…
This year’s finalists all presented inspiring projects across different genres, each offering players unique gameplay experiences. After a tight race, the Vivid Foundry team earned the Grand Prize with the game Solace State! Our experts agreed the game was creative, well-scoped, visually polished, and explored compelling and timely themes. The Ubisoft experts look forward to mentoring the Vivid Foundry team as they move to the next stage of production.
The Grand Prize consists of $50,000 (CAD), mentorship from Ubisoft experts to help with development, and marketing support for the winning game, as well as personalized financial diagnosis, counsel, and entrepreneurial training from National Bank.
With its (currently) unannounced project, Kitten Cup Studio is this year’s National Bank Special Prize winner. The prize includes $25,000 (CAD), mentorship from Ubisoft experts to help with development, and personalized financial diagnosis and counsel provided by National Bank experts. Kitten Cup Studio’s game concept was solid and focused, with a prototype that showed a clear vision, even at an early stage of production. With the entrepreneur mentorship from National Bank, we’re excited to see this new studio grow as part of the talented Ontario game development industry.
An honorable distinction goes to Massive Damage for its game Star Renegades. Star Renegades impressed the judges with the polished, clever, and innovative combat system, and the unique mix of roguelike, JRPG, and strategy game genres.
In short, the growth and talent of the Ontario industry continues to impress us year over year. We already can’t wait for the next edition.