Announcing the winners of the 5th annual Ubisoft Indie Series Presented by National Bank competition.
After receiving the largest number of submissions to date, the judging team – comprised of experts from Ubisoft Toronto and National Bank – narrowed the list down to 10 Ontario studios. Those 10 studios were invited to participate in digital pitch sessions where they presented the creative vision and business strategy behind their games in development.
Today, we’re happy to announce this year’s winners!
Grand Prize Winner – Mermaid Heavy Industries
Prize: $50,000.00 CAD plus mentorship from Ubisoft and National Bank experts.
Mermaid Heavy Industries is led by Andi McClure, programmer and lead designer, and consists of a group of intermittent collaborators who met via the Toronto indie game scene and the Gamma Space and Dames Making Games communities. Founded in 2017 as a way of turning their hobbyist game dev work into a structured, professional endeavour, the studio is currently focused on developing a game project that blends a love of technical exploration and surreal, psychedelic visual spaces.
Skategirl Destroys the Universe is a game played on TV screens floating in a surreal 3D VR space. On the screens the player controls Skategirl, who just destroyed the universe (oops). The player in VR must grab, move and fit together the TV screens like jigsaw pieces to create a path Skategirl can move through to escape the horrible, horrible consequences of her own actions.
The judges found Skategirl Destroys the Universe to be beautiful and joyful, with a simple but powerful idea that will no doubt engage players in new and exciting ways.
National Bank Special Prize Winner – Killjoy Games
Prize: $25,000.00 CAD plus mentorship from Ubisoft and National Bank experts.
Killjoy Games is dedicated to creating games that explore difficult emotions. Their team prioritizes storytelling, representation, and social engagement over technologies, making them a studio of marginalized creatives committed to making playful experiences for underserved audiences.
Set in the 1990s, Killjoy Games’ Curses is a darkly comedic tale of a teen who has toils and troubles and works them out with magic.
The judges enjoyed the overall concept and intention of the game, and the strong messages of self-care, emotional health, and diversity in the game and development team.
Honourable Mention – Mythical Voltage
Mythical Voltage is a very small studio making narrative-focused games in Toronto. They’re committed to experimental storytelling techniques to tell stories atypical to video games. They’re a diverse team and take pride in creating opportunities for people in the local game community.
The judges were impressed by the Mythical Voltage team and their currently unannounced game. Mythical Voltage presented an exciting pitch with creative gameplay mechanics that showed immense promise.
Congratulations to this year’s winners!
About Ubisoft Indie Series
Started in 2017, 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.