Ubisoft Toronto announces the shortlist for the 6th edition of the competition, presented by National Bank.
Today, Ubisoft Toronto has announced the shortlist of the Ubisoft Indie Series, presented by National Bank.
The 10 studios named to the 2022 Ubisoft Indie Series shortlist in Ontario are:
- Achimostawinan Games
- A-Game Studios
- Insanity CORR
- Laundry Bear Games Inc.
- Lithic Entertainment
- Pomsky Games
- Rocket Adrift
- System Panic
- Treewood Studios Inc.
This year’s 18 submissions were reviewed by a jury comprised of Ubisoft and National Bank experts on overall concept, marketing and business plan, among other elements. Jury members include Andy Schmoll (Jury Chair), Billy Gregory, Navid Khavari, Fotis Prasinis, Matt Woelk, as well as Patrick Doyle and Jason Meloche from National Bank.
“As a returning judge and this year’s chair, I’m thrilled to see the Ontario Indie scene continue to grow, evolve and become more diverse with new and returning studios participating this year. We also saw an incredible range in the submissions, from the art to gameplay to genre,” said Andy Schmoll, Senior Game Designer at Ubisoft Toronto. “The creativity, thoughtfulness and dedication of the studios made it very difficult to choose this year’s Indie Series shortlist. A huge congratulations to the studios that participated, and I look forward to seeing the finalists’ pitch in May.”
Journey to the finale
The shortlisted finalists will participate in a virtual pitch session in front of the jury, where two winners will be chosen and awarded at the annual gala. The ceremony will take place online on May 3rd.
The Grand Prize winner will receive a $50,000 cash prize and the National Bank Special Prize winner will receive a $25,000 cash prize. Studios will also have access to mentorship and financial counsel from Ubisoft and National Bank, helping with development according to the studio’s needs, providing a personalized financial diagnosis and more. The winners will also have access to creative and marketing tools to support their projects.
“The calibre of submissions for this year’s Indie Series underscores the growth of Ontario’s video game industry. We have been so pleased to see such creativity and potential in the submissions we received,” said Lucile Bousquet, associate vice president of Corporate Affairs at Ubisoft. “Encouraging the next generation of talent is part of our DNA, and we are glad to contribute to the success of Ontario and Canada’s video game industry and expand its reach globally. We can’t wait to see the finalists’ presentations.”
“As a presenting partner, we’re enthusiastic about supporting video game entrepreneurs in one the fastest-growing industries in the world. This year’s finalists have a lot of potential, and our experts are looking forward to working alongside them to support the growth of their business,” adds Brigitte Leblanc, associate vice president, Canada and International, Creative Industries Group at National Bank.
Get to know the finalists!
Achimostawinan Games is an Indigenous-owned indie studio with a head office located in Hamilton, Ontario (part of the Between the Lakes Treaty or Treaty No. 3). Achimostawinan is a Cree word that means “tell us a story” and that is what they aim to do at their studio. They are Indigenous owned and led with a goal of crafting new and modern Indigenous stories for a global audience.
A-Game Studios is a new venture for award-winning multimedia producer, Jonathan Williams (RIFTWORLD, THE PORTAL). After twenty years in film and television, Jonathan pivoted towards interactive entertainment, inspired by the business opportunities and creative freedom offered by the indie game community. Their shared vision at A-Game Studios is to create innovative, cross-platform properties which combine ground-breaking gameplay systems with Hollywood-class storytelling.
Insanity CORR is a studio founded by graduates from Ontario Tech University and Fanshawe College. As a studio and brand, they want to create IPs that combine and expand upon well-known genres, mechanics and tropes with new and exciting ideas.
Laundry Bear Games is the Toronto-based game studio behind the critically-acclaimed A Mortician’s Tale (2017) and a co-developer on hit games such as Ooblets and Celeste. Founded in 2016, Laundry Bear is focused on developing colourful and emotionally impactful video games for all major platforms.
Lithic Entertainment is an independent developer and publisher of games for PC and Consoles. Located primarily in Toronto, they aim to engage the mid-core to hard-core audiences with games that are thoughtfully designed with wide and inclusive appeal.
Pomsky Games was founded in 2020 by Helena Savenko and Stan Komarovsky. The goal of the studio is to make games without violence that promote love of nature, self-care, and care for others through gaming. They see gaming as an art form with a social purpose.
Rocket Adrift are a Toronto-based indie team made up of game designers Rowan Smith, Lindsay Rollins and Titus McNally. As a team consisting of neuro-divergent, trans and black game developers, they aim to tell their stories and offer their unique perspective within the narratives of their games. They aim to emotionally enrich players through gameplay and storytelling and endear them to the struggles of their diverse characters with humor and unflinching honesty.
SYSTEM PANIC builds complex, believable worlds where they can introduce the player to fun characters, urban environments and community focused stories. Intentionality is at the core of their design, alongside bringing strong character writing and atypical tales to the forefront. The studio’s goal is to give players the tools they need to face the world with grace and kindness by showing them there’s always a good reason to look for the good in people.
Founded in 2016, TITAN1STUDIOS is an award-winning Cross-Media Content & Technology Studio specializing in Original IP. The studio embraces diversity and representation across all facets of the business, which is reflected in our executives, creatives, technology talent and the content that we produce which features diverse mainstream characters and stories.
Treewood Studios is working hard to bring back the arcade hockey fun inspired by classic arcade sports games from the past while adding foundational role-playing game elements in our upcoming arcade hockey role-playing party game HOCKEY HEROES. Arcade pick-up-and-play style couch co-op focused video games are what we make!