Google's recently hatched idea to hold an Indie Games Contest to attract developers and aid in app exposure and developer advocacy was a smash hit in the United States when the first contest hit. Developers old and new came out of the woodwork for the chance to have their work held up to the light and win fabulous prizes like Google I/O tickets and YouTube endorsements. Most importantly, thanks to Google's promotional prizes and news coverage of the contest, even the finalist-level entrants got some public attention. Now, developers in certain regions of Europe will be getting the chance to strut their stuff in front of Google's people and a worldwide audience to get their name out there and win it all; the Indie Games Contest is coming to Europe.
This year's contest in the European market will be open to individual devs and small dev houses from the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Israel, the Netherlands, Norway, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Turkey and the UK, except for Northern Ireland. France and Poland are left out for now, but Google says that they are "coming soon". Just like in the pilot version of the contest, developers will be competing not only to get some visibility by simply being in the contest, but for special prize packages depending on how well they do. The prize packages are all aimed at helping with future development and promoting a developer's existing work. In typical fashion, Unity is upping their developer advocacy game by partnering up with Google to offer an exclusive prize for the best game made with Unity
The finalist group, narrowed down to the 20 best entrants, get a promotion on a billboard, among other prizes, along with a Pixel XL to test on. As the ranks go up, prizes include things like Google I/O tickets, a Pixel C, and a YouTube sponsorship deal worth between €50,000 and €100,000, among other things. The contest's initial run in the US got a number of developers some much-needed exposure between traditional channels and the tech sites covering the contest, and some lucky winners walked away with things like an Nvidia Shield tablet. This is only going to be the second contest, and the first outside of the US. Presumably, if this goes well, Google will at least consider bringing the contest to other markets in need of some developer advocacy, especially emerging markets like India where Google are trying to make a dent themselves.