How Ubisoft Toronto Is Helping To Spotlight Indie Games
At the beginning of each year, Ubisoft Toronto hosts the Ontario edition of the Ubisoft Indie Series presented by National Bank, a competition for independent game studios. The series aims to elevate local studios and help them achieve their goals through mentorship and cash prizes, as well as creative, marketing, and financial support. Grand Prize winners receive mentorship from Ubisoft experts according to the studio’s needs, financial counsel and entrepreneurial training from National Bank experts, marketing support; and a cash prize of $50,000 (CAD).
Due to COVID-19, this year’s Indie Series was conducted online, but that didn’t stop any of the independent studios from pitching their games to the panel of judges from Ubisoft Toronto and National Bank. Submissions for next year’s Indie Series will open up at the beginning of 2021.
Lesley Phord-Toy – Corporate Affairs Director, Ubisoft
Why does Ubisoft put on the Indie Series?
What was it like conducting this year’s series entirely online?
LPT: We picked our finalists in early 2020, before we realized that we would need to do things a little differently. Each finalist had a dedicated slot to pitch their projects virtually, with time reserved for Q&A with the judges. This was my second year as a judge, and it was an amazing experience to meet some incredible indie developers and learn about all the work and passion they’ve been putting into their games.
What sort of studios and games does the decision committee look for?
At the studio level, passion is key. It’s great to see when developers are enthusiastic, because it also means that they typically have a long-term vision for their studio. The judges are always impressed when there is an ambitious and practical strategy that accompanies this studio vision, as well as a desire to learn, grow, and collaborate. These are usually the core components of the studios that craft and ship the best games.
Why was Vivid Foundry/Solace State the Grand Prize Winner this year?
Tanya Kan really represented her studio and team well; the team’s passion is obvious, and they were enthusiastic to benefit from the mentorship opportunities offered as part of the grand prize. We were impressed with how solid the game is at this stage of development, and it was clear to the judges how to support the studio’s next steps to position its game for success.
Why did you apply to be a part of the Ubisoft Indie Series?
Tanya Kan: Ubisoft Toronto has amplified great work in the community since its inception. So many of the past and present Ubisoft Indie Series Finalists are studios that we look up to! Additionally, Ubisoft has such an incredible commitment to building storied worlds that are multicultural and that present historical complexities.
Jun 20, 2020 at 17:22