Indie Games Festival reveals its 20 finalists, public registration open

indie games festival
In 2016, Google hosted the inaugural Indie Games Festival in San Francisco, a developer competition that highlighted “high-quality […] innovative and fun” Android games released in the preceding year. Now, in preparation for the second annual festival on September 23, it announced the 20 finalists after opening submissions for developers based in the United States and Canada in July.

The terms were the same as last year’s contest. Prospective applicants had to have 15 or fewer team members to qualify and games submitted must have been released at some point in the past year. The festival’s 20 finalists have the opportunity to demo their game at the event and compete for a chance at the top three grand prize spots.

Registration to the festival is also now open for those interested in attending. While the event is free and open to the public, you still have to pre-register online in order to confirm your attendance.

Fans will have the chance to vote for their favorites and the top 10 will move on to the next round. Finalists will then have to present a short pitch to the panel of judges to claim a spot as one of the three overall festival winners. Google has not announced the prizes of this year’s Indie Game Festival, but last year’s haul included depth-sensing Tango hardware, tickets to this year’s Google I/O, and ad space in the Google Play store.

indie games festival

The Indie Games Festival may be the most visible of Google’s game developer overtures but it is not the only one.

In March, the Mountain View, California-based company announced Indie Corner, a new section of the Play Store app store featuring a new, regularly updated collection of hand-picked titles.

And at its 2017 I/O Developer Conference in May, Google announced a slew of new tools aimed at boosting the visibility of apps in the Play Store, including a discoverability algorithm that surfaces titles based on user engagement and new Play Store pages curated by Google editors. Google said that one new feature — strike-through price promotions on paid apps and games that let developers temporarily list apps for free — generated “3x-20x lift in installs during […] promotions [and] maintained a nice lift once the sale ended.”

The reason behind Google’s aggressive developer recruitment boils down to competition. iOS apps tend to make more money than Android apps, and the iOS App Store brings in as much as 75 percent more revenue than the Play Store. Analytics firm App Annie projects that through 2021, the Play Store will generate less than half of the iOS App Store’s overall revenue.

But there is hope on the horizon for Android developers. In an analysis of foreign app stores by Tencent, Baidu, Xiaomi, Huawei, and others, collective Android app revenue is expected to eclipse iOS as soon as 2021.

Update: Google announced the 20 finalists for the Indie Games Festival and opened registration for the event to the public


The Epic Games store is already luring indie studios away from Steam

The Epic Games Store is less than a week old, but it's already making waves among indie studios. Multiple studios have announced that their games will be timed exclusives on the Epic Games Store, with one studio forgoing Steam completely.

Santa Claus is coming to town. Get ready with these Christmas apps

Like it or not, Christmas comes but once a year. Thankfully, we've got a list of the best Christmas apps to help get you into the holiday spirit, just in case you want to call Santa or become a Christmas elf.

How to keep a PS4 in your pocket with the PlayStation Mobile app

Sony built the PlayStation 4 with smartphone and mobile integration in mind. Take a look at our guide for connecting your smartphone or tablet to a PS4, so you can browse profiles, trophies, and other content directly on your mobile device.

Google to end support for Android devices running Ice Cream Sandwich

Anyone with an old phone that is still running Android 4.0 may want to look into upgrading their phone, as Google has announced that it will be ending support for this older version of Android.

The best smartphone stocking stuffers for a very techy Christmas

If you've got a tech-loving smartphone enthusiast to buy for, we can help you out. Here's a selection of top phone accessories that would make amazing stocking stuffers so you can have a very Merry Christmas.

OnePlus's 5G phone should arrive in May 2019, may cost up to $850

OnePlus will be among the first companies to put the new Snapdragon 855 processor into a phone, and will also release a separate and more expensive 5G phone in 2019 with the help of U.K. network EE.
Product Review

The Black Shark gaming phone takes a big bite out of your free time, but the software sinks it

The world is being treated to an ever-increasing number of high-powered gaming phones. With so many great options already out, is there room for another? The Black Shark thinks so. But is it any good? We find out.

Xiaomi’s Gamepad 2.0 turns the Black Shark into a mini Switch

Chinese phone manufacturer Xiaomi has introduced the Gamepad 2.0 for its Black Shark gaming phone that launched earlier this year. The new gamepad is similar to the Switch Joy-Con, with one piece attaching to each side of the phone.

Google makes it easy to donate to charity straight through the Play Store

As we head into the holiday season, Google announced a new feature on Google Play that makes it a little easier to donate to charity. Through the new page, you'll be able to choose from a range of charities to donate to.

REI clearance sale extends discounts on Garmin, Fitbit, and GoPro devices

Beyond the things you typically expect to find at REI — like tents, skis, and jackets — there are tons of great deals on quality tech foryour outdoor adventures. From smartwatches to action cameras, here are the best tech deals.

These are the best smartwatches for everything from fashion to fitness

Tempted to buy a smartwatch? If so, then the growing number of great models available means you've got plenty to choose from. But which one should you pick? Here is our list of the best smartwatches.

Sprint’s 5G rollout: Everything you need to know

Sprint is building its next-gen 5G network in preparation for a 2019 rollout, but it's taking a decidedly different approach than some of its competitors, including Verizon and AT&T. Here's everything you need to know.

The Galaxy S10 may be announced before MWC, sell for up to $1,750

While we still may be months away from an announcement, there's no doubt about it: Samsung is working hard on its successor to the Galaxy S9. Here's everything we know about the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S10.

Amazon slashes price of 2018 iPad to under $250 in time for Christmas

Whether you love Apple or prefer Android, this 2018 iPad 32GB tablet deal is rather tempting. If you're still on the hunt for gifts, then this deep discount from Amazon makes now an excellent time to pick one up.