The winners of the Dutch Game Awards 2021 have just been announced at the leading award show for Dutch game developers. The show was held at Beeld en Geluid in Hilversum, during Dutch Media Week. 

The Dutch Game Awards has several categories, from ‘Best Game’ to ‘Best Student Game’ and three special awards. The winners have been chosen by a professional jury. Apart from winning an award, the winners also get a spot in the Beeld en Geluid collection, where the title will be stored forever as cultural heritage.

And the winners are…!

Best Game: Good Job! – Paladin Studios
Best Art: The Falconeer – Tomas Sala
Best Audio: Unexplored 2: The Wayfarer’s Legacy – Ludomotion
Best Innovation: Traffic Jams – Little Chicken Game Company
Best Technology: Unexplored 2: The Wayfarer’s Legacy – Ludomotion
Best Game Design: Good Job! – Paladin Studios
Best Commercial Achievement: The White Door –  Rusty Lake
Best Applied Game: Sparky – Lunggames
Best Debut Game: Deliver Us The Moon: KeokeN Interactive
Best Student Game: Arid – Sad Viscasha Studios – BUas

The jury has chosen Good Job! as winner in the Best Game and Best Game Design category: “The fact alone that this is the first Dutch game made in collaboration with Nintendo makes Good Job! very special. Paladin Studios has delivered great work creating a stylish, creative, polished but most of all fun puzzle game.” 

The Falconeer gets the award for Best Art:Tomas Sala has made this AAA-production mostly on his own, but if you see The Falconeer, you’d think there’s a big development team behind it. This is mainly because of the artwork. Tomas has created a world that entertains and surprises the players for hours, but keeps them focused at the same time. The mist, clouds and the water work in perfect harmony to keep the player on the edge of his seat.” 

Unexplored 2 – The Wayfarer’s Legacy has won two awards, for Best Audio and Best Technical Achievement. Jury: “The content generator is based on years of research and experiments and makes Unexplored 2 push its boundaries. Same goes for the audio, where the team pushes their boundaries by adjusting the audio to different surroundings and even in real-time.   

The size of the team of the Best Student Game was impressive for the jury: “For a student project it is impressive to manage a team of 21 people, especially during the corona crisis. Apart from that, they have carefully listened to their community during the making of Arid. With an incredibly duration of 7 hours, professional voice-overs, a dynamic soundtrack and a lot of knowledge about the South American Atacameño, Sad Viscacha has delivered a game, with a quality that equals that of an experienced studio.

Special Awards
The special awards have been created for studios, persons or initiatives that are sometimes more on the background, but are still important for the Dutch game industry.

The winners of the special awards are… 

Best Studio: Vertigo Games
Inclusion Award: Sacha Blom
Lifetime Award: Mark Overmars

That Vertigo Games is the winner of the Best Studio award is a logical decision, says the jury: “It is one of the leading VR studios in the world. The fact that Vertigo Games has taken oven Force Field is important for the growth of the studio, but also to show the potential and quality of the Dutch game industry.

The Inclusion Award went to the recently graduated Sacha Blom: “Her final internship was on “inclusive hiring & recruting”. In a short period of time, she managed to build a big network (including studio leaders) that was willing to talk to her about one of the hardest topics in the game industry: inclusivity. Since then she’s busy starting an active momentum for diversity and inclusion, and she has also become ambassador for Women in Games.

And last but not least, the Lifetime Achievement Award, went to the ‘wise owl’ of the Dutch Game Industry: Mark Overmars. The jury says Mark embodies game development, and that his passion and ambition has reached many Dutch and international game developers via his companies, classrooms and via Gamemaker of course!

Only one week left before the Dutch Game Awards ceremony on October 7 at Beeld & Geluid, Hilversum, during Dutch Media Week!

Have you already got your tickets?

We have three types of tickets:

VIP-ticket (Limited availability!): Want to join the party live in Hilversum? Then the VIP-ticket is for you! Join us for a Networking Mingle, (powered by GamePoint), with dinner buffet and drinks. Catch-up with your fellow game industry peers, and experience the Award ceremony together. Afterwards you can enjoy the Celebration mingle (powered by GamePoint). Grab a drink and toast to our winners!

Online Networking Ticket: If you can’t join us in Hilversum, but you do like to network and watch the show together with your colleagues, then the Online Networking Ticket is for you. Online networking will happen on Gather.town throughout the entire evening. Walk around in the 8-bit environment, videochat with others and follow the livestream together.

Livestream ticket (free!): Not interested in networking, but you do want to watch the award ceremony from home? Get the livestream ticket for free!

Hop on over to our Eventbrite page and find all the tickets there!

See you on Oct 7!

-Team DGA

Dutch Games Association (DGA) will be hosting the twelfth Country Pavilion during gamescom 2021. They’re bringing a fantastic selection of Dutch developers with them, all looking to make new connections! Read on to find out who you want to meet and why, at the Holland Pavilion!

Join the conversation at the Holland Pavilion!

There are more than 25 studios attending gamescom under the banner of the DGA! Dutch developers are keen to make connections with the local and international communities. Indeed, for many developers it might be the main attraction – if you’re looking to connect with developers you’ll find fertile ground at the Holland Pavilion!

Eric Diepeveen, Steam Data Suite COO, points out how many networking opportunities gamescom offers: “No other event provides the opportunities that gamescom provides for a start-up like Steam Data Suite. ‘Ridiculously efficient’ is the phrase that comes to mind when I think of gamescom.”

That point is echoed by the creator of The Falconeer, Tomas Sala. As a busy indie dev you need to be able to focus your networking and business-to-business contacts without wasting any time, and gamescom is ideal for that. Sala says: “Being able to pitch the Falconeer straight to publishers and platform holders has been instrumental in making it both a reality and a sustainable success. Being a solo developer means that I cannot afford to rely on casual networking or continuous business development, I am dependent on focused events such as MeetToMatch to make vital connections on which the development and release of my games depend.”

Note the mention of MeetToMatch, which is another gamescom attendee enjoying support from the DGA! For them gamescom is a chance to demonstrate the value of their service and help other developers make vital contacts to help them grow. MeetToMatch helps people arrange their meetings and events, and will feature a Dutch Showcase on their platform during gamescom! As Adriaan de Jongh (co-creator of Hidden Folks) says: “gamescom is the main business event for game developers in Europe. I expect to have a busy week meeting with press, publishers, platform contacts, and players. Not often do all the big players come together; gamescom is certainly one of those few opportunities”.

Opportunities in the Dutch Games Industry

There’s a wealth of talent available in the Netherlands, fantastic projects looking for publishers, and investment opportunities are plentiful. The Dutch industry has even been starting its own initiatives to tap into the unused potential.

The Netherlands is an ideal location for game development, be it small indie studios or major AAA companies. With an exceptionally educated and motivated workforce, high living standards, and modern infrastructure, it’s a fantastic place to work. What’s more, the country occupies a prime position at the crossroads of Western Europe and Scandinavia. You can draw on game development talent from all over, and the priority given to gamescom by Dutch developers is a clear sign of the importance they attach to international connections.

There are challenges to overcome however- starting with the next generation of developers. Game dev students should be given entrepreneurial tools that will serve them well should they start a company of their own. Also, right now there’s an unfortunate lack of suitable investment vehicles, and funding opportunities apart from some trusty Dutch subsidies such as the WBSO, RVO and Stimuleringsfonds. Meaning there is a huge untapped potential ready to be unleashed, for which the Dutch industry has recently started to take action themselves.

One of these examples is The Midgame Fund, founded by Adriaan de Jongh, made headlines in March this year as more than 25 Dutch game professionals announced their plans to offer funding, advice and mentorship as a way of giving back to the Dutch games industry. One of the financiers is Rami Ismail, co-founder of legendary indie studio Vlambeer (Luftrausers, Nuclear Throne, and more).

The Breda Games City foundation is a new home-grown Dutch initiative to foster new studios. Founded in 2020 to encourage and highlight young game development talent in the Breda region of the Netherlands, their efforts are already bearing fruit with bold new studios setting up in the area.

Big international companies are already interested in what the Netherlands has to offer! Just recently, Rotterdam VR studio Vertigo Games was purchased by Koch Media for 50 million Euros. Koch Media later went on to purchase a second Dutch VR studio – Force Field VR – and merged them into Vertigo Games.

This summer, Sony acquired Dutch studio Nixxes to provide high quality in-house technical and development capabilities for PlayStation Studios. The industry veterans have worked on huge franchises including the PC version of Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, and several Tomb Raider titles.

Who can you meet at the Holland Pavilion this year?

Derk de Geus, chairman of the DGA says: “One of the focus points for the DGA is the international presence of the Dutch game industry. As one of the biggest trade shows in the world, gamescom is the prime candidate for these activities. With the Holland Pavilion we aim to showcase the creativity and strength of the Dutch game industry, both to business partners and (through media channels) to consumers.” 

The Holland Pavilion is made possible by Creative Holland and the RVO. Here are just a few of the exciting projects and teams you can meet when you visit the Dutch delegation at gamescom this year:

The Falconeer was nominated for a BAFTA award this year (Best Debut Game), and has attracted attention for its stunning graphics, evocative lore, and sense of place. Developer Tomas Sala will be at gamescom to seek opportunities to expand The Falconeer’s story, universe and IP beyond video games.

Prolific indie studio Rusty Lake has released over 10 games and a movie. They will be bringing their recently launched publishing label Second Maze to gamescom and latest upcoming title: The Past Within. This two player puzzle game is inspired by the basic principles of classic early escape room Flash games.

Gamious are showing off their slice-of-life adventure game Lake. Play 40-something Meredith who is taking two weeks off from her big city career to fill in for her dad delivering mail in her rustic hometown.

There are also promising (ex)student projects, like the recent and very positively rated survival game ARID from students at the Breda University, and physics party game Push Your Family by Meteor Mug that has big news to share anytime soon…

There are too many games to list them all here of course… but check out most of them in the video trailer, and the full list below.

Dutch Showcase on MeetToMatch. Get access on https://www.meettomatch.com/cologne/

Tonight at 23:59 the gates close! Submit your games today for a chance to win one of the Dutch Game Awards.

Submit your games
Please head over to the Dutch Game Awards website to read the rules and criteria, and submit your game here!

Nominations
It is also the last day to send us your nominations for our Special Awards: Best Studio Award, Inclusion Award and Lifetime Achievement Award.

We’re looking forward to seeing your game submissions for the Dutch Game Awards and your nominations!

We are thrilled to announce that we have been working with the Game Tech team at Amazon Web Services to explore ideas and programs that can help our members build, grow and run their games. One outcome of this collaboration is that we are now an AWS Activate provider. Their team works with game developers of all shapes and sizes, building all types of games and understand the struggle developers can have managing costs whilst the game isn’t yet launched.

The AWS Activate Program provides eligible developers with the resources they need to quickly get started on their journey to the cloud – including credits, training, and support.

All of this means that DGA members can now benefit from the AWS Activate Program which includes:

  • Promotional credits for AWS services – valid for 2 years
  • Business Support Credits which give you access to 24/7 technical support – valid for 1 year
  • Credits for online training on AWS that you can take at your own pace
  • Access to AWS Game Tech teams in the UK for technical or go-to-market advice – on request
  • No commitments or strings attached.

For more details on the exact details and how to make use of these credits, please send an email to contact@dutchgamesassociation.nl.

Not a member yet? Join the Dutch Games Association via this link: https://dutchgamesassociation.nl/become-a-member/

The Dutch Games Association proudly presents the opportunity to join a Dutch delegation to devcom and access to MeetToMatch – The Cologne Edition 2021 in the week of August 23 to 27, 2021.

We are convinced that by participating and offering a collective place in the both events, we are able to support individual organizations and developers, and contribute to the entire Dutch games industry and its business making.

Both events will happen fully virtually, so you can participate from the comfort of home. This opportunity has been made possible with the support of Creative Holland and the Rijksdienst voor Ondernemend Nederland (RVO), who is supporting our industry during these events financially.

Details on devcom 2021:

Europe’s biggest game developer conference will once again offer a wide range of events and sessions for international game developers, game publishers and services providers. #ddc2021 will be 100% digital, and happening on August 23-27, 2021.


More information can be found here.

Details on MeetToMatch – The Cologne Edition 2021:

Join the most relevant virtual summer matchmaking service in the games industry! The MeetToMatch team focuses once again on bringing all the relevant publishers, investors and developers who would normally have been present in Cologne together virtually on August 25-27, 2021.

Confirmed country partners:

More information can be found here.

Available packages

Business Package Company visibility Package
Attend the conference and plan business meetings. Additional promotion, visibility and lead generation

This package includes:

  • One business pass to devcom
  • Access to the devcom Talk & Live Q&As
  • Planning business meetings in the devcom application.
  • Planning business meetings in the MeetToMatch platform.
  • Games or Product & Service showcase as part of the Dutch Showcase on the MeetToMatch platform to easily be discovered by participants.

This package includes:

  • Everything from the Business package PLUS
  • One virtual booth (connected to the Holland Pavilion)
  • Company profile part of the Holland Pavilion
  • Three business passes to devcom (Four business passes in total)
  • Post 2 job openings
Normal price € 199,00 Normal price € 1.599,00
Special Holland Pavilion offering: € 99,00 Special Holland Pavilion offering: € 950,00

Registration

We love to see your registration for these events, so we can show a strong and creative Dutch Games Industry to the rest of the world. You participation will definately also help us in confirming and securing support for future trade shows, when they will return back to on-site events.

Register today here.

Have you already submitted your game for the Dutch Game Awards 2021? Less than three weeks remain until the deadline of July 31st! We have now also opened up the nominations for our Special Awards: Best Studio Award, Inclusion Award and Lifetime Achievement Award.

Please submit your nominations by 31st of July.

Best Studio

The studio does not need to have a physical location. Things to consider are employee health/benefits, creative environment, good leadership, teamwork, etc. Applicant does not need to own (part of) the studio, but does need to have a clear link with the studio. For example be an employee or client. Of course, the studio that you nominate should be a Dutch company.

Submit your nomination for Best Studio here

Inclusion Award

An initiative, person or company that has significant impact in improving inclusivity for the Dutch game industry.

Submit your nomination for the Inclusion Award here

Lifetime Achievement Award

Given to a person who has made a significant contribution to the Dutch game industry.

Submit your nomination for Lifetime Achievement Award here

And if you haven’t submitted your game yet, please head over to the Dutch Game Awards website to read the rules and criteria, and submit your game here!

Would you like to get in touch with Japanese publishers, press and other parties? Then Tokyo Game Show is the right place for you to become visible. This year TGS will mainly be an online event. We are working together with the embassy, TGS and MeetToMatch to put the spotlight on the Netherlands once again.

Our Holland Pavillion can only become reality if we have enough registrations. With this form you can pre-register for the TGS online show 2021.

There will be one package* for all participants:

– MeetToMatch access during the TGS week for business matchmaking
– A spot on the Holland Showcase at MeetToMatch
– Access to TGS online show
– Support and promotion from the Dutch Embassy in Tokyo

We expect that the Japanese press will mainly be present at the TGS online showcase, and that publishers and (international) companies will make use of MeetToMatch. Combining these two will be best of both worlds.

Costs: €150 ex VAT (this includes 50% discount: the actual costs are €300 ex VAT, but the Dutch Embassy will cover half of the price.)

Pre-register here

If you have any questions, please contact us via contact@dutchgamesassociation.nl.

See you soon in (virtual) Tokyo!
-Team DGA

* We are currently working on the final details, so the exact content can change. A few parts, like the Holland Showcase on MeetToMatch, require a minimum amount of participants, so please register! After registration, we will keep you posted with updates.

We are happy to introduce to you our new board members for Entertainment, Research, Serious Games, and Secretary positions that were installed today during a special general assembly of members.

Here’s a short introduction:

Rafael Bidarra – Board member Research

Rafael Bidarra leads TU Delft’s game technology research lab, and supervises numerous MSc and PhD projects in this area. His current research interests include procedural and semantic modeling techniques for the generation of both virtual worlds and game play; serious games; adaptive games and interpretation mechanisms for in-game data.

He also teaches and supervises several courses and projects on video games, including the pioneer (MSc) project Building Serious Games.

Emily Jacometti (Flavour) – Board member Serious Games

Emily is Co-Founder of Flavour, HackShield and Quinn. Her mission is to have a positive impact on the world through gamification. She is also keynotespeaker and panel member on subjects like entrepeneurship, gamification, building a business, SAAS, diversity, inclusivity, female founder

Emily’s goal as a board member is to connect companies, to find out what their needs and wishes are, and to make a plan (and execute it) directly, openly and focused on the goal.

Laurens Rutten (CoolGames) – Board member Entertainment

Experienced Chief Executive Officer and entrepreneur with a demonstrated history of working in the computer games industry. Skilled in Mobile Content, Monetization, E-commerce, Casual Games, and Strategic Partnerships. Strong business development professional with a Masters (MA) focused in Communication Science from Universiteit van Amsterdam.

Martijn Schenderling (VGFN) – Board member Secretary

Martijn has studied Management of Technology & Innovation and has held several technical & commercial roles in Telecom and subsequently (since 2006) in the videogames industry. Currently he runs the day to day operations of VGFN, the sector body for videogames publishers and platform owners in the Netherlands.

 

Welcome to the team Rafael, Emily, Laurens and Martijn! We’re happy to have you on board.

We are very happy to announce that the Dutch Game Awards are back! Organized by the Dutch Games Association in collaboration with several volunteers, we present the first official Awards for Dutch game developers since 2017. We’d like to invite anyone who worked on a Dutch game project to submit their work. Submissions remain open until July 31st 2021!

The Dutch Game Awards are an acknowledgement of creativity, skill and business insight of the dutch game developers. They will be handed out to game companies and entrepreneurs who have distinguished themselves (inter-)nationally the past year.

The Dutch Game Awards was founded in 2007, and was organized by ImproVive for 10 years. After a 4 year break, the Dutch Games association continues the organization of the Awards in 2021.

With a fresh start comes a fresh look! With a new logo, new team and updated Award categories we revamped the annual event while keeping the spirit of the original Dutch Game Awards alive.

The Dutch Game Awards will take place on October 7th at Nederlands Instituut voor Beeld en Geluid in Hilversum, during Dutch Media Week. It will feature an evening filled with networking opportunities, both on- and offline.

This 2021 edition has a total of 12 awards. Find all of them here. Nominees and winners will be chosen by a dedicated jury of experts from the game industry. This jury will soon be published online.

Find all the rules and criteria here.

Click here to submit your game or to order your networking ticket or (free) General Admission ticket!

Find the press release here (in Dutch)