"Google Play is the largest store for digital content; 65 billion apps and games were downloaded over the past year", says Google's Jamil Moledina, a strategic lead for Play Games. The event, which will be an indie gaming festival, will be held in San Francisco this Fall and you can be sure that we will be getting our collective asses over there when it begins. The Indie Games Festival - not to be confused with the Independent Games Festival at GDC each year, don't be surprised if some lawyers from GDC parent company UBM call Google's lawyers - will take place in San Francisco at the Terra Gallery, and be an opportunity to link independent game developers with players, and YouTubers, potentially to get feedback from all parties on the processes that surround independent games. Once submissions have closed, Google will be announcing which games will be featured at the festival at the end of August, giving those chosen just about a month to prepare for the show. There's a place for the mass-market, free-to-play games like Candy Crush, but there's plenty of room to serve gamers who want more unconventional or in-depth experiences as well.
When it comes to how the 30 finalists for the festival will be picked, Google is looking for fun and innovation, according to a report from Engadget. The company also isn't just looking for mobile games - Google is encouraging developers to submit titles for both Tango and its Cardboard virtual reality platform. "They have a natural agility and focus that can help them jump into areas like VR and AR". Featured games have to be released at some point during 2016.
In order to enter, studios need to have 15 staff or fewer and must have launched - or be planning to release - a game during 2016.
Lastly, your development company must be located in North America. Submissions are open until August 14, and only developers in North America may apply.
Attendees will have the chance to vote on their favorites, and developers for the top 15 games will have a chance to formally pitch their games to a panel of judges. Those selected will also be competing for I/O 2017 tickets, Tango devices and Google ad campaign support.