Windows Phone 7Microsoft today announced it’s adding a new category to its Dream.Build.Play Challenge focusing exclusively on games created for Windows Phone. The annual contest gives independent developers the chance to create games for Microsoft platforms and compete for over $100,000 in cash prizes.

Last year, Microsoft says the Dream.Build.Play Challenge attracted developers from around the world, amassing 250 game submissions from 27 countries. Finalists in the competition are judged by a panel of game industry professionals from Microsoft based on three criteria: innovation, fun factor, and production quality.

Microsoft has been working to build up its mobile platform. Earlier this year, the company previewed some Xbox Live games and features that would be making their way to Windows Phone at the annual Gamescom event in Cologne, Germany, including Avatar customization, game add-ons, and parental controls. By opening up the Dream.Build.Play Challenge to mobile game developers, Microsoft can attract new talent to the platform.

The finalists of this year’s Dream.Build.Play Challenge will be able to show off their games during PAX Prime 2012 in Seattle. Registration details will be available soon. In the meantime, Microsoft says developers interested in the competition can find general information on the official website and Facebook fan page.