The second Google Play Indie Games Festival will be held in San Francisco on September 23, and it’s now accepting submissions. Developers can submit their mobile games through an online form until August 6.
The festival shines a spotlight on indie mobile games developed for Android. In its inaugural year, there were seven finalists and three winners, all of which were puzzle games. This year, 20 developers will be selected as finalists, who will demo their games to a panel of judges and have a chance to win one of three awards available. According to Joshua Cruz, public relations manager for the developer platform at Google, about 300 folks attended the first festival, and they’re expecting the same number this year as well. Keeping the event small is a priority for Google, so that attendees get a chance to speak with developers and give feedback 1-on-1.
“Really this effort is about bringing more visibility to indie developers on Google Play,” Cruz said in an email. “Historically, we see indies building some of the most creative experiences in mobile gaming. They tend to be first adopters of new technology and rethink the way users engage with games.
Google has been trying to make it easier for developers to gain a competitive edge. Earlier this year, it experimented with promoting apps in a Free App of the Week section in Google Play, hoping to tackle the challenge of discoverability in the saturated market. It also showed off new developer tools at the Game Developers Conference earlier this year aimed at streamlining things like analytics and in-game ads.
The mobile games market is projected to grow into a $65 billion market in 2020 and there about 2.6 billion smartphone users in the world, according to industry analyst Newzoo. Most of those smartphones are running the Android operating system, which recently overtook Windows as the most-used OS worldwide.