Published on September 9th, 2021 | by Adrian Gunning
2021 Australian Game Developer Awards finalists announced
Australian video game development peak industry body, the Interactive Games & Entertainment Association (IGEA), today announced the finalists for the 2021 Australian Game Developer Awards (AGDAs). The AGDAs honour the incredible skill, talent, and creativity of game developers in Australia across 15 categories. This year’s AGDAs will be held online on 6 October at 7 PM AEDT on IGEA’s Twitch channel as part of this year’s Melbourne International Games Week (MIGW), with discussions on social media using the #AGDAs21 hashtag.
Notable mentions include Brisbane-based Witch Beam’s zen puzzle game Unpacking, which is nominated for four awards including Excellence in Art, Excellence in Gameplay, Excellence in Accessibility, and Game of the Year. The Artful Escape by Melbourne studio Beethoven & Dinosaur is in the running for three awards: Excellence in Art, Excellence in Audio, and Game of the Year. A full list of finalists for each category can be found on the GCAP website and in the appendix below.
Each year the AGDAs present a new Award linked to the Games Connect Asia Pacific (GCAP) theme. This year’s GCAP-themed Award is the Raising the Bar Award, which recognises an individual in the Australian industry who has set the standard on industry performance, excelled in their work within the industry, and ‘raised the bar’ within their community, culture, and team to ensure success personally and professionally.
“Australian developers have a long history of making award-winning games, and it’s wonderful to see so many new studios, developers, and individuals making their mark locally,” said IGEA CEO Ron Curry. “The industry has expanded and proven to be adaptable and flexible during the pandemic. There is a lot of confidence around our sector thanks to the Federal Government announcing the introduction of the Digital Games Tax Offset in 2022 which will ensure a complete thriving and creative game development ecosystem and community.”
IGEA assembled a judging panel of over 50 industry professionals to determine finalists and winners in each category out of 59 award entries, another record-breaking year of entrants.
This year’s AGDAs will have returning hosts, sisters Amanda and Angharad Yeo. Amanda Yeo, a writer at Mashable, said, “Rad and I are thrilled to be back hosting this year’s awards! The AGDAs are an annual highlight for the local games industry, and we’re excited to celebrate the hardworking developers creating some of Australia’s best video games.”
Angharad Yeo, award-winning television presenter, video game critic, and tech commentator said, “The AGDAs are not at all unlike the Met Gala – except everyone is much more beautiful and we’re also celebrating the talent of Australia’s myriad of passionate and hard-working games developers. Australia consistently produces high-quality games bursting with warmth, humour, and heart – aided by the wonderful support from IGEA. We’re looking forward to an exciting evening full of laughs and festivity!”