Activision caught some by surprise when CEO Bobby Kotick announced the company's very first indie gaming competition back at DICE in February. The details on the contest have remained a mystery, but Activision pulled back the curtain this morning, revealing what's at stake for indies.
There will be two rounds in the competition. In round one, submissions are accepted by Activision from now until the end of August. The first and second place prizes awarded in October. The first place winner will receive $175,000, while the second place winner nets $75,000.
According to the official rules, a "panel of qualified third-party independent judges determined by [Activison]" will sift through the submissions, choose 5-10 finalists and judge them based on four sets of criteria: general idea, design/gameplay/artistic innovation, execution plan and innovation.
What happens after that, however, isn't known. Will Activision publish the winner?
"Details of the second round of the competition will be announced at a later date," says the release.
There is one strange stipulation about the contest, however. The games submitted aren't allowed to have been shown in public before. That would eliminate a host of games from being entered.
"The Submission cannot have been submitted previously in a promotion of any kind or exhibited or displayed publicly through any means," reads the official rules.
I'm looking to get clarification from Activision on that point.
Let the competition begin.