March 21, 2018
NBCUniversal is inviting developers to create games leveraging its popular television and film properties such as “Battlestar Galactica,” “Back to the Future” and “Jaws.” Through the Universal GameDev Challenge — co-sponsored by Universal, Unity Technologies, Intel, and Microsoft — Unity game engine developers can submit pitches to be selected to build out their full vision in PC game form. Winner and runner-up win a consulting contract with Universal, Microsoft and Unity, along with a combined $250,000.
As VentureBeat reports, this will “be a rare chance for indies to envision games based on their own takes on some of the world’s most popular entertainment franchises, said Chris Heatherly, executive vice president of games and digital platforms at NBCUniversal’s Universal Brand Development.”
“We meet a lot of developers during the pitch process, but this opens us up to receiving a lot wider range of ideas from a broader group of developers. This is a way to find developers who wouldn’t normally pop up on our radar,” said Heatherly.
The contest will be judged by industry veterans, including Oscar-nominated filmmaker Bob Gale; and Lauren Montgomery, co-executive producer at DreamWorks TV; and others.
Contestants will have their submissions evaluated on “creative use of the brand, gameplay and narrative design, capability, and integration of tools,” according to VentureBeat. Six finalists will be chosen to compete for the top prize, submitting prototypes by August 15th and the “winner will be announced during Unite Los Angeles on October 23 to October 25.”
“The partnership between Unity and Universal, with sponsorship from Intel and Microsoft, is the perfect blend of advanced hardware and software, combined with classic film and TV properties, which we believe will inspire our developer community to bring those brands to life in a game of their dreams,” said Kat Strafford, vice president of marketing at Unity Technologies. “We can’t wait to see the incredible content that comes to life from the Universal GameDev Challenge.”