Mobile World Congress 2011 and the International Mobile Gaming Awards Winners

This has been a crazy week at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. I saw a ton of different kinds of mobile phones, tablets, and other devices running all sorts of non-iOS apps and operating systems. Overall, it was really interesting checking out what the competition has to offer. Unfortunately, it was rather difficult to truly gauge the relative gaming performance of these new phones and tablets, as curiously enough, most were just loaded with a smattering of ports of last year’s Gameloft games (or older, in the case of Shrek Kart) and Angry Birds. When asked, despite superior hardware, most developers still seemed reluctant to invest too much time or energy in to building games for these new devices, really making me wonder how much longer this “wait and see" approach will persist.

Anyway, the reason I was even in attendance at Mobile World Congress in the first place was to participate as a judge in the International Mobile Gaming Awards. The whole process was incredibly elaborate, with everyone involved taking the whole thing very seriously. It was great deliberating games with an international pool of judges, and seeing what people from particular regions tended to prefer. I hope to play a bigger role in the event next year as well, and hopefully can get some more developers to submit their games for judging than we saw this year.

Oddly enough, even though all mobile platforms were allowed entry, iOS games swept the awards:

Best Casual Game: Plants vs. Zombies, $2.99 – [Review / Forum Thread]
Best Real World Game: AR Invaders, 99¢ – [Forum Thread]
Best Sports Game: Snowboard Hero, Free – [Forum Thread]
Excellence in Design: Infinity Blade, $5.99 – [Review / Forum Thread]
Excellence in Game Play: Beyond Ynth, $1.99 – [Review / Forum Thread]
Most innovative Game: Papa Sangre, $6.99 – [Review / Forum Thread]
People’s Choice Award: Perfect Cell, $4.99 – [Review / Forum Thread]
Operator’s Choice Award: Snowboard Hero, Free – [Forum Thread]
Grand Prix / Game of the Year: Beyond Ynth, $1.99 – [Review / Forum Thread]

I’ll try to raise more awareness to the IMGA when entries for 2012 are starting to be accepted as after I posted about the nominees being announced, I got confused instant messages from quite a few developers who weren’t even aware they could enter. Regardless, some great games won, and hopefully we can get some even better games submitted next year.