This year’s DICE conference will not include an Indie Game Challenge, but the conference will still make room for independent developers.
Primary sponsor GameStop confirmed the IGC’s cancellation with Polygon, saying the event is on “hiatus” while the retailer analyses “ways to promote and celebrate the independent game movement”.
“We have been committed and continue to be committed to supporting the independent game developer community,” media relations manager Wendy Dominguez said.
The Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences, which backs the annual conference, also told the site that indie games are still on the DICE schedule – but will be celebrated in different ways.
“The AIAS’ mission has been and always will be to celebrate the best in games, both big and small. We have had great partners in the past to help us promote the independent space, and we will have great partners in the future to continue doing so. The independent games space is as much a part of the life blood of the games industry as any AAA blockbuster,” spokesperson Debby Chen said.
“We are absolutely committed to the independent space, we are just figuring out how to evolve the program to better serve the community moving forward.”
In the absence of the IGC, a number of independent studios will be represented at talks and panels – Bastion developer Supergiant Games, thatgamecompany of Journey fame and Fruit Ninja’s Halfbrick among them.
The Indie Game Challenge was previously held across the two days of the DICE summit, and last year offered a $50,000 publishing deal through GameStop’s digital distribution channel as part of its $250,000 prize pool. Last year’s grand prizxe winner, Closure, released on Steam and the PlayStation Network this year.
DICE 2013 will take place in Las Vegas in February.