Utah Game Wars Crowns Winners

Top Three Game Developers Selected for $40,000 Prize. Will be Showcased at SLC Comic Con.

Salt Lake City, September 2, 2014 – Utah’s gaming and digital media industry is growing. Evidence of that was found at the Utah Game Wars game development competition last Wednesday evening.  10 of Utah’s brightest up-and-coming game developers descended on downtown Salt Lake to show off their games to industry judges and the public in hopes to win the $40,000 prize package.

In its second year, Utah Game Wars is an innovation contest focused on new game development in the state. Driven by innovators and entrepreneurs, it awards three cash/service prizes for the best new games.  The contest is organized and hosted by Grow Utah and is part of their Concept to Company innovation contest series.  Contests sponsors include Utah Valley University (UVU) Business Resource Center, Zions Bank, Durham Jones and Pinegar, Utah Science Technology and Research initiative (USTAR), and the Digital Media UCAP project.

“This year’s selection process was very intense,” said T. Craig Bott, President and CEO of Grow Utah.  “We normally select 8 finalists for our competition but because there were so many outstanding entries, we could only agree on 10.  That speaks to the level of maturity of Utah’s startup digital media and gaming companies.  These are bright developers not only with outstanding coding skills but good business sense.  They understand the marketplace have developed a plan to succeed.  Our contest is meant to help them a bit on that journey.”

This year’s winners were:

Jaxi the Robot (Grand Prize Winner): Jaxi is a programming game starring Jaxi, a robot that kids can guide through challenges and obstacles using real Javascript. It’s specifically designed to teach young girls Java coding in a fun way.  www.jaxitherobot.com

Dub Wars (Runner Up): DubWars takes the love of music and combines it with the simple mechanics of top-down shooters capturing the intensity, anticipation and insanity of Dubstep. www.dubwarsgame.com

Leaf (Runner Up): Leaf is a masterfully designed vertically scrolling puzzle game. Players control their character by drawing wind currents. The wind currents are used to navigate and manipulate objects in order to solve puzzles. https://adam-connell.blogspot.com/2014/03/concept-for-seeders.html

Winners were selected and announced at the Utah Game Wars last Wednesday, August 27th.   The Grand Prize winner received $20K in cash and services while the runner-up’s each received $10K in the same.

“Contests like this are important because they encourage young developers to step forward and turn their concepts into a company”, said Mike Winder, VP of Community Development at Zions Bank. “I saw some fantastic games tonight, being developed by fantastic teams. We’re proud to be involved because we want to help these developers go on to create design studios right here in Utah and help grow our economy, which will benefit us all.”

If you missed the Game Wars event, there is still a chance to meet the winners at upcoming SLC Comic Con event Sept 4-6.  The three winners will be featured at the Utah Game Wars booth (booth 1713) during the entire convention.  They will be displaying their games and allowing attendees to play them.  It will be a great chance to play games hot off the developer’s bench and meet the team that built them.

To see the winners, including photos/videos, and for future contests, visit www.UtahGameWars.com


About Grow Utah

Grow Utah, is a privately funded non-profit organization dedicated to accelerate the creation of innovative, entrepreneur-led, high-growth businesses that will strengthen and expand the future growth of Utah’s economy.

The vision of Grow Utah is to create a robust entrepreneurial ecosystem in Utah that fosters entrepreneurial talent, drives innovation to solve market needs, aligns community resources and support, and ensures funding for products, entrepreneurs and businesses of promise.  www.GrowUtah.co


PR Contacts:

Justin Bott

Grow Utah

(801) 593-2269


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