distinguished judging panel, comprising James Curwen (Director of Gaming, William Hill), Richard Beach (Gambling Product & Implementation Manager, FreemantleMedia Group), William Scott (iGaming Expert, Warrenside Limited) and Ngozi Watts (Vice President Worldwide Gambling, Unity Technologies) will receive a seven minute game pitch from each of the finalists before quizzing the independent developers culminating in the Game to Watch 2014 winner being declared.
RogueTrader, the entrant from Acespire, is the first and only arcade trading game in the AppStore. Set in Wall Street, Rogue Trader allows players to play for free and redeem real vouchers from their favourites brands. Samuel Huber, founder and CEO of Acespire said: "2014 is looking extremely promising. I created Acespire a year ago, so 2013 was a year of setting up and planning ahead, but 2014 is the year when stuff will start happening. Whether being RogueTrader or my other projects my objective is to generate enough revenue to get back what I’ve invested in the past year. Also I would love to see my customers as more than simple users but a community gathered around common values, because that’s how I conceptualise my games. Making that happen would be a real success."
Lucky Streak, described as an 'old school, virtual AWP which takes the player back in time to a pier arcade' is the entry from Big Time Gaming. The company was founded in 2012 by start-up veteran and gaming pioneer Nik Robinson, who has been responsible for some of the hottest independent games in the real money gaming space including Ladbrokes Balls - the first Flash game to take real money transactions, and still live today - Chain Reactors, Cash Drop and a further 200 Casino and slot titles created during his tenure as MD at NT Media and Creative Director at Openbet.
Explaining the appeal of Lucky Streak, Robinson said: "We are confident that Lucky Streak is right on the money for the AB 30/40-somethings that are our most valuable players. Our customers are keen to push the game hard to a wide range of customers and markets, so we feel assured that the game will have a massive impact across European markets. Big Time Gaming is committed to being the best at what we do; breaking new ground in the online gaming space with state-of-the-art graphics, unrivalled mathematics and creative, unique titles that keep our customers and their players coming back for more."
Tedbets is being heralded as the 'first real money site that lets you bet your mates on anything'. Licensed in the Isle of Man and launched in January 2014, Tedbets allows users to bet their friends for real money or virtual currency on sports, entertainment, politics and anything else they can think of. It is the first site to be licensed to let users create their own unique bets on anything they can imagine. CEO Scott Burton said: "Tedbets is thinking big for our first year as an online operator. We have some amazing features planned for Tedbets that will help us create the most complete wagering offer ever."
The most promising game will be selected based on a range of criteria including: game mechanics, design, usability, innovation, gameplay, breadth of audience and marketing scope.