The Annual Guildford Games Festival & Awards return for 2021!

Guildford Games Festival Banner

Guildford.Games and the Guildford Games Festival Committee are excited to announce that the Guildford Games Festival and Awards will be back for 2021!

This year’s Festival will take place on Friday 3rd December as a virtual event - streaming on Twitch (other platforms tbc) whilst the VIP Awards Ceremony will be on Thursday 2nd December at Guildford’s Boileroom.

The Festival wouldn’t be possible without the generous contributions of headline sponsors Media Molecule alongside Microsoft, Hello Games, EA Criterion, Supermassive, Nordisk Games Perpetual, BDO, Guildford Borough Council and the University of Surrey - we’re so grateful to all of them for their support. We’re also thrilled to welcome back our festival partners Liquid Crimson, Enterprise M3 and Ukie!

Now in its third year, the Guildford Games Festival is a celebration of our world renowned town and its community of game developers. It serves to bring the games community together whilst showcasing the incredible talent of local studios and developers - who make some of the best games in the world - via engaging interviews and a VIP, star studded, awards ceremony!


Despite having to create a different experience in 2020 - as the world found itself in the long, winter lockdown, the festival had to pivot to being an online event - the Festival was a huge success, attracting an international online audience of 2.7 million people via streaming on Twitch and Steam!

The 2020 Festival schedule featured a packed line up of inspirational and insightful talks - 9 hours in total! Topics of discussion included the growth of the games industry with Criterion and Glowmade, laid back chats with iconic Guildford developers such as Supermassive Games and EA’s Frostbite Team, as well as a refreshing and thought provoking Women in Games panel. All with a Guildford twist, of course!

Alongside these legends of the game development world, the festival also featured a full day of educational programming for budding game devs and a series of ‘Renowned Gamer’ interviews where comedians John Robertson and the Go8Bit Team, rock & metal royalty, Alexander Milas, and scientists from the European Space Agency talked through their best/worst/comical gaming experiences!

This year viewers of the festival can expect a day of informative, insider insight from Selen Ceri & Emily Cook of Supermassive Games, Jonny Hopper of Glowmade, and the team at EA Criterion to name a few.  The line up will also feature more than one appearance from headline sponsors Media Molecule - the team behind Little Big Planet and Dreams - plus many other Guildford studios and businesses.

Headline Sponsors Media Molecule
Headline Sponsors Media Molecule

The interviews will cover all aspects of game development housed within the town - from the programming wizards to those who spend their working days fostering compassionate communities online, to the vital support staff and the artists who create the digital worlds we fall so in love with, and pretty much everything inbetween!

Viewers can expect to hear from a host of Game Dev Royalty, but don’t take our word for it - we asked some of our sponsors why celebrating the Guildford Games Industry was so important, and this is what they had to say!:

“Guildford has such a rich history of games development dating back to the late 80s. The amount of studios here provides a great opportunity to build, celebrate and support a vibrant community of games creators while also growing and shaping future ones. That’s why we’re proud to be supporting initiatives like the Guildford Games Festival.” - Abbie Heppe, Media Molecule

“We’re really excited to sponsor the Guildford Games Awards. Celebrating our industry in a town that is steeped in game development history is something that we’re proud to be involved in. And after the 18 months we’ve all had, it will be great to see everyone.”- Greg Howson, Supermassive Games

“To the rest of the world, Guildford has gifted some of the most beautifully imagined universes and utterly unforgettable gaming experiences. Personally, the Guildford Dev scene has given me a career and the chance to work alongside passionate creatives on a daily basis. I couldn’t be more proud to be a part of organising the Festival and celebrating the wonders this community is responsible for.  ” - Lauran Carter, Liquid Crimson

Before the festival, on December 2nd, the community will gather at the Boileroom for The Guildford Game Awards! The sole aim of the evening is to celebrate the best the area has to offer - recognising outstanding games, companies, and people for their contributions to the Global Games Industry.

This year the Invite only awards show will be brought to you by Liquid Crimson, Renaissance PR, Stellar Entertainment, and Glowmade. The Guildford Game Dev Community will be encouraged to nominate their peers and colleagues via online voting form (and the Guildford Games Devcord/Discord). The evening will be supported by music from Professor Elemental and hosted by Lauran Carter. The VIP attendees can expect *quite* the quirky shindig!

We’re overflowing with pride that the games industry has strong roots in Guildford. It all started in 1987 when the fabled Bullfrog Productions was established by industry legend Peter Molyneux. Since then, over 50 studios have called the area home and churn out video game classics year after year. For those unaware, this includes amazing games: Fable, Burnout, Two Point Hospital, Until Dawn and No Man’s Sky (and my personal all-time fave: LittleBigPlanet - Lucy, ed).

The Guildford Games Festival and Awards are growing year on year, gaining more attention from the wider (online) world and *with any luck* inspiring a generation or more of young minds to pursue a career in development! We can’t wait to dive head first into this year’s events… and we hope you’ll join us!

Make sure you’re following @GuGamesFest and @LiquidCrimson on Twitter to keep up to date with all the award news, and winners on the night, as well as exclusive news about the festival! Dropping a follow on Twitch would be a good idea too!

By Lucy Vincent

Communications Intern, Liquid Crimson