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The winners of 2021

What happened?

With the exception of Rising Star and Mobile Legend, both of which are decided by the PG Mobile Games Awards committee, the categories were voted for by our largest panel of industry judges, and recognised the hard work of the teams and individuals that shone over the whole of last year. Meanwhile, the Pocket Gamer People’s Choice Award was in the hands of the gamers themselves, with voting taking place throughout the whole of June.

The fourth annual Pocket Gamer Mobile Games Awards presentation evening – our first live event since the pandemic hit – took place on Tuesday, July 20, 2021.

It was hosted at London’s sophisticated Ham Yard Hotel.

 

Our congratulations to the winners, and our thanks to everyone who lobbied!

Supported by…

Thanks to our category sponsors…

And the winners are…

POCKET GAMER PEOPLE’S CHOICE

WINNER: SpongeBob: Krusty Cook-Off (Tilting Point)

 

This is the only award nominated by and voted for by consumers, and recognises the best new game to have received a full release during the previous year. The People’s Choice Award runs both its submission and voting phases through PocketGamer.com, with the winner revealed on the night of the ceremony.

FINALISTS:

  • Alba: A Wildlife Adventure (ustwo games)
  • Aztec Ride (Drimia Interactive)
  • Beyond a Steel Sky (Revolution Software)
  • Clusterduck (PikPok)
  • Crash Bandicoot: On the Run! (King)
  • Crying Suns (Humble Games)
  • Dead by Daylight Mobile (NetEase)
  • Dungeon Dogs – Idle RPG (PocApp Studios)
  • Genshin Impact (miHoYo)
  • Guardian Tales (Kakao Games)
  • Gumslinger (Itatake)
  • League of Legends: Wild Rift (Riot Games)
  • Root Board Game (Dire Wolf Digital)
  • Roundguard (Wonderbelly Games)
  • Sid Meier’s Civilization VI (Aspyr)
  • Slay The Spire (Humble Games)
  • Solitaire Cruise Card Games: Classic Tripeaks Game (Belka Games)
  • The Bonfire 2: Uncharted Shores (Xigma Games)
  • The Pathless (Annapurna Interactive)

BEST ADVERTISING & UA

WINNER: Unity Ads

 

This accolade is for companies that support the ecosystem through enabling user acquisition or monetisation via advertising, and are helping games and developers in this fast-moving business to grow their audience.

FINALISTS:

  • AdInMo
  • AdMix
  • AudioMob
  • Bidease
  • Bidstack
  • Facebook Audience Network
  • Luna Labs
  • Tapjoy
  • Zorka.Agency

BEST ANALYTICS/DATA TOOL

WINNER: AppsFlyer

 

Any company that assists developers and publishers in developing their games and running marketing campaigns through analytics tools and/or providing data on market performance.

FINALISTS:

  • Alison by yellowHEAD
  • askblu.ai
  • DeltaDNA
  • Dive
  • Game IQ by App Annie
  • GameAnalytics
  • GameRefinery
  • Sensor Tower
  • Tilting Point Analytics Platform

BEST DEVELOPER

WINNER: TiMi Studio Group

 

Any mobile games company with 11 or more staff that has released a game, or successfully grown an existing game, during the last year, as well as expanded their business and made an impact on the industry through innovation, creativity and other initiatives.

FINALISTS:

  • East Side Games
  • Game Insight
  • Gameloft
  • Innersloth
  • Jam City
  • Kwalee
  • miHoYo
  • Niantic
  • Pearl Abyss
  • Tilting Point

BEST GAAS TOOLS & TECH

WINNER: Azure PlayFab

 

This award recognises the companies that are supporting live games on the market through back-end services to ensure game servers run smoothly and help developers implement both special and crucial online features.

FINALISTS:

  • ChilliConnect
  • GameSparks / AWS
  • Google Cloud
  • Gridly
  • modl.ai
  • Photon Engine
  • Tenjin
  • XtraLife

BEST AUDIO/VISUAL ACCOMPLISHMENT

WINNER: Genshin Impact (miHoYo)

 

This accolade is for any game pushing the boundaries of the medium through audio and/or visual accomplishments. To be eligible for this award, games must have been given a full release (or received a significant and noteworthy expansion) during 2020.

FINALISTS:

  • Alba: A Wildlife Adventure (ustwo games)
  • CSR Racing 2 [Elite Tuners expansion] (NaturalMotion)
  • Far: Lone Sails (Okomotive)
  • Genshin Impact (miHoYo)
  • Gumslinger (Itatake)
  • Recontact London: Cyber Puzzle (Recontact Games)
  • Shadow Fight Arena (Nekki)
  • The BTS Universe Story (Netmarble)
  • The First Tree (David Wehle)
  • The Pathless (Giant Squid)

BEST GAME ENGINE

WINNER: Unity

 

This award is open to third-party tech companies that provide game engines that are instrumental in powering mobile games development.

FINALISTS:

  • Buildbox
  • Cocos Creator / Cocos2d-x
  • Construct 3
  • Gideros Mobile
  • Pearl Abyss’s Proprietary Game Engine
  • Roblox (Lua)
  • Unreal Engine

SPONSORED BY

BEST STORYTELLING

WINNER: Alba: A Wildlife Adventure (ustwo games)

 

This award recognises games that show stellar writing and narrative design. To be eligible for this award, games must have been given a full release during 2020, or for titles released before this date have received significant new content in the last year.

FINALISTS:

  • Bird Alone (George Batchelor)
  • Far: Lone Sails (Okomotive)
  • Hitchhiker – A mystery game (Mad About Pandas)
  • Interrogation: Deceived (Mixtvision Games)
  • Orwell: Keeping An Eye On You (Osmotic Studios)
  • Recontact London: Cyber Puzzle (Recontact Games)
  • The Pathless (Giant Squid)
  • Through the Darkest of Times (HandyGames)
  • Unmemory (Patrones y Escondites)

RISING STARS

WINNER: Jana & Sham Al Bdour (Sakura Games)

 

This special award recognises individuals from any corner of the globe who have demonstrated a considerable amount of success, influence, and impact despite their relatively recent arrival within the mobile games industry.

A new addition since 2020, this award is selected directly by the organisation committee of the Mobile Games Awards.

This special award recognises a person from any corner of the globe who has demonstrated a considerable amount of success, influence, and impact despite their relatively recent arrival within the mobile games industry.

BEST TOOLS PROVIDER

WINNER: Game UI Database

 

This award is open to any company providing dedicated tools for developers that assist in the creation of games for mobile platforms. (This does not include game engines.)

FINALISTS:

  • Anzu.io
  • AppOnboard
  • Bigabid
  • Escape Team
  • Gridly
  • modl.ai
  • PickFu
  • TentuPlay
  • Wappier

BEST GAMES INDUSTRY LAW FIRM

WINNER: Sheridans

 

A brand new inclusion in this year’s line-up, and one that shines the light on the legal team with the games industry’s most effective, ace attorneys.

FINALISTS:

  • Field Fisher
  • Gamma Law
  • Harbottle & Lewis
  • IE Law Group
  • Osborne Clarke
  • VERSUS.legal
  • Wiggin LLP

BEST SERVICE PROVIDER

WINNER: Pollen VC

 

This award is for any third-party service provider or outsourcer that supported developers in making games, whether through art, audio, trailers, UX, or other services.

FINALISTS:

  • Aardvark Swift Recruitment
  • Amber
  • Amiqus
  • Keywords Studios
  • Luna Labs
  • PUGA Studios
  • SuperScale

BEST LIVE OPS

WINNER: Clash Royale (Supercell)

 

This award recognises the impact of significant updates, in-game events or excellent community management over the last year for games released in 2020 or before, that have helped take a game to the next level and sustain a title’s life.

FINALISTS:

  • Empires & Puzzles (Small Giant Games)
  • FarmVille 2: Tropic Escape [Mega Cruise] (Zynga)
  • Hill Climb Racing 2 (Fingersoft)
  • Jurassic World Alive (Ludia)
  • Marvel Contest of Champions (Kabam)
  • Sonic Forces (SEGA Hardlight)
  • Star Trek: Fleet Command (Scopely)
  • Subway Surfers (SYBO Games)
  • Summoners War: Sky Arena (Com2uS)
  • The Tribez (Game Insight)

BEST QA & LOCALISATION SERVICE PROVIDER

WINNER: Amber Studio

 

This accolade awards companies that have supported mobile games over the last year in the areas of quality assurance and localisation, ensuring that both new releases and updates go live with as few hiccups as possible, and are localised appropriately for target markets.

FINALISTS:

  • GameScribes
  • Keywords Studios
  • LocalizeDirect
  • MoGi Group
  • PTW
  • Saudisoft
  • Testronic
  • Universally Speaking

SPONSORED BY

BEST INDIE DEVELOPER

WINNER: Innersloth

 

This accolade recognises the achievements of a small team of developers that have released a game, or successfully grown an existing game, during the preceding year.

FINALISTS:

  • Aconite
  • Dreamfeel
  • Drimia Interactive
  • MegaCrit
  • MiniDragon
  • Teatime Games
  • ustwo games
  • Wonderbelly Games
  • Xigma Games

BEST PR / MARKETING TEAM

WINNER: Scopely

 

This award recognises the best third-party PR agency or internal marketing team that has created campaigns fuelling the growth of games over the last year. This can be through any medium, including online, TV or other.

FINALISTS:

  • Big Games Machine
  • Bytro Labs
  • Dimoso
  • Kabam
  • Swipe Right
  • SYBO Games
  • Tilting Point
  • Tripledot Studios
  • Zynga

BEST INFLUENCER MARKETING AGENCY

WINNER: Game Influencer

 

Successfully connecting brands with their target audience in an age of increased digital noise is no mean feat. This new award recognises and celebrates the team that has managed its influencer outreach better than its competitors.

FINALISTS:

  • Matchmade
  • Opera Event
  • PocketWhale
  • Viral Nation
  • Wehype
  • WeQ
  • Zorka.Mobi

INVESTOR OF THE YEAR

WINNER: Play Ventures

 

Another new category for 2021, which aims to showcase either an investor or investment within the mobile games industry that has played a vital role in the success and growth of a company.

FINALISTS:

  • 1Up Ventures
  • Agnitio Capital
  • Bitkraft
  • Galaxy Interactive
  • Hiro Capital
  • LVP
  • Makers Fund
  • MY.GAMES Venture Capital

SPONSORED BY

BEST PUBLISHER

WINNER: Tencent

 

Any company that has supported another developer in releasing a game on mobile devices during the preceding year, whether through publishing support, marketing, co-development or investment.

FINALISTS:

  • Annapurna Interactive
  • Kwalee
  • MY.GAMES
  • NetEase
  • Netmarble
  • Scopely
  • Supersonic
  • Tilting Point
  • Zynga

SPONSORED BY

BEST INNOVATION

WINNER: Niantic (Pokémon Go lockdown reworking)

 

Any developer or technology company that pushed the boundaries of what’s possible on mobile devices through a new technology, be it hardware or software. This could be an innovative tool, unique use of technology or approach that benefited the industry or audience as a whole.

FINALISTS:

  • HUAWEI Ads Platform
  • Ludo.ai
  • M.A.D tronics Underwater AR Mobile Headgear
  • The Complex
  • Upland – A Virtual Property Trading Game
  • WAM.app

SPONSORED BY

GAME OF THE YEAR

WINNER: Genshin Impact (miHoYo)

 

This award recognises the finest mobile gaming experience released last year based on creativity, play mechanics, technological, artistic and aural achievement, innovation, audience engagement, and both critical and commercial success. To be eligible for this award, games must have been given a full release during 2020.

FINALISTS:

  • Alba: A Wildlife Adventure (ustwo games)
  • Among Us (Innersloth)
  • Bird Alone (George Batchelor)
  • Dead Cells (Motion Twin)
  • Garena Free Fire (Garena)
  • Gumslinger (Itatake)
  • Harry Potter: Puzzles & Spells (Zynga)
  • Hitchhiker – A mystery game (Mad About Pandas)
  • Marvel Realm of Champions (Kabam)
  • Northgard (ShiroGames)
  • Pokémon GO [2020 lockdown reworking] (Niantic)
  • Roundguard (Wonderbelly Games)
  • Shadow Fight Arena (Nekki)
  • Songbringer (Wizard Fu Games)
  • Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic ll – The Sith Lords (Aspyr)
  • The First Tree (David Wehle)
  • The Pathless (Giant Squid)
  • Through the Darkest of Times (HandyGames)
  • Warhammer Quest: Silver Tower (Perchang)

MOBILE LEGEND

WINNER: Chris DeWolfe (Jam City)

 

This special lifetime achievement award recognises a person from anywhere in the world who has achieved a considerable amount of success in their career and has acted as a pioneer in the mobile games space.

The Mobile Legend was a special award to recognise an outstanding contribution to the mobile games industry selected directly by the organisation committee of the Pocket Gamer Mobile Games Awards.

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