In a featured presentation at March's DICE Summit, Activision CEO Bobby Kotick pledged to foster independent game development with an open competition awarding $500,000 to creators working outside the mainstream.
Today the publisher made good on that pledge, as it opened up submissions for the first round of its inaugural Activision Independent Games Competition. Game makers have until August 31 to submit their entries, and a winner will be announced in October. The first-place submission will garner a cash prize of $175,000 to assist with the game's development, with the runner-up receiving $75,000. The second round of the competition (and how it will determine who gets the remaining $250,000) will be detailed at a later date.
Eager creators should pay attention to what constitutes an eligible entry and what rights Activision will have regarding submissions. While the publisher doesn't lay down definitions as to what constitutes an indie developer, it does state, "Each entrant must be someone who did not purchase any equipment for the purposes of entering this contest." Additionally, submitted games cannot have been "exhibited or displayed publicly through any means," and Activision will get first right of refusal for publishing deals for entrants selected as finalists.
For more on the competition, check out the official rules for the Activision Independent Games Competition.