NI Game Awards 2021: Inertial Drift, Brain & Nerd big winners

Outsider Games, Hypixel Studios, and other Local Talent also recognised at the annual ceremony.


This weekend saw the first-ever virtual Northern Ireland Game Awards take place live from Farset Labs in Belfast, celebrating 2 years of creativity and excellence in the growing Northern Irish Games Industry. Presented by the NI Game Dev Network with support from Northern Ireland Screen, the event featured awards across 6 categories, presented by special guests from the local industry. 

The awards also featured a special collaboration with local games composer Richard Campbell and the Irish Video Game Orchestra to create a medley of soundtracks from video games developed by local studios. Many of these games have received nominations in the NI Games Awards. The video game industry is growing in NI, and this awards event is an opportunity to showcase the variety of talent that exists in the sector. Richard composed, arranged, and orchestrated the piece, and engaged with orchestra conductor Robert Martin to create the unique performance, now available to view on youtube

Level 91 Entertainment walked away with Best Game for Inertial Drift at the NI Game Awards, meanwhile, Hortalius developer Brain & Nerd, who became one of the last Northern Ireland-based studios to gain funding from Creative Europe before Brexit, won Best Studio in an award accepted by studio head Tina Lauro Pollock.


Hypixel Studios won Most Anticipated Game with its upcoming project Hytale, while Outsider Games won Best Art Direction for Jennifer Wilde: Unlikely Revolutionaries in the first award of the night.


Twitch streamer and Pixel Mill Restart program member Lisa Cooney took home the Rising Star award, with the judging panel additionally awarding special distinctions to Naoimh Murchan of Italic Pig and Amber Barnett of Northern Ireland Screen. The Community Choice Award was also awarded to Caolan McKendry, co-ordinator of the NI Game Dev Network.



You can find a full list of winners at this year’s NI Game Awards below and you can rewatch the ceremony here

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