One Year, 100 Games: NVIDIA Indie Spotlight Program Shines a Light on Great Games

by Michael Herauf

Great games sometimes take the gaming community by surprise. Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds, the breakout hit of 2017, is a prime example. More often than not, like PUBG, those surprises come from independent game developers.

But deserving titles can get buried under the weight of the sheer number of new releases every month — and the enormous marketing budgets some game publishers have.

We wanted to do something about that, and help indie game developers get their games noticed. So we created the NVIDIA Indie Spotlight program. It extends the level of support we offer to independent game developers to include not only our technology, but also our marketing outlets.

We’re delighted with the response and the results.

Screenshot of Parabole Kona
The NVIDIA Indie Spotlight program provided technical and marketing help to Parabole for its indie hit Kona.

Since launching the program a year ago, we’ve received more than 800 applications and we’ve accepted over 100 games to the program. You can find a variety of awesome titles on our list of accepted games. (Note: a few games already accepted haven’t been announced yet by their publishers.)

Games like Kona, Owlboy, Tooth and Tail, Hollow Knight, Dead Cells, HOB and A Hat in Time are a few of the highlights of NVIDIA Indie Spotlight. The content pipeline continues to grow.

With tens of millions of fans across our social media platforms and GeForce Experience, NVIDIA’s PC gaming community is one of the world’s largest. By promoting Indie Spotlight games on our GeForce social media channels, we estimate they’ve received nearly 9 million social media impressions in the last year.

Some of the games in the program have also been included in videos on the GeForce channel on YouTube, and some have made it into our booths at industry events and tradeshows.

Screenshot from Hollow Knight, an NVIDIA Indie Spotlight program member
Hollow Knight is an NVIDIA Indie Spotlight success story with over 500,000 copies sold.

Indie games are also a steady source of fresh content to our GeForce NOW streaming service, with over 20 Indie Spotlight games signed to date. We’ve even bundled them with GeForce GTX GPUs.

We’ve participated on the ground floor with some of the biggest indie hits of the year, including Hollow Knight, with over half a million copies sold; Dead Cells, with just under half a million copies sold; Day of Infamy, with over a quarter million copies sold; and Owlboy, with over 180,000 units sold.

While we’re proud of what we’ve helped our Indie Spotlight developers accomplish, here’s what some of those in the program have to say about it:

“Having the guys from NVIDIA reach out and say: ‘Your game looks awesome, how can we help?’ That’s a confidence boost, but it’s also an amazing marketing opportunity from a major hardware company with no strings attached,” said Steve Filby at Motion Twin, creators of Dead Cell. “The NVIDIA Indie Spotlight program is a really great initiative for indie devs!”

“The NVIDIA Indie Spotlight program is a great way for PC gaming fans to find ‘hidden gems’ from independent developers who are always pushing the boundaries of game play and game development,” said Jon Higgins at New World Interactive, creators of Day of Infamy. “Day of Infamy’s selection to participate in NVIDIA’s Indie Spotlight program is a great honor and has enabled us to reach a whole new audience of hardcore gaming fans!”

“It’s generous of NVIDIA to provide a helping hand for us indies,” said Nat Weiss at Wizard Fu, creators of Songbringer. “They reach out, they help at expos, they help us promote and they are awesome people. The Indie Spotlight program is much appreciated.”

Without game developers, the gaming industry — and NVIDIA — wouldn’t be where it is today. So we made a commitment to indie game developers with the NVIDIA Indie Spotlight program, and we’ll continue with that commitment as the program adds new and up and coming indie games to its ranks.

If you’re an indie game developer, apply to the NVIDIA Indie Spotlight program today. And if you’re a gamer, check out a few of the great games in the program.