Gbanga's Voltron: Cubes of Olkarion wins the Universal Game Dev Challenge and takes home $150k

Gbanga's Voltron: Cubes of Olkarion wins the Universal Game Dev Challenge and takes home $150k

Zurich-based studio Gbanga has won the first-ever Universal GameDev Challenge and bagged $150,000 for its prototype Voltron: Cubes of Olkarion.

The competition kicked off at GDC 2018, organised by Unity and Universal Games and sponsored by Intel and Microsoft.

It called on developers to make a PC game prototype utilising one of five Universal owned IPs: Back to the Future, Jaws, Battlestar Galactica, DreamWorks Voltron Legendary Defender and Turok.

After receiving 550 submissions, Gbanga took the grand prize of $150,000 along with a year’s consulting contract with Universal.

Its title Voltron: Cubes of Olkarion is described as “a world where the villainous Zarkon finds a way to mass-produce more cubes, and in their story, smaller cubes with different attack and defence abilities formed the basis for an ancient Olkari board game".

Voltron: Cubes of Olkarion

Other runners-up included Mick Heijkens’ Backpack to the Future, Tom Breuer’s Back to the Future IV - Time Anomalies, Alexander Ferguson’s Turok: Legacy of Stone, Max Snyder’s Turok: Escape from Lost Valley and From the Future’s Battlestar Galactica Deception.

Each of these five contestants received $20,000 in prizes. All six teams named were given access to a VIP mentorship programme in LA and received guidance from industry experts.

The six prototypes will be playable at the Made With Unity booth at Unite LA from October 23rd to 25th.

The Gbanga team

“The response we received for the GameDev Challenge was very impressive,” said NBC Universal executive VP for games and digital platforms Chris Heatherly.

“We received pitches from hundreds of studios interested in working with our intellectual properties, and we were overwhelmed by the talent and passion that was on display.

“Given that our six finalists only had two months to pull together a polished prototype of their proposed game, the end results were incredible.”

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Craig Chapple is a freelance analyst, consultant and writer with specialist knowledge of the games industry. He has previously served as Senior Editor at, as well as holding roles at Sensor Tower, Nintendo and Develop.