Microsoft announced this week that it is taking part in next year's Independent Games Festival, the annual celebration of all things indie game-related that runs in conjunction with the Game Developers Conference. The new partnership with Microsoft adds a new prize to be awarded to the winner of the festival: a first-party publishing deal through Microsoft's Xbox Live Arcade service. The news is part of a multi-year partnership between the Independent Games Festival and Microsoft.
The first winner will be chosen from within the Main Competition, and will give that person or group a publishing deal on XBLA, Windows Phone and on Windows. Microsoft will offer full game funding to complete the title as well - if that is what is needed to get the game on XBLA.
The IGF takes place in San Francisco on March 5-9 and runs during GDC.