The Game Awards: Some Expected Outcomes, Some Surprises

Last night, the fourth iteration of The Game Awards took place. Geoff Keighley hosted an energized celebration of gaming that featured awards, trailers, and a live orchestra.

The orchestra and premier trailers brought in viewers who wouldn’t have watched otherwise, but the awards are the core of the show. While gaming as a medium lacks a true Oscar or Grammy equivalent, The Game Awards have come close in recent years. Yesterday’s show featured a wide range of categories, with a few particularly cool ones, like “Best Student Game.” Below are the categories and their winners.

Trending Gamer – Dr. Disrespect (Guy Beahm)
Best eSports Game – Overwatch
Best eSports Player – “Faker” (Lee Sang-hyeok)
Best eSports Team – Cloud 9
Student Game Award – Level Squared
Best Debut Indie Game – Cuphead
Best Narrative – What Remains of Edith Finch

What Remains of Edith Finch.

Best Score / Music – Nier: Automata
Best Audio Design – Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice
Best Performance – Melina Juregens (Hellblade)
Best Ongoing Game – Overwatch
Best Independent Game – Cuphead
Best Mobile Game – Monument Valley 2
Best Handheld Game – Metroid: Samus Returns
Best VR/AR Game – Resident Evil 7: Biohazard
Best Action Game – Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus
Best Adventure Game – The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
Best Role-Playing Game – Persona 5
Best Fighting Game – Injustice 2
Best Family Game – Super Mario Odyssey
Best Strategy Game – Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle
Best Sports/Racing Game – Forza Motorsports 7
Best Multiplayer – PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds
Most Anticipated Game – The Last of Us Part II
Chinese Fan Game Award – jx3 HD
Game of the Year – The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

I was a fan of last night’s show. Keighley is doing an increasingly better job hosting it, and, despite the criticisms he has faced in the past, his genuine care and passion for games always shine through. Some of the categories were rushed, like best soundtrack as a pre-show award. I think this took away from the spotlight Nier deserved (it was also robbed the best narrative award and of a nomination for GOTY; I’ll attribute that opinion to my adoration of the game).

Breath of the Wild’s victory was no surprise, but I am happy to see that it wasn’t the victim of recency bias due to its earlier release date.

Ultimately, The Game Awards were a marked achievement over last year, and this trend will, hopefully, continue.


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