Finalists in 21 Categories Announced for Third Annual SXSW Gaming Awards

YouTube megastar Séan "Jacksepticeye" William McLoughlin and esports host Rachel "Seltzer" Quirico to host the SXSW Gaming Awards ceremony

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and Bloodborne lead in total nominations

Jan 25, 2016, 17:38 ET from SXSW

AUSTIN, Texas, Jan. 25, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- South by Southwest (SXSW) Gaming today announced the finalists for the third annual SXSW Gaming Awards, presented by Windows Games DX, Curse, G2A, IGN, Porter Novelli and Imaginary Forces. Taking place Saturday, March 19 at 8 p.m. CST in the Austin Grand Ballroom on the 6th Floor of the Hilton Downtown Austin, the Gaming Awards will honor indie and major game studio titles in 21 categories. The SXSW Gaming Awards are free and open to the public of all ages with a SXSW Guest Pass and streamed online at http://sxsw.is/23g6kEc. All Interactive, Music, Film, Gold, and Platinum badgeholders receive early entry and preferred seating.

The SXSW Gaming Awards is an extension of the SXSW Gaming event. New for 2016: SXSW Gaming takes place March 17-19, 2016 inside the Austin Convention Center downtown (500 E Cesar Chavez Street).

"First, congratulations are in order for all of our entrants and finalists. This year we saw a record number of entries and an incredibly diverse set of games," said Justin Burnham, SXSW Gaming Producer. "This year's show – thanks to the help of our hosts and finalists, is going to be one of the best yet. We can't wait to see which titles take home this year's Awards."

Winners for the Gaming Awards will be determined in part by a public vote that will take place from Monday, February 1 to 11:59 p.m. CST on Friday, February 12. The ballot can be found online at http://sxsw.is/1WHAv2u, courtesy of IGN.

Keeping the evening exciting and fun, YouTube megastar Séan "Jacksepticeye" William McLoughlin, and internationally-recognized esports host Rachel "Seltzer" Quirico will kick off the Gaming Awards show as this year's hosts.

Out of a record 527 titles entered in the competition, this year's SXSW Gaming Awards finalists include:

Game of the Year: Awarded to the game that exemplifies overall excellence and creates a distinct gaming experience across all platforms and genres

  • Bloodborne – Sony Computer Entertainment / FromSoftware
  • Fallout 4 – Bethesda Softworks / Bethesda Game Studios
  • Metal Gear Solid: The Phantom Pain – Konami / Kojima Productions
  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – CD Projekt / CD Projekt RED
  • UndertaleToby Fox / Toby Fox

Tabletop Game of the Year: Awarded to the game that exemplifies overall excellence and ingenuity of any tabletop game in any genre

  • Pandemic Legacy – Z-Man Games
  • Blood Rage – CoolMiniOrNot
  • Above and BelowRed Raven Games
  • Lanterns: The Harvest Festival – Renegade Game Studios
  • Codenames – Czech Games

Mobile Game of the Year: Awarded to the game that exemplifies overall excellence and creates a unique gaming experience on any handheld device

  • Downwell – Devolver Digital / Moppin
  • Fallout Shelter – Bethesda Softworks / Bethesda Game Studios
  • Her StorySam Barlow / Sam Barlow
  • Lara Croft GO – Square Enix / Square Enix Montreal
  • SteamWorld Heist – Image and Form International AB / Image and Form International AB

Excellence in Gameplay: Awarded to the game with the best gameplay mechanics

  • Bloodborne – Sony Computer Entertainment / FromSoftware
  • Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain – Konami / Kojima Productions
  • UndertaleToby Fox / Toby Fox
  • Rocket League – Psyonix / Psyonix
  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – CD Projekt / CD Projekt RED

Excellence in Art: Awarded to the game with the most expressive and creative artistic style

  • Bloodborne – Sony Computer Entertainment / FromSoftware
  • Ori & the Blind Forest – Microsoft Studios / Moon Studios
  • Assassin's Creed Syndicate – Ubisoft / Ubisoft Quebec
  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – CD Projekt / CD Projekt RED
  • Yoshi's Woolly World – Nintendo / Good-Feel

Excellence in Animation: Awarded to the game with the most outstanding animation effects and graphics

  • Batman: Arkham Knight – Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment / Rocksteady Studios
  • Rise of the Tomb Raider –- Square Enix / Crystal Dynamics
  • Ori & the Blind Forest – Microsoft Studios / Moon Studios
  • The Order: 1886 – Sony Computer Entertainment / Ready at Dawn
  • Assassin's Creed Syndicate – Ubisoft / Ubisoft Quebec

Excellence in Technical Achievement: Awarded to the game that pushed the capabilities of technology and programming

  • Fallout 4 – Bethesda Softworks / Bethesda Game Studios
  • Just Cause 3 – Square Enix / Avalanche Studios
  • Until Dawn – Sony Computer Entertainment / Supermassive Games
  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – CD Projekt / CD Projekt RED
  • Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain – Konami / Kojima Productions

Excellence in Visual Achievement: Awarded to the game with the most well-designed and stunning visuals

  • Everybody's Gone to the Rapture – Sony Computer Entertainment / The Chinese Room
  • Star Wars Battlefront – Electronic Arts / EA DICE
  • The Order: 1886 – Sony Computer Entertainment / Ready at Dawn
  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – CD Projekt / CD Projekt RED
  • Rise of the Tomb Raider – Square Enix / Crystal Dynamics

Excellence in Narrative: Awarded to the game with the best storyline and dialogue

  • Life Is Strange – Square Enix / Dontnod Entertainment
  • Her StorySam Barlow / Sam Barlow
  • SOMA – Frictional Games / Frictional Games
  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – CD Projekt / CD Projekt RED
  • Tales from the Borderlands –Telltale Games / Telltale Games

Excellence in Design: Awarded to the game with the best overall design concept and best execution

  • Fallout 4 - Bethesda Softworks / Bethesda Game Studios
  • Rocket League - Psyonix / Psyonix
  • Super Mario Maker - Nintendo / Nintendo
  • Bloodborne - Sony Computer Entertainment / FromSoftware
  • Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain - Konami / Kojima Productions

Excellence in SFX: Awarded to the game with the most outstanding and impactful sound effects

  • Rise of the Tomb Raider - Square Enix / Crystal Dynamics
  • Bloodborne - Sony Computer Entertainment / FromSoftware
  • The Order: 1886 - Sony Computer Entertainment / Ready at Dawn
  • Star Wars Battlefront - Electronic Arts / EA DICE
  • Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege - Ubisoft / Ubisoft Montreal

Excellence in Musical Score: Awarded to the game that best exemplifies artistic excellence in musical score and how it progresses the narrative of the game

  • Ori & the Blind Forest - Microsoft Studios / Moon Studios
  • Crypt of the NecroDancer - Klei Entertainment / Brace Yourself Games
  • Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain - Konami / Kojima Productions
  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt - CD Projekt / CD Projekt RED
  • Everybody's Gone to the Rapture - Sony Computer Entertainment / The Chinese Room

Excellence in Multiplayer: Awarded to the game with the best player-to-player interaction experience

  • Call of Duty: Black Ops III - Activision / Treyarch
  • Halo 5: Guardians - Microsoft Studios / 343 Industries
  • Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime - Asteroid Base / Asteroid Base
  • Rocket League - Psyonix / Psyonix
  • Splatoon - Nintendo / Nintendo

Excellence in Convergence: Awarded to the game that excels in crossover to other entertainment mediums such as film, music, toys, animation, sports and more

  • Disney Infinity 3.0 Edition - Disney Interactive Studios / Avalanche Software
  • Rock Band 4 - Mad Catz / Harmonix
  • Guitar Hero Live - Activision - FreeStyle Games
  • Batman: Arkham Knight - Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment / Rocksteady Studios
  • Star Wars Battlefront - Electronic Arts / EA DICE

Most Enduring Character: Awarded to the best game character that left an overwhelming impression

  • Lara Croft – Rise of the Tomb Raider
  • Geralt – The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
  • Joker – Batman: Arkham Knight
  • Hannah Smith –Her Story
  • Ori – Ori & the Blind Forest

Most Valuable Esports Team: Awarded to the professional team that excels in performance and provides the most valuable impact in its competitive scene

  • Cloud9
  • Evil Geniuses
  • Team Archon
  • Team EnVyUs
  • Counter Logic

Most Entertaining Online Personality: Awarded to the online gaming-related personality that consistently entertains and keeps us watching with its humor, stories, special effects, and more

  • Greg Miller – Kinda Funny
  • Markiplier
  • PewDiePie
  • Angry Joe – The Angry Joe Show
  • Tim Schafer – Double Fine Adventure Documentary Series

Most Fulfilling Crowdfunded Game: Awarded to the game that was primarily produced via crowdfunding platforms and had excelled beyond the expectations set before it

  • Broken Age – Double Fine Productions / Double Fine Productions
  • Kingdom Death: Monster – Kingdom Death
  • Pillars of Eternity – Paradox Interactive / Obsidian Entertainment
  • Kerbal Space Program – Squad / Squad
  • UndertaleToby Fox / Toby Fox

Most Promising New Intellectual Property: Awarded to a new property that risked creating something fresh and that excelled within its genre or category for the year

  • Ori & the Blind Forest – Microsoft Studios / Moon Studios
  • Bloodborne – Sony Computer Entertainment / FromSoftware
  • Life Is Strange – Square Enix / Dontnod Entertainment
  • Splatoon – Nintendo / Nintendo
  • UndertaleToby Fox / Toby Fox

Matthew Crump Cultural Innovation Award: Awarded to the game that best challenges the "norm" of everyday gaming and offers a culturally innovative view of a game world, character, or gameplay

  • Everybody's Gone to the Rapture – Sony Computer Entertainment / The Chinese Room
  • Her StorySam Barlow / Sam Barlow
  • Emily is AwayKyle Seeley / Kyle Seeley
  • Life Is Strange – Square Enix / Dontnod Entertainment
  • Undertale Toby Fox / Toby Fox

Gamer's Voice Award: Awarded to the favorite game in the Indie Corner as decided exclusively by attendees on the SXSW Gaming Expo floor. Indie Corner is a spot in the Expo where anyone can test out 40 indie games. This year's Gamer's Voice Award is split between unique multiplayer and singleplayer categories.

MULTIPLAYER FINALISTS:

  • ARENA GODS – Supertype
  • Breaker Blocks – Spriteborne
  • Death Stair – RnD Labs
  • Gang Beasts – Bone Loaf
  • GoatPunks - Studio Canvas
  • Gruff – Studio Woe
  • Home Improvisation – The Stork Burnt Down
  • INVERSUS - Hypersect
  • Karmaka – Hemisphere Games
  • Move or Die – Those Awesome Guys
  • Random Encounters – Regular People Gaming
  • Rivals of Aether – Dan Fornace LLC
  • Stikbold! A Dodgeball Adventure – Game Swing
  • SUNDOWN – Mild Beast Games LLC
  • Super Sky Arena – Hammer Labs

SINGLEPLAYER FINALISTS:

  • _PRISMClint Siu
  • Affordable Space Adventures – Knapnok Games
  • Armello – League of Geeks
  • Aztez – Team Colorblind
  • Bazaar – Temple Gates Games
  • Burly Men at Sea – Brain&Brain
  • Deliver Us The Moon – KeokeN Interactive
  • Eden Star: Destroy, Build, Protect – Flix Interactive
  • Fragments of Him – Sassybot
  • ICBM – REPVBLIC
  • KINGDOM – noio
  • Layers of Fear – Bloober Team
  • Odallus – JoyMasher
  • Okhlos – Coffee Powered Machine
  • P.O.L.L.E.N – Mindfield Games
  • PinstripeAtmos Games
  • Radical Rebels – Pixel Pushers Union 512
  • Ray's The Dead – Ragtag Studio
  • Read Only Memories – MidBoss LLC
  • Snakebird – Noumenon Games
  • Soft Body – Bodysoft LLC
  • STRAFE® – Pixel Titans
  • SUPERHOT – SUPERHOT Sp. z o.o.
  • The Magic Circle – Question
  • The Town of Light – LKA.it

To celebrate the best of indie gaming, all 40 Gamer's Voice finalists will receive a free 10 x 10 booth at the SXSW Gaming Expo. The free booths will enable attendees to play each of these games and then vote for their top Gamer's Voice titles.

How Did The Gaming Awards Entry Process Work?

The entry process opened in August through the official Gaming Awards page and closed in December. Finalists for the SXSW Gaming Awards categories were selected and voted on by the SXSW Gaming Advisory Board, which consists of more than 40 gaming, comic and geek culture industry experts. Each year's nominated game titles demonstrate the best and most innovative games in each respective category. The game titles that receive the most votes will be honored at the SXSW Gaming Awards as the winner of its category.

To be considered for the Gamer's Voice Award, games must have been produced with a small development team on minimal resources; provide a working and playable demo; and be released in 2015 or 2016.

About SXSW Gaming

SXSW Gaming 2016 will take place from Thursday, March 17, 2016 through Saturday, March 19, 2016 at the Austin Convention Center in Austin, Texas. SXSW Gaming is free and open to the public with a SXSW Guest Pass. For more information on SXSW Guest Pass, visit: http://guestpass.sxsw.com/

About the South by Southwest® (SXSW®) Conferences & Festivals

The South by Southwest® (SXSW®) Conferences & Festivals offer the unique industry convergence of music, film, and emerging technologies. Fostering creative and professional growth, SXSW is the premier destination for discovery. The event is a launch pad for innovative content with new media presentations, music showcases and film screenings providing exposure for creators and compelling entertainment for attendees. For more information, please visit http://www.sxsw.com. SXSW 2016 takes place March 11-20 in Austin, TX.

SXSW 2016 is sponsored by Esurance, Mazda, Monster Energy, Capital One, The Austin Chronicle and Sonicbids.

Press Contact:
Kelly Krause
Interactive Publicity
interpress@sxsw.com
512.467.7979 x 202

 

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