Second-Annual SXSW Gaming Awards Announces Finalists in 21 Categories

Actress and comedian Janet Varney and YouTube personality Markiplier to host

Dragon Age: Inquisition out in front with five nominations including Excellence in Narrative and Game of the Year

Jan 22, 2015, 17:03 ET from South by Southwest

AUSTIN, Texas, Jan. 22, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- South by Southwest (SXSW) Gaming today announced the finalists for its second-annual SXSW Gaming Awards presented by iam8bit, Logitech, Porter Novelli and Wikia – part of SXSW Gaming 2015 – taking place on Saturday, March 14 at 7 p.m. at Austin City Limits Live at The Moody Theater. The Gaming Awards will honor major studio and indie game titles in 21 categories. The SXSW Gaming Awards are free and open to the public of all ages; Interactive, Gold and Platinum Badge holders receive early entry and preferred seating.

The SXSW Gaming Awards complements the 2015 SXSW Gaming Expo, which runs March 13-15, 2015. Located at the Palmer Events Center, the SXSW Gaming Expo is also a free event and open to the public of all ages.

"It's fantastic to see the SXSW Gaming Expo continue to get bigger and better each year and to have the Gaming Awards continue to grow along with it," said Justin Burnham, SXSW Gaming Project Manager. "We've added several new award categories in 2015 and with a diverse list of finalists, from heavy-hitting AAA titles like Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor to indie stand-outs like Shovel Knight, we're excited to see who comes out on top!"

Making the awards ceremony a truly entertaining and celebratory evening, this year's event will be hosted by actress and comedian Janet Varney along with actor and popular YouTube personality Markiplier. Audience Entertainment, Imaginary Forces, 3BlackDot, Thrilling Adventure Hour and Critical Hit will also provide the audience with entertainment throughout the ceremony.

Wikia superfans will also be helping anoint winners of this year's SXSW Gaming Awards. Representing over 85,000 of the most authoritative fan communities on console, pc and mobile games, Wikia fans will have the opportunity to collaborate alongside the industry experts to select the best in up to 20 award categories. Voting kicks off soon on gameshub.wikia.com/sxsw.

Chosen from more than 400 submissions, here are the finalists for the second-annual SXSW Gaming Awards:

Game of the Year: Awarded to the indie or mainstream game that exemplifies gaming excellence. 

  • Bayonetta 2Nintendo/Platinum Games
  • Dark Souls IIBandai Namco Games/From Software
  • Dragon Age: InquisitionElectronic Arts/BioWare
  • Middle-earth: Shadow of MordorWarner Bros. Interactive/Monolith Productions
  • Shovel KnightYacht Club Games

Mobile Game of the Year: Awarded to the mobile game that exemplifies gaming excellence

  • Bravely Default – Nintendo/Square Enix
  • Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft – Blizzard Entertainment
  • Monument Valley – ustwo
  • Super Smash Bros. 3DS – Nintendo
  • Threes – Sirvo

Table Top Game of the Year: Awarded to the table top game that exemplifies gaming excellence

  • Dead of Winter – Plaid Hat Games
  • Five Tribes – Days of Wonder
  • King of New York – IELLO
  • Sheriff of Nottingham – Arcane Wonders
  • Star Realms – White Wizard Games

Excellence in Gameplay: Awarded to the title that exemplifies excellence in gameplay mechanics

  • Dragon Age: Inquisition – Electronic Arts/BioWare
  • Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor – Warner Bros. Interactive/Monolith Productions
  • Nidhogg – Messhof
  • Super Smash Bros. Wii U – Nintendo
  • Titanfall – Electronic Arts/Respawn Entertainment

Excellence in Art: Awarded to the title that exemplifies excellence in art and design

  • The Banner Saga – Versus Evil/Stoic Studio
  • Child of Light – Ubisoft/Ubisoft Montreal
  • Monument Valley – ustwo
  • Transistor – Supergiant Games
  • The Wolf Among Us – Telltale Games

Excellence in Animation: Awarded to the title that exemplifies excellence in animation

  • Assassin's Creed Unity – Ubisoft/Ubisoft Montreal
  • inFAMOUS: Second Son – Sony Computer Entertainment/Sucker Punch Productions
  • Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor – Warner Bros. Interactive/Monolith Productions
  • Super Smash Bros. Wii U – Nintendo
  • Titanfall – Electronic Arts/Respawn Entertainment

Excellence in Technical Achievement: Awarded to the title that exemplifies excellence in technical achievement

  • Alien: Isolation – Sega/The Creative Assembly
  • Destiny – Activision/Bungie
  • Dragon Age: Inquisition – Electronic Arts/BioWare
  • Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor – Warner Bros. Interactive/Monolith Productions
  • Sunset Overdrive – Microsoft Studios/Insomniac Games

Excellence in Visual Achievement

  • Alien: Isolation – Sega/The Creative Assembly
  • Far Cry 4 – Ubisoft/Ubisoft Montreal
  • Monument Valley – ustwo
  • Transistor – Supergiant Games
  • The Vanishing of Ethan Carter – The Astronauts

Excellence in Narrative: Awarded to the title that exemplifies excellence in game narrative

  • The Banner Saga – Versus Evil/Stoic Studio
  • Dragon Age: Inquisition – Electronic Arts/BioWare
  • Valiant Hearts: The Great War – Ubisoft/Ubisoft Montpellier
  • The Wolf Among Us – Telltale Games
  • Wolfenstein: The New Order – Bethesda Softworks/MachineGames

Excellence in Design and Direction: Awarded to the title that exemplifies excellence design and direction

  • Dark Souls II – Bandai Namco Games/From Software
  • Dragon Age: Inquisition – Electronic Arts/BioWare
  • Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor – Warner Bros. Interactive/Monolith Productions
  • Sunset Overdrive – Microsoft Studios/Insomniac Games
  • The Talos Principle – Devolver Digital/Croteam

Excellence in SFX: Awarded to the title that exemplifies excellence game sound effects

  • Alien: Isolation – Sega/The Creative Assembly
  • Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare – Activision/Sledgehammer Games
  • The Evil Within – Bethesda Softworks/Tango Gameworks
  • Far Cry 4 – Ubisoft/Ubisoft Montreal
  • Titanfall – Electronic Arts/Respawn Entertainment

Excellence in Musical Score: Awarded to the title that exemplifies artistic excellence in musical score, and how it is used to progress the narrative of a game

  • The Banner Saga – Versus Evil/Stoic Studio
  • Destiny – Activision/Bungie
  • Child of Light – Ubisoft/Ubisoft Montreal
  • Transistor – Supergiant Games
  • Valiant Hearts: The Great War – Ubisoft/Ubisoft Montpellier

Excellence in Multiplayer: Awarded to the title that exemplifies excellence in multiplayer gaming

  • Destiny – Activision/Bungie
  • Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare – Activision/Sledgehammer Games
  • Super Smash Bros. Wii U – Nintendo
  • Titanfall – Electronic Arts/Respawn Entertainment
  • Towerfall Ascension – Matt Makes Games

Excellence in Convergence: Awarded to the title that exemplifies excellence and pure crossover appeal through multiple mediums

  • Alien: Isolation – Sega/The Creative Assembly
  • Disney Infinity 2.0 – Disney Interactive Studios/Avalanche Software
  • FIFA 15 – EA Sports/EA Canada
  • South Park: The Stick of Truth – Ubisoft/Obsidian Entertainment
  • The Wolf Among Us – Telltale Games

Most Valuable Character

  • Bigby Wolf (The Wolf Among Us) – Telltale Games
  • Ellie (The Last of Us: Left Behind) – Sony Computer Entertainment/Naughty Dog
  • The Goat (Goat Simulator) – Coffee Stain Studios
  • Octodad (Octodad: Dadliest Catch) – Young Horses
  • Red (Transistor) – Supergiant Games

Most Valuable Esports Team: Awarded to the Esports team that exemplifies excellence in competitive gaming

  • Alliance
  • Cloud9
  • Evil Geniuses
  • Fnatic
  • SK Gaming

Most Valuable Online Channel: Awarded to the online channel that exemplifies excellence in online entertainment

  • Cynical Brit
  • Rooster Teeth
  • SMOSH Games
  • TheSyndicateProject
  • VanossGaming

Most Valuable Add-On Content: Awarded to the title that exemplifies excellence in add-on content

  • Bioshock Infinite: Burial at Sea Series – 2K Games/Irrational Games
  • Dark Souls II: Crown of the King Series – Bandai Namco Games/From Software
  • Diablo III: Reaper of Souls – Blizzard Entertainment
  • The Last of Us: Left Behind – Sony Computer Entertainment/Naughty Dog
  • World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor – Blizzard Entertainment

Most Anticipated Crowdfunded Game: Awarded to the title that exemplifies excellence as a crowdfunded game

  • The Banner Saga – Versus Evil/Stoic Studio
  • Divinity: Original Sin – Larian Studios
  • Shovel Knight – Yacht Club Games
  • Star Citizen – Cloud Imperium Games
  • Wasteland 2 – inXile Entertainment

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

  • Goat Simulator – Coffee Stain Studios
  • The Last of Us: Left Behind – Sony Computer Entertainment/Naughty Dog
  • Never Alone – E-Line Media/Upper One Games
  • This War of Mine – 11 bit studios
  • Valiant Hearts: The Great War – Ubisoft/Ubisoft Montpellier

Gamer's Voice Award: Awarded to the favorite game in the Indie Corner as decided exclusively by gamers on the SXSW Gaming Expo floor

  • Apotheon – Alientrap Games
  • Armikrog – Pencil Test Studios
  • Assault Android Cactus – Witch Beam
  • Cadence – Made With Monster Love
  • Children of Morta – Dead Mage
  • Chroma Squad – Behold Studios
  • Darkest Dungeon – Red Hook Studios
  • Extreme ExorcismGolden Ruby Games
  • Gemini – Echostone Games
  • GrowCriKeT Games
  • Hyper Light Drifter – Heart Machine
  • Ice-Bound – Down to the Wire
  • Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes – Steel Crate Games
  • LurkingDigiPen Institute of Technology Singapore
  • Noct- c3sk
  • Nom Nom Galaxy – Q-Games
  • Nova-111 – Funktronic Labs
  • Push Me Pull You – House House
  • ROCKETSROCKETSROCKETS – Radial Games
  • Salt and Sanctuary – Ska Studios
  • SoundSelfRobin Arnott
  • SpeedRunners – tinyBuild Games
  • Stardust Vanguards – Zanrai Interactive
  • That Dragon, Cancer – Numinous Games
  • The Escapists – Team17 Digital
  • The Flame in the Flood – The Molasses Flood
  • White Night – Osome Studio
  • XING: The Land Beyond – White Lotus Interactive
  • Yomi's Gate – Spriteborne
  • Zombie Night Terror – Jerome Levet

The submission process opened in August through the official Gaming Awards page and closed in December. Finalists for the SXSW Gaming Awards categories are selected and voted on by the SXSW Gaming Advisory Board, consisting of more than 40 gaming, comic and geek culture industry experts, and represent the game titles that demonstrate the best and most innovative of the year in each respective category. The game titles receiving the most votes will be honored at the SXSW Gaming Awards.

To be considered for the Gamer's Voice Award games must have had less than $1 million in funding; a working and playable demo; and be released by the end of 2015 or shortly thereafter.

Winners of the 2014 SXSW Gaming Awards included Nidhogg (Gamer's Voice Award), Bioshock Infinite (Excellence in Art), Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons (Excellence in Gameplay) and The Last of Us (Game of the Year).

About SXSW Gaming

SXSW Gaming is an integral part of the SXSW experience. This diverse and widely popular array of events combines well-loved elements of geek culture with the cross-console video game world. And it all happens in Austin, Texas, a true hotbed for the expanding gaming industry. With the Gaming Awards, panels, a free expo, rocking parties and exceptional demos, no event bridges the gap between industry insiders and the general public quite like SXSW Gaming.

About SXSW Interactive

The 22nd annual SXSW Interactive Festival returns to Austin from Friday, March 13 through Tuesday, March 17. An incubator of cutting-edge technologies and digital creativity, the 2015 event features five days of compelling presentations and panels from the brightest minds in emerging technology, scores of exciting networking events hosted by industry leaders and an unbeatable lineup of special programs showcasing the best new websites, video games and startup ideas the community has to offer. From hands-on training to big-picture analysis of the future, SXSW Interactive has become the place to preview the technology of tomorrow today. Join us in March 2015 for the sessions, the networking, the evening events, the 18th Annual SXSW Interactive Innovation Awards, SXSW Accelerator, the SXSW Gaming Expo, the SXSW Trade Show, SXSW Create, the Digital Creative Job Market, cross-industry conversations with attendees from SXSW Film and  SXSW Music, and, most of all, the unforgettable inspirational experiences that only SXSW can deliver.

SXSW Interactive 2015 is sponsored by Miller Lite, Esurance, AT&T, IFC, Mazda, Monster Energy, McDonald's, Philips, Capital One, and The Austin Chronicle.

Media Contact:
Kelly Krause
1-512-467-7979
kelly@sxsw.com

 

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