While the on-location event was called off due to the increasing presence of COVID-19, an online rendition of the 2020 SXSW Gaming Awards are still a go.
Organizers announced the winners of the seventh annual award show today, highlighting the most influential games of the last year as well as some of the teams and individuals that have made a positive impact on the game industry.
This year, three games walked away with two category wins each: From Software’s Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice with the Game of the Year and Excellence in Visual Achievement awards, ZA/UM’s Disco Elysium with the Matthew Crump Cultural Innovation Award and an award for Excellence in Narrative, and Kojima Productions’ Death Stranding with awards for Excellence in Musical Score and Excellence in Technical Achievement.
Longtime accessibility advocate and AbleGamers COO Steven Spohn was awarded with this year’s Game Industry Champion of Change Award, a category that seeks to honor “an individual who has brought about positive change and broken down barriers for others across the game industry.”
Cecilia D’Anastasio, the now-Wired reporter behind extensive Kotaku stories like last year's Inside the Culture of Sexism at Riot Games and Shady Numbers and Bad Business: Inside the Esports Bubble was named the 2020 Game Journalist of the Year for her groundbreaking and influential coverage of the game industry.
"Gaming is a key part of the creative ecosystem that brings us together, and now more than ever it provides us with a unique sense of escape and adventure in uncertain times," reads a statement from SXSW programming chief Hugh Forrest. "We were devastated that we weren't able to celebrate our honorees in person with the cancellation of our event, but glad that we're still able to share their achievements and creative works with our community."
A selection of other winners can be found just below, while a full list is up on the SXSW website.
Video Game of the Year: Awarded to the game that exemplifies overall excellence and creates a distinct gaming experience across all platforms and genres.
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice (FromSoftware / Activision)
Mobile Game of the Year: Awarded to the game that exemplifies overall excellence and creates a unique gaming experience on any handheld device.
Sky: Children of the Light (thatgamecompany)
Tabletop Game of the Year: Awarded to the game that exemplifies overall excellence and ingenuity of any tabletop game in any genre.
Paladins of the West Kingdom (Renegade Game Studios)
XR Game of the Year: Awarded to the VR game that exemplifies overall excellence in gameplay and design across any VR platform.
No Man's Sky BEYOND VR (Hello Games)
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.
Disco Elysium (ZA/UM)
Excellence in Animation: Awarded to the game with the most outstanding animations.
Kingdom Hearts III (Square Enix)
Excellence in Art: Awarded to the game with the most expressive and creative artistic style.
The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening (Nintendo)
Excellence in Design: Awarded to the game with the best overall design concept and best execution.
Control (Remedy Entertainment / 505 Games)
Excellence in Multiplayer: Awarded to the game with the best player-to-player interaction experience.
FINAL FANTASY XIV: Shadowbringers (Square Enix)