Sponsored By
Read the Game Developer team's GDC 2023 coverage here, including Talk writeups and interviews from the show, as well as our favorite GDC Vault videos covering 2023 Talks.

FromSoftware's Elden Ring and BlueTwelve Studio's Stray are tied with six nominations each, followed by Santa Monica Studio's God of War Ragnarök and Obsidian Entertainment's Pentiment. See the full list of finalists and honorable mentions here.

Beth Elderkin

January 26, 2023

6 Min Read
Clockwise from left: Game images of Elden Ring, God of War Ragnarök, Pentiment, and Stray.

From a dark fantasy in The Lands Between to a post-apocalyptic walled city filled with robots (and one cat), the 2023 Game Developers Choice Awards nominees travel time, space, and everything in between.

Organizers of the 2023 Game Developers Conference are excited to reveal this year's finalists for the 23rd annual Game Developers Choice Awards—the leading peer-based video game event celebrating the industry’s top games and developers.

Sign Up For GDC 2023 Now—Prices Increase Jan. 27!

FromSoftware's fantasy epic Elden Ring and BlueTwelve Studio's dystopian cat adventure Stray are tied for the lead with six nominations each, followed by Santa Monica Studio's God of War Ragnarök (five nominations) and Obsidian Entertainment's Pentiment (four nominations). All of these games were nominated for the prestigious Game of the Year award alongside Sam Barlow and Half Mermaid's IMMORTALITY and TUNIC Team's TUNIC (both of which were also nominated at this year's Independent Games Festival Awards).

FromSoftware and Bandai Namco Entertainment’s smash hit Elden Ring is the latest game from the team who created the challenging yet rewarding Dark Souls series. The title is directed by Hidetaka Miyazaki, who pioneered the so-called “Soulsborne” genre itself and features writing and world-building from novelist and writer/producer George R. R. Martin (A Song of Ice and Fire, Game of Thrones, House of the Dragon). It's been nominated for: Best Audio, Best Design, Best Technology, Best Visual Art, the Innovation Award, and Game of the Year.

Developer BlueTwelve Studio and Annapurna Interactive’s Stray sees players take control of a cat through a decaying cybercity inhabited by robots. Players journey to the surface to reunite with the group of cats they were separated from while avoiding Zurks, the mutant bacteria that have evolved to devour both organic life and robots. It's been nominated for: Best Debut, Best Audio, Best Design, Best Visual Art, the Innovation Award, and Game of the Year.

In addition to the categories listed below, the Audience Award welcomes the GDC audience to cast their vote for their favorite game from the past year. You can cast your ballot for the Audience Award here.

The Game Developers Choice Awards is part of GDC 2023, which will be held in San Francisco March 20-24.

Here is the full list of GDCA 2023 nominees, including honorable mentions:

Best Debut

Neon White (Angel Matrix/Annapurna Interactive)

NORCO (Geography of Robots/Raw Fury)

Stray (BlueTwelve Studio/Annapurna Interactive)

TUNIC (TUNIC Team/Finji)

Vampire Survivors (poncle)

Honorable Mentions: Chained Echoes (Matthias Linda/Deck13), Cult of the Lamb (Massive Monster/Devolver Digital), Marvel Snap (Second Dinner Studios, Inc./Nuverse), The Case of the Golden Idol (Color Gray Games/Playstack), Trombone Champ (Holy Wow Studios LLC)

Best Audio

Elden Ring (FromSoftware Inc./Bandai Namco Entertainment)

God of War Ragnarök (Santa Monica Studio/Sony Interactive Entertainment)

Horizon Forbidden West (Guerrilla Games/Sony Interactive Entertainment)

Metal: Hellsinger (The Outsiders/Funcom)

Stray (BlueTwelve Studio/Annapurna Interactive)

Honorable Mentions: A Plague Tale: Requiem (Asobo Studio/Focus Entertainment), Neon White (Angel Matrix/Annapurna Interactive), Persona 5 Royal (ATLUS/SEGA), Splatoon 3 (Nintendo), TUNIC (TUNIC Team/Finji)

Best Design

Elden Ring (FromSoftware Inc./Bandai Namco Entertainment)

Marvel Snap (Second Dinner Studios, Inc./Nuverse)

Neon White (Angel Matrix/Annapurna Interactive)

Stray (BlueTwelve Studio/Annapurna Interactive)

TUNIC (TUNIC Team/Finji)

Honorable Mentions: Cult of the Lamb (Massive Monster/Devolver Digital), Dwarf Fortress (Bay 12 Games/Kitfox Games), God of War Ragnarök (Santa Monica Studio/Sony Interactive Entertainment), IMMORTALITY (Sam Barlow/Half Mermaid), Vampire Survivors (poncle)

Best Narrative

God of War Ragnarök (Santa Monica Studio/Sony Interactive Entertainment)

I Was a Teenage Exocolonist (Northway Games/Finji)

IMMORTALITY (Sam Barlow/Half Mermaid)

Pentiment (Obsidian Entertainment/Xbox Game Studios)

Return to Monkey Island (Terrible Toybox/Devolver Digital)

Honorable Mentions: A Plague Tale: Requiem (Asobo Studio/Focus Entertainment), Citizen Sleeper (Jump Over The Age/Fellow Traveller), Horizon Forbidden West (Guerrilla Games/Sony Interactive Entertainment), NORCO (Geography of Robots/Raw Fury), Roadwarden (Moral Anxiety Studio/Assemble Entertainment)

Best Technology

A Plague Tale: Requiem (Asobo Studio/Focus Entertainment)

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II (Infinity Ward, Raven Software, Beenox, Treyarch, High Moon Studios, Sledgehammer Games, Activision Shanghai, Demonware, Toys for Bob/Activision)

Elden Ring (FromSoftware Inc./Bandai Namco Entertainment)

God of War Ragnarök (Santa Monica Studio/Sony Interactive Entertainment)

Horizon Forbidden West (Guerrilla Games/Sony Interactive Entertainment)

Honorable Mentions: Dwarf Fortress (Bay 12 Games/Kitfox Games), Hardspace: Shipbreaker (Blackbird Interactive/Focus Entertainment), IMMORTALITY (Sam Barlow/Half Mermaid), Stray (BlueTwelve Studio/Annapurna Interactive), Teardown (Tuxedo Labs)

Best Visual Art

Elden Ring (FromSoftware Inc./Bandai Namco Entertainment)

God of War Ragnarök (Santa Monica Studio/Sony Interactive Entertainment)

Horizon Forbidden West (Guerrilla Games/Sony Interactive Entertainment)

Pentiment (Obsidian Entertainment/Xbox Game Studios)

Stray (BlueTwelve Studio/Annapurna Interactive)

Honorable Mentions: A Plague Tale: Requiem (Asobo Studio/Focus Entertainment), Cult of the Lamb (Massive Monster/Devolver Digital), Neon White (Angel Matrix/Annapurna Interactive), OlliOlli World (Roll7/Private Division), TUNIC (TUNIC Team/Finji)

Innovation Award

Elden Ring (FromSoftware Inc./Bandai Namco Entertainment)

IMMORTALITY (Sam Barlow/Half Mermaid)

Neon White (Angel Matrix/Annapurna Interactive)

Pentiment (Obsidian Entertainment/Xbox Game Studios)

Stray (BlueTwelve Studio/Annapurna Interactive)

Honorable Mentions: Cult of the Lamb (Massive Monster/Devolver Digital), Dwarf Fortress (Bay 12 Games/Kitfox Games), God of War Ragnarök (Santa Monica Studio/Sony Interactive Entertainment), Horizon Forbidden West (Guerrilla Games/Sony Interactive Entertainment), Trombone Champ (Holy Wow Studios LLC)

Social Impact Award

As Dusk Falls (INTERIOR/NIGHT/Xbox Game Studios)

Citizen Sleeper (Jump Over The Age/Fellow Traveller)

Endling - Extinction Is Forever (Herobeat Studios/HandyGames)

I Was A Teenage Exocolonist (Northway Games/Finji)

OlliOlli World (Roll7/Private Division)

We Are OFK (Team OFK)

Honorable Mentions: Before Your Eyes (GoodbyeWorld Games/Skybound Games), God of War Ragnarök (Santa Monica Studio/Sony Interactive Entertainment), Hindsight (Team Hindsight/Annapurna Interactive), NORCO (Geography of Robots/Raw Fury), Terra Nil (Free Lives/Devolver Digital)

Game of the Year

Elden Ring (FromSoftware Inc./Bandai Namco Entertainment)

God of War Ragnarök (Santa Monica Studio/Sony Interactive Entertainment)

IMMORTALITY (Sam Barlow/Half Mermaid)

Pentiment (Obsidian Entertainment/Xbox Game Studios)

Stray (BlueTwelve Studio/Annapurna Interactive)

TUNIC (TUNIC Team/Finji)

Honorable Mentions: Citizen Sleeper (Jump Over The Age/Fellow Traveller), Cult of the Lamb (Massive Monster/Devolver Digital), Horizon Forbidden West (Guerrilla Games/Sony Interactive Entertainment), Marvel Snap (Second Dinner Studios, Inc./Nuverse), Neon White (Angel Matrix/Annapurna Interactive), Vampire Survivors (poncle)

Any video game that was released and made publicly available during the 2022 calendar year is eligible for free nomination for the 2023 Game Developers Choice Awards. Both nominees and winners are selected by the Game Developers Choice Awards-specific International Choice Awards Network (ICAN), which is an invitation-only organization, composed of leading game creators from all parts of the industry.

Winners will be announced at the GDCA ceremony on Wednesday, March 22 (with a simultaneous broadcast on GDC Twitch). GDCA follows the Independent Games Festival Awards, which celebrates independent games and their creators. Both the GDCA and IGF ceremonies are available to watch for all GDC 2023 pass-holders.

Register for GDC 2023 Here

GDC returns to San Francisco this March 20-24, 2023, and registration is now open! For more information, be sure to visit our website and follow the #GDC23 hashtag on social media.

Subscribe to the GDC newsletter.

Get regular updates via Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Mastodon, or RSS.

Game Developer and GDC are sibling organizations under Informa Tech.


About the Author(s)

Beth Elderkin

Content Marketing Manager (GDC)

Beth Elderkin is the content marketing manager for the Game Developers Conference (GDC). She keeps buying new copies of 'Skyrim,' even though she already owns it. 

Daily news, dev blogs, and stories from Game Developer straight to your inbox

You May Also Like