Finalists in 21 Categories Announced for 3rd Annual SXSW Gaming Awards

Finalists in 21 Categories Announced for 3rd 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

AUSTIN, Texas (January 25, 2015) — 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 6 th 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. 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 1719, 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, 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
Undertale – Toby 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 – ZMan
Games
Blood Rage – CoolMiniOrNot
Above and Below –Red 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 Story – Sam 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
Undertale – Toby 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 / GoodFeel

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 Story – Sam 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
Undertale – Toby 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
Undertale – Toby 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 Story – Sam Barlow / Sam Barlow
Emily is Away – Kyle 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 single player 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:
_PRISM – Clint 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
Pinstripe – Atmos 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 here.

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 here. 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.

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