Highlights from 19th Game Developers Choice Awards

The 19th Game Developers Choice (GDC) Awards are the premier accolades for peer recognition in the digital games industry. Each year, the Choice Awards recognised and celebrated the creativity, artistry and technical genius of the finest developers and games created in the last year. The Game Developers Choice Awards honour the very best games of the year and was created for and voted on by developers. Winners are selected by the Game Developers Choice Awards-specific International Choice Awards Network (ICAN), which is an invitation-only organization, comprised of leading game creators from all parts of the industry. Here is a glimpse of 19th edition of Game Developers Choice Awards:
  • Sony Santa Monica’s blockbuster action game God of War coveted Game of the Year trophy at the 19th Game Developers Choice Awards. God of War beat out Return of the Obra Dinn, Red Dead Redemption 2, Marvel’s Spider-Man, and Celeste which were GamesBeat’s choice for game of the year.
  • Devil May Cry 5 director Hideaki Itsuno revealed that the Capcom action game has sold 2 million copies. The announcement came at the start of his talk about the title at the Game Developers Conference today in San Francisco.Devil May Cry 5 came out on March 8 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. It has passed this milestone in just under two weeks.
  • Florence, the sincere and emotional game exploring young love, also earned developer Mountains two awards tonight, for Best Debut and Best Mobile Game. The game uses clever interactive story elements to sew together various scenes of the birth, maturation and denouement of a love story.
  • Developer Beat Games also took home two awards for its game Beat Saber, for Best VR/AR Game and the Audience Award. Beat Saber is a compelling and active VR rhythm game in which players use motion controllers to slice blocks to the sweat-inducing syncopations of music.
  • Best Technology winner Red Dead Redemption 2by Rockstar Games, which presents a meticulously realised open-world environment of the waning days of the Wild West.
  • Lucas Pope’s 3909 won Best Narrative for The Return of Obra Dinn, for the game’s exploration of a series of mysterious murders set aboard the namesake ghostship. 2018 IGF Award winner, Celeste, by developer Matt Makes Games, returned to the awards podium with their win for Best Audio, cementing the inspiring platformer’s reputation for its musical presentation.
  • The stunning platform-adventure game, Gris by NomadaStudio, earned the award for Best Visuals for its colourful artistic flourishes.
  • The Award for Best Design went to Into the Breach developed by Subset Games, a strategy title whose minimalist pixel art aesthetic belies the deep tactical and engaging gameplay that has earned it countless fans.
  • Nintendo’s Labo won the Innovation Award, honouring the revered Japanese publisher for its (literally) out-of-the-box title, which allows users to combine the versatile Switch hardware with self-constructed interactive toys and games made from cardboard.
  • In addition to the best games of the last year, the GDCAs also honour the dedicated individuals who have helped further the art, science and craft of video games with special awards. This year’s Pioneer Award, which recognises breakthrough tech and game design milestones, went to veteran game developer Rieko Kodama, recognising her for her trailblazing and continuing legacy in game design, which spans more than three decades of work on some of the most beloved titles in SEGA’s classic games library, from Phantasy Star through Alex Kidd to Skies of Arcadia and beyond.
  • The Lifetime Achievement Award was given to esteemed writer and director Amy Hennig, whose decades-long career in game development began in the Atari 7800 era and includes roles as creative director and writer of Naughty Dog’s acclaimed Uncharted game series. The award recognises Hennig’s varied career, with professional experience as a digital artist, animator, game designer and especially in the last two decades, as a writer and director of acclaimed adventure titles with a strong narrative and character elements.
“The Game Developers Choice Awards represent the most refined games of the year, and the sheer variety of games honoured tonight showed that games can still represent wholly new and unique creative visions. A number of independently developed titles like CelesteGris and Florence helped prove how internal or deeply personal turmoil can make for massively appealing games for millions of fans. While games like God of War and Red Dead Redemption 2 capture our imagination with poignant moments juxtaposed against epic tales of staggering scale and technical prowess. We embrace and accept all these amazingly creative works, and we’re proud to recognise these nominees and winners alike for the imagination and hard work that brought them here,” said Katie Stern, general manager of the Game Developers Conference. Apart from that at the keynote, Google has launched Stadia cloud gaming service at the Game Developers Conference (GDC) in San Francisco. Google CEO Sundar Pichai, who says he plays FIFA 19 “quite a bit,” introduced the Stadia service during a special keynote at GDC. Pichai shared Google’s ambitions to stream games to all types of devices. Stadia will stream games from the cloud to the Chrome browser, Chromecast, and Pixel devices, and it will launch at some point in 2019 in the US, Canada, UK, and Europe. The overall 19th edition of GDC was quite eventful and the fraternity is preparing and anticipating what it will have to offer in 2020.    
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