SXSW Gaming Awards 2020 categories and nominees announced

The nominees for the seventh annual SXSW Gaming Awards have been announced ahead of next month’s conference in Austin.

Wil Wheaton and Janina Gavankar will host the awards show. Wheaton is the host of a new show, GameMaster. Gavankar is an actress, musician, and filmmaker. The event will stream live twitch.tv/sxswgaming and twitch.tv/ultimategamemaster.

“Gaming is an important part of the creative ecosystem that comes together in Austin every March,” said Hugh Forrest, Chief Programming Officer for SXSW. “The SXSW Gaming Awards provides our community with an opportunity to celebrate achievements and hear from the brightest minds in the field while taking advantage of the unique mix of industries that gather at our event.”

Winners of the 2020 Gaming Awards will be determined by a weighted total between staff and advisory board input and public voting. Voting will be available to the public starting Monday, February 17 through midnight on Sunday, February 23 via the SXSW Gaming Awards voting page.

2020 SXSW Gaming Awards Nominees

Video Game of the Year

Awarded to the game that exemplifies overall excellence and creates a distinct gaming experience across all platforms and genres.

  • Control — Remedy Entertainment / 505 Games
  • Devil May Cry 5 — Capcom
  • Disco Elysium — ZA/UM
  • Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice — FromSoftware / Activision
  • Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order — Respawn Entertainment / Electronic Arts

Mobile Game of the Year

Awarded to the game that exemplifies overall excellence and creates a unique gaming experience on any handheld device.

  • Call of Duty Mobile — TiMi Studios / Activision
  • Sayonara Wild Hearts — Simogo / Annapurna Interactive
  • Sky: Children of the Light — thatgamecompany
  • Where Cards Fall — Snowman
  • Whispers of a Machine — Clifftop Games / Raw Fury

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
  • Parks — Keymaster Games
  • Pax Pamir — Wehrlegig Games
  • Tainted Grail: The Fall of Avalon — Awaken Realms
  • Taverns of Tiefenthal — North Star Games

XR Game of the Year

Awarded to the VR game that exemplifies overall excellence in gameplay and design across any VR platform.

  • Blood & Truth — Sony Interactive Entertainment
  • No Man’s Sky BEYOND VR — Hello Games
  • Pistol Whip — Cloudhead Games
  • The Under Presents — Tender Claws
  • tori — BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment America, Inc.

Trending Game of the Year

Awarded to the game that consistently entertained and kept us watching on social platforms with its humor, stories, and more.

  • Apex Legends — Respawn Entertainment / Electronic Arts
  • Borderlands 3 — Gearbox Software / 2K Games
  • Death Stranding — Kojima Productions / Sony Interactive Entertainment
  • Pokemon Sword and Shield — Game Freak / The Pokemon Company, Nintendo
  • Super Mario Maker 2 — Nintendo

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.

  • Death Stranding — Kojima Productions / Sony Interactive Entertainment
  • Disco Elysium — ZA/UM
  • Knights and Bikes — Foam Sword / Double Fine Productions
  • Overland — Finji
  • Sea of Solitude — Jo-Mei Games / Electronic Arts

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.

  • Astral Chain — PlatinumGames / Nintendo
  • Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night — ArtPlay / 505 Games
  • Control — Remedy Entertainment / 505 Games
  • Katana ZERO — Askiisoft / Devolver Digital
  • The Outer Worlds —  Obsidian Entertainment / Private Division

Excellence in Animation

Awarded to the game with the most outstanding animations.

  • Apex Legends — Respawn Entertainment / Electronic Arts
  • Death Stranding — Kojima Productions / Sony Interactive Entertainment
  • KINGDOM HEARTS III — Square Enix
  • Luigi’s Mansion 3 — Nintendo
  • Mortal Kombat 11 — NetherRealm Studios / Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment

Excellence in Art

Awarded to the game with the most expressive and creative artistic style.

  • Control — Remedy Entertainment / 505 Games
  • Disco Elysium — ZA/UM
  • The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening — Nintendo
  • Luigi’s Mansion 3 — Nintendo
  • Sayonara Wild Hearts — Simogo / Annapurna Interactive

Excellence in Design

Awarded to the game with the best overall design concept and best execution.

  • Astral Chain — PlatinumGames / Nintendo
  • Control — Remedy Entertainment / 505 Games
  • Disco Elysium — ZA/UM
  • Luigi’s Mansion 3 — Nintendo
  • Outer Wilds — Mobius Digital / Annapurna Interactive

Excellence in Gameplay

Awarded to the game with the best gameplay mechanics.

  • Astral Chain — PlatinumGames / Nintendo
  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare — Infinity Ward / Activision
  • Devil May Cry 5 — Capcom
  • Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice — FromSoftware / Activision
  • Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order — Respawn Entertainment / Electronic Arts

Excellence in Multiplayer

Awarded to the game with the best player-to-player interaction experience.

  • Apex Legends — Respawn Entertainment / Electronic Arts
  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare — Infinity Ward / Activision
  • FINAL FANTASY XIV: Shadowbringers — Square Enix
  • Monster Hunter World: Iceborne — Capcom
  • Mortal Kombat 11 — NetherRealm Studios / Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment

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.

  • Death Stranding — Kojima Productions / Sony Interactive Entertainment
  • Devil May Cry 5 — Capcom
  • Disco Elysium — ZA/UM
  • Outer Wilds — Mobius Digital / Annapurna Interactive
  • Sayonara Wild Hearts — Simogo / Annapurna Interactive

Excellence in Narrative

Awarded to the game with the best storyline and dialogue.

  • Control — Remedy Entertainment / 505 Games
  • Death Stranding — Kojima Productions / Sony Interactive Entertainment
  • Disco Elysium — ZA/UM
  • Outer Wilds — Mobius Digital / Annapurna Interactive
  • A Plague Tale: Innocence — Asobo Studio / Focus Home Interactive

Excellence in SFX

Awarded to the game with the most outstanding and impactful sound effects.

  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare — Infinity Ward / Activision
  • Luigi’s Mansion 3 — Nintendo
  • Mortal Kombat 11 — NetherRealm Studios / Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
  • Resident Evil 2 — Capcom
  • Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order — Respawn Entertainment / Electronic Arts

Excellence in Technical Achievement

Awarded to the game that pushed the capabilities of technology and programming.

  • Concrete Genie — Pixelopus / Sony Interactive Entertainment
  • Control — Remedy Entertainment / 505 Games
  • Death Stranding — Kojima Productions / Sony Interactive Entertainment
  • Devil May Cry 5 — Capcom
  • Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice — FromSoftware / Activision

Excellence in Visual Achievement

Awarded to the game with the most well-designed and stunning visuals.

  • Control — Remedy Entertainment / 505 Games
  • Death Stranding — Kojima Productions / Sony Interactive Entertainment
  • The Outer Worlds —  Obsidian Entertainment / Private Division
  • Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order — Respawn Entertainment / Electronic Arts
  • Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice — FromSoftware / Activision

This year’s SXSW runs from March 13 to 20 in Austin, Texas. Visit sxsw.com for more information. Meanwhile, the SXSW Gaming Awards takes place on Sunday, March 15 at 7 PM at the JW Marriott in downtown Austin. In addition to being streamed online, the event is open to all SXSW registrants.

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