SXSW Gaming Awards 2021 nominees announced

SXSW Gaming Awards 2021

The nominees for the eighth annual SXSW Gaming Awards have been revealed.

SXSW has partnered with IGN to produce the SXSW Gaming Awards show. It will broadcast on Saturday, March 20 at 7:00 PM Central Time. The show will livestream on ign.com, twitch.tv/sxswgaming, and twitch.tv/ign.

“Gaming is a key part of the creative ecosystem that makes up SXSW, and provides our community an opportunity to honor the achievements with the brightest minds in the field,” said Hugh Forrest, Chief Programming Officer for SXSW. “We’re excited to partner with IGN to bring this celebration to a global audience for 2021.”

The 2021 SXSW Gaming Awards include 43 nominees across 12 different categories. Public voting is open now through Tuesday, February 23, 2021 at sxsw.com. Winners of the awards are determined through a weighted total between staff and advisory board input and public voting.

2021 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.

  • Doom Eternal — id Software / Bethesda Softworks
  • Ghost of Tsushima — Sucker Punch Productions / Sony Interactive Entertainment
  • Hades — Supergiant Games
  • Ori and the Will of the Wisps — Moon Studios / Xbox Game Studios
  • The Last of Us Part II — Naughty Dog / Sony Interactive Entertainment

Indie Game of the Year

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

  • Bugsnax — Young Horses
  • Cloudpunk — Ion Lands
  • Crown Trick — NExT Studios / Team17
  • Deep Rock Galactic — Ghost Ship Games / Coffee Stain Publishing
  • Huntdown — Easy Trigger Games / Coffee Stain Publishing
  • Ikenfell — Happy Ray Games / Humble Games
  • Monster Sanctuary — Moi Rai Games / Team17
  • Raji: An Ancient Epic — Nodding Heads Games / Super.com
  • Risk of Rain 2 — Hopoo Games / Gearbox Publishing
  • The Last Campfire — Hello Games

Tabletop Game of the Year

Awarded to the game that exemplifies overall excellence and ingenuity of any tabletop game in any genre.

VR Game of the Year

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

  • Down the Rabbit Hole — Cortopia Studios / Beyond Frames Entertainment
  • Half-Life: Alyx — Valve
  • Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond — Respawn Entertainment / Electronic Arts
  • Star Wars: Squadrons — Motive Studios / Electronic Arts
  • The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners — Skydance Interactive

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.

  • Astro’s Playroom — Team ASOBI! / Sony Interactive Entertainment
  • Dreams — Media Molecule / Sony Interactive Entertainment
  • If Found… — Dreamfeel / Annapurna Interactive
  • Tell Me Why — DONTNOD Entertainment / Xbox Game Studios
  • The Last of Us Part II — Naughty Dog / Sony Interactive Entertainment

Excellence in Animation, Art, & Visual Achievement

Awarded to the game with the most well-designed and stunning visuals, including animation effects and graphics.

  • Assassin’s Creed Valhalla — Ubisoft Montreal / Ubisoft
  • Cloudpunk — Ion Lands
  • Final Fantasy VII Remake — SQUARE ENIX
  • Ghost of Tsushima — Sucker Punch Productions / Sony Interactive Entertainment
  • Ori and the Will of the Wisps — Moon Studios / Xbox Game Studios

Excellence in Game Design

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

  • Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time — Toys for Bob / Activision
  • Desperados III — Mimimi Games / THQ Nordic
  • Hades — Supergiant Games
  • Ori and the Will of the Wisps — Moon Studios / Xbox Game Studios
  • Watch Dogs: Legion — Ubisoft Toronto / Ubisoft

Excellence in Score

Awarded to the game that best exemplifies artistic excellence in the musical score and how it progresses the narrative of the game.

  • Cyberpunk 2077 — CD Projekt Red / CD Projekt
  • DOOM Eternal — id Software / Bethesda Softworks
  • Final Fantasy VII Remake — SQUARE ENIX
  • Ori and the Will of the Wisps — Moon Studios / Xbox Game Studios
  • Trials of Mana — Xeen / SQUARE ENIX

Excellence in Multiplayer

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

  • Deep Rock Galactic — Ghost Ship Games / Coffee Stain Publishing
  • Huntdown — Easy Trigger Games / Coffee Stain Publishing
  • Risk of Rain 2 — Hopoo Games, Gearbox Publishing
  • Star Wars: Squadrons — Motive Studios / Electronic Arts
  • VALORANT — Riot Games

Excellence in Narrative

Awarded to the game with the best storyline and dialogue.

  • Ghost of Tsushima — Sucker Punch Productions / Sony Interactive Entertainment
  • Hades — Supergiant Games
  • Immortals Fenyx Rising — Ubisoft Quebec / Ubisoft
  • Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales — Insomniac Games / Sony Interactive Entertainment
  • The Last of Us Part II — Naughty Dog / Sony Interactive Entertainment

Excellence in Audio Design

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

  • Bugsnax — Young Horses
  • Doom Eternal — id Software / Bethesda Softworks
  • Observer: System Redux — Bloober Team
  • Star Wars: Squadrons — Motive Studios / Electronic Arts
  • Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 — Vicarious Visions / Activision

Excellence in Technical Achievement

Awarded to the game that pushed the capabilities of technology and programming furthest or most effectively.

  • Astro’s Playroom — Team ASOBI! / Sony Interactive Entertainment
  • Dreams — Media Molecule / Sony Interactive Entertainment
  • Genshin Impact — miHoYo
  • Ghost of Tsushima — Sucker Punch Productions / Sony Interactive Entertainment
  • Microsoft Flight Simulator — Asobo Studio / Xbox Game Studios
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