Blizzard Entertainment’s popular and stylish multiplayer shooter, Overwatch, was honored with the prize for Game of the Year at tonight’s 17th annual Game Developers Choice Awards (GDCA) ceremony during the 2017 Game Developers Conference (GDC) at the Moscone Center in San Francisco.
Overwatch’s carefully calibrated balance and polished gameplay mechanics also earned the game the award for Best Design. An archive of the award ceremony, as well as the full presentation of the Independent Games Festival Awards (IGF Awards), can be viewed on the official GDC Twitch channel.
Developer Playdead’s beautifully macabre and engrossing platformer, Inside, also earned two awards in total, for Best Audio and Best Visual Art. Developer Campo Santo’s compelling first-person adventure game, Firewatch, was the final double award-winner of the night, earning the team the awards for Best Debut and Best Narrative.
The full slate of winners at tonight’s ceremony also includes the augmented reality (AR) game Pokemon Go by Niantic, which became a worldwide sensation and earned the award for Best Mobile/Handheld Game. The massively ambitious, procedurally-generated universe of No Man’s Sky earned developer Hello Games the Innovation Award, while the grandiose production and graphics in Naughty Dog’s Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End earned that title the award for Best Technology.
Every year, the Game Developers Choice Awards also recognize developers who have made significant contributions to the art, science and craft of video games with three special awards. This year, the Pioneer Award was given to Jordan Mechner, the game designer, programmer and screenwriter best known for creating the landmark series, Prince of Persia.
The Ambassador Award, which recognizes those whose actions have helped video games to “advance to a better place,” went to Mark DeLoura, for dedicating his life to the education and the productive use of technology within academia, the media and videogames, holding roles that include Senior Advisor for Digital Media during the Obama administration.
The Lifetime Achievement award was given to Tim Sweeney, the founder of Epic Games, and the creator of seminal game/creation tool ZZT and the influential Unreal Engine. Following the 1998 PC game Unreal, which Sweeney co-created, the game's engine became the underpinning for a slew of acclaimed games, including Epic's own Gears of War and Unreal franchises, as well as the BioShock series, Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell, and the Batman: Arkham series of games.
The Game Developers Choice Awards winners are:
- Best Audio – Inside (Playdead)
- Best Debut – Campo Santo (Firewatch)
- Best Design – Overwatch (Blizzard Entertainment)
- Best Mobile/Handheld Game – Pokemon Go (Niantic)
- Innovation Award – No Man’s Sky (Hello Games)
- Best Narrative – Firewatch (Campo Santo)
- Best Technology – Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End (Naughty Dog)
- Best Visual Art – Inside (Playdead)
- Best VR/AR Game – Job Simulator: The 2050 Archives (Owlchemy Labs)
- Audience Award – Battlefield 1 (EA DICE)
- Game of the Year – Overwatch (Blizzard Entertainment)
- Pioneer Award – Jordan Mechner
- Ambassador Award – Mark DeLoura
- Lifetime Achievement Award – Tim Sweeney
Damn, Doom got no awards, again! Poor id Software!
For more information about the 17th Annual Game Developers Choice Awards, please visit the official website. For information about the 2017 Game Developers Conference, please visit the official website.