Throughout the years, thousands of games have been released, of varying quality. Some games are made by AAA developers, with a massive budget, and other games are made with a small independent team. Some of these companies go on to be game award winners thanks to their hard efforts.
Most kinds of games are AAA games and Indie games, and while there are plenty of games in between, these two categories are generally the umbrella that most games will fall under. But regardless of budget, any game has the potential to be something groundbreaking, and this is where game award events come in.
Over the year, plenty of games are released, and while many of them could either be badly designed or not fun, and others may be a fun time, but ultimately unremarkable, there is sometimes a diamond in the rough.
Much like with any entertainment industry, video games take countless hours to make. And like with the film industry, these games deserve some recognition. Here are Game Award events that will happen throughout the year.
New York Game Awards
The New York Game Awards are held annually in New York City. Unlike other game awards, this presentation relates to its namesake by theming its awards after the city. For example, the Game of the Year award is called the “Big Apple Award”, and the Best Indie Game award is called the “Off-Broadway” award.
As well as this, the event also has live music and comedy, making it feel much more like an SNL show with video game awards as a plus. The New York Game Awards take place in January, with the next awards show coming on the 23rd.
Last year, the winners of the show were:
- Big Apple Award for Game of the Year- Elden Ring
- Off Broadway Award for Best Indie Game- Vampire Survivors
- Herman Melville Award for Best Writing in a Game- God of War: Ragnarok
- Statue of Liberty Award for Best World- Elden Ring
- Tin Pan Alley Award for Best Music in a Game- Metal: Hellsinger
- Great White Way Award for Best Acting in a Game- Mannon Gage as Marissa Marcel
- Coney Island Dreamland Award for Best AR/VR Game- Moss: Book II
- Central Park n Zoo Award for Best Kids Game- Kirby and the Forgotten Land
- A-Train Award for Best Mobile Game- Marvel: Snap
- Freedom Tower Award for Best Remake- The Stanley Parable: Ultra Deluxe
- Joltin’ Joe Award for Best Esports Player of the Year- Masaya “aMSa” Chikamoto
- Chumley’s Speakeasy Award for Best Hidden Gem- Signalis
- NYC GWB Award for Best DLC- Destiny 2: The Witch Queen
- Knickerbocker Award for Best Games Journalism- Justin Heckert
- Elizabeth Jennings Graham Award for Best Education- Ryan O’Callaghan
- Andrew Yoon Legend Award- Phil Spencer
The New York Games Awards might not be the most well-known award shows out there, but they still bring in industry professionals and the awards are still considered to be quite noteworthy.
This year there are plenty of game award winners lined up to win an award. Baldur’s Gate 3 is the most likely candidate to win GoTY, but other potential winners are Marvel’s Spider-Man 2, Hogwarts Legacy and Alan Wake 2. For Indie games, nominees like Pizza Tower, Sea of Stars and Cocoon are all potential winners.
The Importance of the New York Game Awards
While the New York Game Awards aren’t the most important or prestigious games awards show of the year, they do have their importance and try to spread awareness for awareness and education for video game writing and journalism in the New York City area. This is shown through their inclusion of awards based on video game journalism.
As well as this, in 2019, former Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime, a highly influential figure in the gaming industry, joined the board of directors for the event.
BAFTA Game Awards
The BAFTAs also have award shows to celebrate success in the gaming industry. A UK-based awards show, the BAFTA Game Awards are prestigious awards for outstanding video game performance.
Held once a year, these events take place midway through the start of the year and give awards for the previous year.
Last year, ‘Vampire Survivors’ managed to take home the win for Game of the Year. The BAFTAs also feature a category for “Best British Game” with ‘Rollerdrome’ winner for last year.
The ceremony is due to take place on the 11th of April and will be streamed on the BBC and BBC iPlayer.
What Game Award Shows Are There?
There are many game awards shows throughout the year. These shows can be all over the globe, from the UK to the US and Asia. Wherever gaming is popular, there will surely be some variety of awards shows nearby.
Game award ceremonies have a long list of awards to give out, and while the NYC awards haven’t happened yet, many game award shows have already come and gone. Here are some of the top shows and their winners.
The Game Awards
Considered by many professionals as well as others in the gaming industry to be the most important game ceremony of the year. The Game Awards happen towards the end of the year, having last been shown on December 10th. This gives plenty of developers a good chance at their game having been around long enough for people to have a good opinion on it.
The game award winners for last year were:
- Game of the Year- Baldur’s Gate 3
- Best Game Direction- Alan Wake 2
- Best narrative- Alan Wake 2
- Best Art Direction- Alan Wake 2
- Best Score- Final Fantasy XVI
- Best Audio Design- Hi-Fi Rush
- Best Performance- Neil Newbon as Astarion (Baldur’s Gate 3)
- Games for Impact- Tchia
- Best Ongoing Game- Cyberpunk 2077
- Best Indie Game- Dave the Diver
- Best Debut Indie Game- Cocoon
- Best Mobile Game- Honkai: Star Rail
- Best Community Support- Baldur’s Gate 3
- Best VR/AR Game- Resident Evil Village
- Innovation in Availability- Forza Motorsport
- Best Action Game- Armored Core 6: Fires of Rubicon
- Best Action/Adventure Game- The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom
- Best RPG- Baldur’s Gate 3
- Best Fighting Game- Street Fighter 6
- Best Family Game- Super Mario Bros. WONDER
- Best Sports/Racing Game- Forza Motorsport
- Best SIM/Strategy Game- Pikmin 4
- Best Multiplayer Game- Baldur’s Gate 3
- Most Anticipated Game- Final Fantasy VII Rebirth
- Best Adaption- The Last of Us
- Players’ Voice (Game of the Year solely on public votes)- Baldur’s Gate 3
For more details on The Game Awards, visit their website or follow them on social media to keep up to date with the latest news.
The Golden Joystick Awards
Primarily a UK-based awards show, the voting takes place via GamesRader+. The Golden Joystick Awards took place on November 10th.
These awards present themselves as being unique by having ‘GoTY’ awards for PC, PlayStation, Xbox and Nintendo, as well as an ultimate game of the year award. Last year, these were the game award winners lucky enough to take home an award:
- Ultimate Game of the Year- Baldur’s Gate 3
- PC Game of the Year- Baldur’s Gate 3
- PlayStation Game of the Year- Resident Evil 4
- Xbox Game of the Year- Starfield
- Nintendo Game of the Year- The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom
This year, the event is likely to take place in November again, so keep a lookout for news closer to the date.
While these are the more popular game award shows, there are still plenty of others to look out for if you are interested in seeing more. Some of the lesser-known award shows are:
- I.C.E Awards- Awarded by the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences
- Czech Game of the Year Awards
- Electronic Gaming Awards (No longer running)
- Famitsu Awards
- Game Developers Choice Awards
- Japan Game Awards
- Spike Video Game Awards
- SXSW Gaming Awards
- VSDA Awards (No longer running)
While some game shows choose to wait until the end of the year, others will happen the year after. This is to give time after the year has come to an end to look at all potential choices equally, however they also miss out on the excitement of being an end of year event. Game award winners often see an increase in sales from their achievements, as well as having an accolade for their company and IP.