SAN FRANCISCO – March 21, 2018 – Nintendo’s groundbreaking open-world role-playing game, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, was honored with the prize for Game of the Year at tonight’s 18th annual Game Developers Choice Awards (GDCA) ceremony during the 2018 Game Developers Conference (GDC) at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. The game’s expansive sound and deep, open-ended gameplay also earned The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild the awards for Best Audio and 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 at http://twitch.tv/gdc
Developer Jason Roberts’ visually inventive and contemplative puzzle game, Gorogoa, earned two awards tonight, for Best Mobile Game and the Innovation Award. The game seamlessly blends a unique visual design with engrossing storytelling elements, bending space and reality in the process. Developer Studio MDHR also earned two awards, Best Debut and Best Visual Art, for its work on the retro shooter Cuphead. The game faithfully reproduces the charming cartoon aesthetics and toe-tapping jazz of the 1930s, and adds the tight gameplay mechanics of a sidescrolling shooter to create an experience that is at once playful and familiar, yet fiendishly challenging and novel.
The full slate of winners at the 2018 GDCAs also includes Best Narrative award winner, What Remains of Edith Finch by Giant Sparrow, a title that artfully portrays the sad and joyful stories of multiple generations of the Finch family; Horizon Zero Dawn by Guerilla Games, which earned the award for Best Technology for its visually stunning portrayal of a far-flung sci-fi world filled with lush environments and deadly robotic monsters; and the sharply stylistic VR shooter, SUPERHOT VR by the SUPERHOT Team, which won the award for Best VR/AR Game. In addition, the Audience Award, chosen among the entire selection of GDCA finalists via a public online voting process, was presented to developer PlatinumGames for NieR:Automata, the charmingly offbeat open-world RPG.
The Game Developers Choice Awards honor 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 group comprised of leading game creators from all parts of the industry.
In addition to the best games of the last year, the GDCAs also honor the dedicated individuals who have helped further the art, science and craft of video games with special awards. This year’s Ambassador Award, which recognizes those whose actions have helped video games to “advance to a better place,” went to independent developer and Vlambeer co-founder Rami Ismail. The award recognizes Ismail’s work helping incubators, local events, universities, community efforts, and games industry policy around the world.
The Lifetime Achievement Award recipient was Double Fine and LucasArts developer Tim Schafer, whose career spans almost three decades of creating iconic adventure games across platforms and generations. Schafer has inspired countless developers around the world with his work on standout titles like Day Of The Tentacle, Full Throttle, Grim Fandango & Brutal Legend, helped advocate for independent game development, and pioneered independent crowdfunding for games like Double Fine’s Psychonauts 2 and Broken Age.
“Every year sees countless amazing games worthy of recognition, but this year in particular has seen some of the strongest titles to arrive this generation. The GDCAs give us an opportunity to reflect on and honor the games that provided us with endless joy,” said Katie Stern, General Manager of the Game Developers Conference. “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild helped us rediscover a childlike sense of adventure and discovery. Titles like Gorogoa and What Remains of Edith Finch offered us distinct creative visions that can only be experienced in games, and games like Cuphead and Horizon Zero Dawn crafted worlds we could lose ourselves in. Congratulations to all of tonight’s nominees and winners and thank you for your creativity and dedication.”