SXSW Gaming Awards

2015 Gaming Awards. Photo by Lisa Hause

See the 2016 Gaming Award Finalists

Voting for SXSW Gaming Award winners is now open

Started in 2014, the SXSW Gaming Awards is our way of showing that we admire and respect all the hard work it takes to create the art we call 'gaming'. On this note, we’re set on keeping the SXSW Gaming Awards focused on the craft of gaming and not the product that’s trying to be sold. Every project should be celebrated and respected for what they’re designed to be, and we intend to share these wonderful projects with the world.

SXSW Gaming Awards Laurel Logo

Entry and Judging Process

Gaming Awards
Judging begins in a two-step process once all entries have been received. First, there is a private judging process for all entered titles in which the SXSW Gaming Advisory Board and staff select the top five choices in each award category. The advisory board for SXSW Gaming is comprised of over 40 industry experts who are well-versed in everything gaming and geek culture. Once the final nominees have been chosen for each category, we invite the general public, along with the advisory board and staff, to cast their final votes to determine the winner of each award.

The entry period for the SXSW Gaming Awards began in June and ended in early December. Entries for the SXSW Gaming Awards were free of charge and open to all who qualified.

Weigh-in on who you think should win at this year's SXSW Gaming Awards – cast your vote! Voting will be open from 8:00 a.m. PST on Monday, February 1 until 11:59 p.m. PST on Friday, February 12.

Gamer's Voice
The Gamer's Voice category shares the same entry and selection periods as all the other categories, but it is unique in that it is purely focused on indie developers and teams with titles released in the 2015 or 2016 calendar year.

The nominees were selected exclusively by the SXSW Gaming Staff who played every game. Staff picked the top 40 to come join us at SXSW with an exclusive space on the SXSW Gaming Expo floor. From there, attendees will have the chance to play each nominated title and vote to determine the winner of the award, which will be announced during the SXSW Gaming Awards ceremony, Saturday, March 19, 2016 in Austin, TX.

Event Information

Séan "Jacksepticeye" William McLoughlin & Rachel "Seltzer" Quirico. Photos courtesy of talent


Rachel "Seltzer" Quirico & Séan "Jacksepticeye" William McLoughlin


Saturday, March 19, 2016


Hilton Austin, downtown | 6th floor


This event is free and open to the public


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

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

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

Excellence in Gameplay
Awarded to the game with the best gameplay mechanics.

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

Excellence in Animation
Awarded to the game with the most outstanding animation effects and graphics.

Excellence in Technical Achievement
Awarded to the game that pushed the capabilities of technology and programming.

Excellence in Visual Achievement
Awarded to the game with the most well-designed and stunning visuals.

Excellence in Narrative
Awarded to the game with the best storyline and dialogue.

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

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

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.

Excellence in Multiplayer
Awarded to the game with the best player-to-player interaction experience.

Excellence in Convergence
Awarded to the game that excels in crossover to other entertainment mediums such as film, music, toys, animation, sports and more.

Most Enduring Character
Awarded to the best game character that left an overwhelming impression.

  • Geralt – The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
  • Hannah Smith – Her Story
  • Joker – Batman: Arkham Knight
  • Lara Croft – Rise of the Tomb Raider
  • Ori – Ori & the Blind Forest

Most Valuable Esport Team
Awarded to the professional team that excels in performance and provides the most valuable impact in its competitive scene.

Most Entertaining Online Personality
Awarded to the online gaming-related personality that consistently entertains and keeps us watching with its humor, stories, special effects, and more.

Most Fulfilling Crowdfunded Game
Awarded to the game that was primarily produced via crowdfunding platforms and had excelled beyond the expectations set before it.

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.

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.

Gamer’s Voice Award

Awarded to the best game created by indie developers, selected by SXSW Gaming Expo attendees.

Gamer's Voice Multiplayer

Gamer's Voice Single Player

Past SXSW Gaming Award Highlights

Check out the full list of winners from previous years here.


Join SXSW Gaming on Steam.

Stream the 2015 Gaming Awards on Twitch!

For more information on our SXSW Gaming Awards, reach out to

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For all general SXSW Gaming inquiries, please contact us at

To learn about additional ways to be involved with SXSW Gaming, check out our Gaming Expo and our Geek Stage.

2015 Gaming Winner photo by Lisa Hause