SXSW Gaming Awards

2015 Gaming Awards. Photo by Lisa Hause

See the 2016 Gaming Award Winners

See the 2016 Gaming Award Gamer's Voice Winners

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're proud to recognize each of our nominees at SXSW.

Event Information


Saturday, March 19, 2016
Doors Open 7:30pm | Show Starts 8:00pm


Hilton Austin, downtown | 6th floor


All SXSW Gaming Programming and Events are FREE with Guest Pass | Explore more Free SXSW Events

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Presented by

G2A, Curse Inc., Windows Games DX, IGN Entertainment, Twitch, Imaginary Forces, and Porter Novelli

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


Rachel "Seltzer" Quirico | Rachel began her career in esports as a competitive Team Fortress 2 player for PMS Clan. In 2011, she found a home at Cyber Sports Network doing live stage hosting and offline coverage of events. Rachel highlights the excitement and personalities of the pro-gaming scene she loves with weekly interviews and news shows, and since 2010, she has published over 300 interviews with pro players across more than 15 games.

Séan "Jacksepticeye" William McLoughlin | Séan is the self-proclaimed “most energetic video game commentator on YouTube.” He currently has over seven million subscribers, close to three billion views and over 1900 uploaded videos. Jack shows a wide variety of games and styles on his channel from over-the-top, bombastic gameplay commentary to more humble and down to earth in his vlogs.


Tough Coded: Live | Pre-show Entertainment
Tough Coded: Live is a Live Videogame Experience, executed by a Game Master. The game is like a regular shoot em up, that the Game Master “executes” live. Meaning, he/she decides when power ups appear, when enemies appear, when the game slow-motions, when it goes in fast-motion, etc. The Game Master is also in control of the music, meaning it’s a complete audiovisual experience.

Starbomb | Half-time Entertainment, A live performance.
Starbomb is a comedy music supergroup composed of YouTube stars Ninja Sex Party (Dan Avidan & Brian Wecht) and Egoraptor (Arin Hanson). On their two albums, Starbomb and Player Select, the group revisits video games both old and new to give a fresh (and often adult) take on beloved classic games through original songs. Each track features rap vocals by Hanson, singing/rapping by Avidan, and instrumentals and production by Wecht.


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
  • WINNER – 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

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.

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.

Past SXSW Gaming Award Highlights

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

Special thanks to our sponsors

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2015 Gaming Winner photo by Lisa Hause