SXSW Gaming Awards

The SXSW Gaming Awards recognize the finest games and most creative individuals in the game industry. Learn more about the Gaming Awards.


SXSW Gaming Awards – 2019 – Photo by Stephen Olker

SXSW Gaming Awards – 2019 – Photo by Stephen Olker

About

 

The SXSW Gaming Awards celebrate the wide reach of gaming across areas such as art, design, narrative, gameplay, cultural innovation, and more.

The nominees have been selected, our community has voted and we’re now preparing for the 2022 SXSW Gaming Awards Ceremony on Saturday, March 12 at 7:00pm CT, streaming on SXSW Online and our Twitch channel.

Hosted by Jana Morrison and Samantha Aucoin of Astrid & Lilly Save the World, the ceremony will honor the top titles in twelve categories, with awards presented by a diverse cast of industry talent and professionals and supported by an integrated animated narrative produced by animation studio Toonstar and a performance by Welsh pop-punk sensation Punk Rock Factory with a brand-new song. Presenters include ESL Gaming’s Americas SVP Ramon Hermann, representatives from the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Esports Team and cast members of G4TV’s Attack of the Show, Invitation to Party and XPlay.

See below for the award categories and this year’s nominees.

For more information regarding the SXSW Gaming Awards, please reach out to gaming@sxsw.com.

2022 Categories And Nominees

 

2022 SXSW Gaming Awards Nominees

Video Game of the Year

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

Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker — SQUARE ENIX
It Takes Two — Hazelight / Electronic Arts
Psychonauts 2 — Double Fine Productions / Xbox Game Studios
Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart — Insomniac Games / Sony Interactive Entertainment
Resident Evil Village — Capcom

Indie Game of the Year

Awarded to the independently-developed game that exemplifies overall excellence and creates a distinct gaming experience across all platforms and genres.

Chicory: A Colorful Tale — Greg Lobanov / Finji
Death’s Door — Acid Nerve / Devolver Digital
Inscryption — Daniel Mullins Games / Devolver Digital
Kena: Bridge of Spirits — Ember Lab
Loop Hero — Four Quarters / Devolver Digital
Lost Words: Beyond the Page — Sketchbook Games / Modus Games
The Medium — Bloober Team
Unpacking — Witch Beam / Humble Games
Valheim — Iron Gate Studio / Coffee Stain Publishing
The Wild At Heart — Moonlight Kids / Humble Games

Tabletop Game of the Year

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

Cascadia — Randy Flynn, Beth Sobel, Dylan Mangini, Molly Johnson, Robert Melvin, Kevin Russ, Shawn Stankewich, David Lezzi / Flatout Games
Dune: Imperium — Dire Wolf Digital / Dire Wolf Digital
Oath: Chronicles of Empire & Exile — Cole Wehrle / Leder Games
Roll Camera! The Filmmaking Board Game — Malachi Ray Rempen / Keen Bean Studio
That Time You Killed Me — Peter C. Hayward, Jeff Fraser, Alex Cutler / Pandasaurus Games

VR Game of the Year

Awarded to the VR game that exemplifies overall excellence in gameplay and design across any VR platform.

After The Fall — Vertigo Games
Demeo — Resolution Games
Lone Echo II — Ready at Dawn / Oculus Studios
Resident Evil 4 VR — Armature Studio / Oculus Studios
Song in the Smoke — 17-BIT

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.

Chicory: A Colorful Tale — Greg Lobanov / Finji
Before Your Eyes — GoodbyeWorld Games / Skybound Games
Life is Strange: True Colors — Deck Nine Games / Square Enix
Lost Words: Beyond the Page — Sketchbook Games / Modus Games
Unpacking — Witch Beam / Humble Games

Excellence in Animation, Art, & Visual Achievement

Awarded to the game with the most well-designed and stunning visuals, including animation effects and graphics.

Deathloop — Arkane Lyon / Bethesda Softworks
Exo One — Exbleative / Future Friends Games
Forza Horizon 5 — Playground Games / Xbox Game Studios
Kena: Bridge of Spirits — Ember Lab
The Wild At Heart — Moonlight Kids / Humble Games

Excellence in Game Design

Awarded to the game with the best overall design concept, gameplay mechanics, and best execution.

Deathloop — Arkane Lyon / Bethesda Softworks
Inscryption — Daniel Mullins Games / Devolver Digital
Loop Hero — Four Quarters / Devolver Digital
Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart — Insomniac Games / Sony Interactive Entertainment
Returnal — Housemarque / Sony Interactive Entertainment

Excellence in Original Score

Awarded to the game that best exemplifies artistic excellence in its original musical score and how it progresses the narrative of the game.

The Artful Escape — Beethoven & Dinosaur / Annapurna Interactive
Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker — SQUARE ENIX
Kena: Bridge of Spirits — Ember Lab
The Medium — Bloober Team
Wytchwood — Alientrap Games / Whitethorn Games

Excellence in Multiplayer

Awarded to the game with the best player-to-player interaction experience.

Back 4 Blood — Turtle Rock Studios / Warner Bros. Games
Halo Infinite — 343 Inductries / Xbox Game Studios
It Takes Two — Hazelight / Electronic Arts
Riders Republic — Ubisoft Annecy / Ubisoft
Valheim — Iron Gate Studio / Coffee Stain Publishing

Excellence in Narrative

Awarded to the game with the best storyline and dialogue.

Deathloop — Arkane Lyon / Bethesda Softworks
Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker — SQUARE ENIX
Kena: Bridge of Spirits — Ember Lab
Lost in Random — Zoink Games / Electronic Arts
Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy — Eidos-Montréal / Square Enix

Excellence in Audio Design

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

Forza Horizon 5 — Playground Games / Xbox Game Studios
Hell Let Loose — Black Matter / Team17
Inscryption — Four Quarters / Devolver Digital
Twelve Minutes — Luis Antonio / Annapurna Interactive
Resident Evil Village — Capcom

Excellence in Technical Achievement

Awarded to the game that pushed the capabilities of technology and programming furthest or most effectively.

Before Your Eyes — GoodbyeWorld Games / Skybound Games
Forza Horizon 5 — Playground Games / Xbox Game Studios
Hell Let Loose — Black Matter / Team17
Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart — Insomniac Games / Sony Interactive Entertainment
Returnal — Housemarque / Sony Interactive Entertainment

Entry & Judging Process

 

Applications for 2022 are now closed. Stay tuned for the Finalists announcement later in the season.

The Gaming Awards are open for entry from August to December of each year. All entries must be completed titles released during that calendar year.

Once all entries are received, the judging process will begin for SXSW staff and an advisory board. Once the judging process concludes, SXSW will announce the final nominees for each category in February.

View previous winners.

2021 Winners

 

Video Game of the Year

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

Winner: Hades — Supergiant Games

Indie Game of the Year

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

Winner: Deep Rock Galactic — Ghost Ship Games / Coffee Stain Publishing

Tabletop Game of the Year

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

Winner: The Search for Planet X — Renegade Game Studios / Foxtrot Games

VR Game of the Year

Awarded to the VR game that exemplifies overall excellence in gameplay and design across any VR platform.

Winner: Half-Life: Alyx — Valve

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.

Winner: Dreams — Media Molecule / Sony Interactive Entertainment

Excellence in Animation, Art, & Visual Achievement

Awarded to the game with the most well-designed and stunning visuals, including animation effects and graphics.

Winner: Ghost of Tsushima — Sucker Punch Productions / Sony Interactive Entertainment

Excellence in Game Design

Awarded to the game with the best overall design concept, gameplay mechanics, and best execution.

Winner: Hades — Supergiant Games

Excellence in Score

Awarded to the game that best exemplifies artistic excellence in musical score and how it progresses the narrative of the game.

Winner: Ori and the Will of the Wisps — Moon Studios / Xbox Game Studios

Excellence in Multiplayer

Awarded to the game with the best player-to-player interaction experience.

Winner: Deep Rock Galactic — Ghost Ship Games / Coffee Stain Publishing

Excellence in Narrative

Awarded to the game with the best storyline and dialogue.

Winner: The Last of Us Part II — Naughty Dog / Sony Interactive Entertainment

Excellence in Audio Design

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

Winner: DOOM Eternal — id Software / Bethesda Softworks

Excellence in Technical Achievement

Awarded to the game that pushed the capabilities of technology and programming furthest or most effectively.

Winner: Microsoft Flight Simulator — Asobo Studio / Xbox Game Studios

Congrats to all 2021 SXSW Gaming Awards recipients!

2021 Gaming Awards Nominees

 

Game of the Year

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

Nominees
DOOM Eternal — id Software / Bethesda Softworks
Ghost of Tsushima — Sucker Punch Productions / Sony Interactive Entertainment
Hades — Supergiant Games
Ori and the Will of the Wisps — Moon Studios / Xbox Game Studios
The Last of Us Part II — Naughty Dog / Sony Interactive Entertainment

Indie Game of the Year

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

Nominees
Bugsnax — Young Horses
Cloudpunk — Ion Lands
Crown Trick — NExT Studios / Team17
Deep Rock Galactic — Ghost Ship Games / Coffee Stain Publishing
Huntdown — Easy Trigger Games / Coffee Stain Publishing
Ikenfell — Happy Ray Games / Humble Games
Monster Sanctuary — Moi Rai Games / Team17
Raji: An Ancient Epic — Nodding Heads Games / Super.com
Risk of Rain 2 — Hopoo Games / Gearbox Publishing
The Last Campfire — Hello Games

Tabletop Game of the Year

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

Nominees
Calico — Flatout Games
Fort — Leder Games
Oceans — North Star Games
The Crew: The Quest for Planet Nine — KOSMOS
The Search for Planet X — Renegade Game Studios / Foxtrot Games

VR Game of the Year

Awarded to the game that exemplifies overall excellence in gameplay and design across any VR platform.

Nominees
Down the Rabbit Hole — Cortopia Studios / Beyond Frames Entertainment
Half-Life: Alyx — Valve
Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond — Respawn Entertainment / Electronic Arts
Star Wars: Squadrons — Motive Studios / Electronic Arts
The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners — Skydance Interactive

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.

Nominees
Astro’s Playroom — Team ASOBI! / Sony Interactive Entertainment
Dreams — Media Molecule / Sony Interactive Entertainment
If Found… — Dreamfeel / Annapurna Interactive
Tell Me Why — DONTNOD Entertainment / Xbox Game Studios
The Last of Us Part II — Naughty Dog / Sony Interactive Entertainment

Excellence in Animation, Art, & Visual Achievement

Awarded to the game with well-designed and stunning visuals including animation effects and graphics.

Nominees
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla — Ubisoft Montreal / Ubisoft
Cloudpunk — Ion Lands
Final Fantasy VII Remake — SQUARE ENIX
Ghost of Tsushima — Sucker Punch Productions / Sony Interactive Entertainment
Ori and the Will of the Wisps — Moon Studios / Xbox Game Studios

Excellence in Game Design

Awarded to the game with the best overall design concept, gameplay mechanics, and best execution.

Nominees
Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time — Toys for Bob / Activision
Desperados III — Mimimi Games / THQ Nordic
Hades — Supergiant Games
Ori and the Will of the Wisps — Moon Studios / Xbox Game Studios
Watch Dogs: Legion — Ubisoft Toronto / Ubisoft

Excellence in Score

Awarded to the game that best exemplifies artistic excellence in musical score and how it progresses the narrative of the game.

Nominees
Cyberpunk 2077 — CD Projekt Red / CD Projekt
DOOM Eternal — id Software / Bethesda Softworks
Final Fantasy VII Remake — SQUARE ENIX
Ori and the Will of the Wisps — Moon Studios / Xbox Game Studios
Trials of Mana — Xeen / SQUARE ENIX

Excellence in Multiplayer

Awarded to the game with the best player-to-player interaction experience.

Nominees
Deep Rock Galactic — Ghost Ship Games / Coffee Stain Publishing
Huntdown — Easy Trigger Games / Coffee Stain Publishing
Risk of Rain 2 — Hopoo Games, Gearbox Publishing
Star Wars: Squadrons — Motive Studios / Electronic Arts
VALORANT — Riot Games

Excellence in Narrative

Awarded to the game with the best storyline and dialogue.

Nominees
Ghost of Tsushima — Sucker Punch Productions / Sony Interactive Entertainment
Hades — Supergiant Games
Immortals Fenyx Rising — Ubisoft Quebec / Ubisoft
Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales — Insomniac Games / Sony Interactive Entertainment
The Last of Us Part II — Naughty Dog / Sony Interactive Entertainment

Excellence in Audio Design

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

Nominees
Bugsnax — Young Horses
DOOM Eternal — id Software / Bethesda Softworks
Observer: System Redux — Bloober Team
Star Wars: Squadrons — Motive Studios / Electronic Arts
Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 — Vicarious Visions / Activision

Excellence in Technical Achievement

Awarded to the game that pushed the capabilities of technology and programming furthest or most effectively.

Nominees
Astro’s Playroom — Team ASOBI! / Sony Interactive Entertainment
Dreams — Media Molecule / Sony Interactive Entertainment
Genshin Impact — miHoYo
Ghost of Tsushima — Sucker Punch Productions / Sony Interactive Entertainment
Microsoft Flight Simulator — Asobo Studio / Xbox Game Studios

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