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 Uncharted 2, Flower, ACII  Lead 10th Choice Award Nominations
Uncharted 2, Flower, ACII Lead 10th Choice Award Nominations
January 19, 2010 | By Staff

January 19, 2010 | By Staff
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Organizers have revealed the nominees for the tenth annual Game Developers Choice Awards, the leading peer-based video game industry awards. Nominations this year are led by Naughty Dog's Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, with seven nominations.

The acclaimed title is closely followed by five nominations for Thatgamecompany's evocative downloadable game Flower, and four nominations for Ubisoft Montreal's well-received Renaissance action game sequel Assassin's Creed II.

In addition to the aforementioned Uncharted 2: Among Thieves and Assassin's Creed II, this year's Game Of The Year nominations are rounded out by BioWare's Dragon Age: Origins, From Software's Demon's Souls, and Rocksteady Studios' Batman: Arkham Asylum.

Other multiple nominees include notably diverse titles such as PopCap's Plants Vs. Zombies and Infinity Ward's Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.

The changes in today's game industry are well represented in the Game Developers Choice Awards this year by the inclusion of multiple iPhone titles (including Flight Control and Spider: The Secret Of Bryce Manor) as nominations in existing categories, as well as console downloadable titles such as Q Games' PixelJunk Shooter and RedLynx's Trials HD.

Organizers have also further diversified the awards by adding a Best New Social/Online Games category this year, with both Facebook and free-to-play online games competing for the new prize.

The Game Developers Choice Awards are open to any video game, with no restrictions or payment for game submission, and Main Competition finalists are chosen via a combination of open game industry nominations and the votes of the leading creators in the Choice Awards Advisory Committee.

Starting this year, winners are now being selected by the Game Developers Choice Awards-specific International Choice Awards Network (ICAN), which is a new invitation-only group comprised of 500 leading game creators from all parts of the video game industry. Choice Awards organizers believe that, in tandem with their goal of having the most focused, impartial awards in the game industry, this additional voting transparency will further boost the awards' reputation.

The complete list of nominees for the 10th Annual Game Developers Choice Awards are as follows:

Best Game Design
Batman: Arkham Asylum (Rocksteady)
Assassin's Creed 2 (Ubisoft Montreal)
Flower (Thatgamecompany)
Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (Naughty Dog)
Plants Vs. Zombies (PopCap)

Best Visual Art
Borderlands (Gearbox Software)
Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (Naughty Dog)
Assassin's Creed II (Ubisoft Montreal)
Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (Infinity Ward)
Flower (Thatgamecompany)

Best Technology
Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (Infinity Ward)
Red Faction: Guerrilla (Volition)
Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (Naughty Dog)
Killzone 2 (Guerrilla Games)
Assassin's Creed II (Ubisoft Montreal)

Best Writing
Brutal Legend (Double Fine)
Batman: Arkham Asylum (Rocksteady Studios)
Dragon Age: Origins (BioWare)
Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (Naughty Dog)
Halo 3: ODST (Bungie)

Best Audio
Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (Naughty Dog)
Dragon Age: Origins (BioWare)
Rock Band: The Beatles (Harmonix)
Flower (Thatgamecompany)
Brutal Legend (Double Fine Productions)

Innovation
Scribblenauts (5th Cell)
Flower (Thatgamecompany)
Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (Naughty Dog)
Plants Vs. Zombies (PopCap)
Demon's Souls (From Software)

Best Debut
The Maw (Twisted Pixel)
League Of Legends (Riot Games)
Spider: The Secret Of Bryce Manor (Tiger Style)
Torchlight (Runic Games)
Zeno Clash (ACE Team)

Best Downloadable Game
Plants Vs. Zombies (PopCap)
Trials HD (RedLynx)
PixelJunk Shooter (Q Games)
Shadow Complex (Chair Entertainment)
Flower (Thatgamecompany)

Best New Social/Online Game
Restaurant City (Playfish)
Farmville (Zynga)
Dungeon Fighter Online (Neople/Nexon)
Free Realms (Sony Online Entertainment San Diego)
Bejeweled Blitz (PopCap)

Best Handheld Game
Scribblenauts (5th Cell)
Flight Control (Firemint)
Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars (Rockstar Leeds/Rockstar North)
Spider: The Secret Of Bryce Manor (Tiger Style)
Legend Of Zelda: Spirit Tracks (Nintendo EAD)

Game Of The Year
Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (Naughty Dog)
Dragon Age: Origins (BioWare)
Batman: Arkham Asylum (Rocksteady Studios)
Demon's Souls (From Software)
Assassin's Creed II (Ubisoft Montreal)

In addition to the awards for individual games, the Game Developers Choice Awards committee is in the process of announcing its Special Award recipients.

Most recently, it was announced that this year's Pioneer Award is being given to Valve's Gabe Newell for his work in co-creating vital PC digital download service Steam, and helping to make possible some of the most important video games of the past two decades -- from the Half-Life series through Portal to Team Fortress and beyond.

Information on the winners of the Ambassador and Lifetime Achievement Special Awards -- as well as the identity of this year's Game Developers Choice Awards host -- will be revealed in the near future.

Winners in all major categories will be honored at the Game Developers Choice Awards show, open to over 3,000 of the world's leading video game developers, and taking place Thursday, March 11th at 6:30 pm at the Moscone Convention Center during the 2010 Game Developers Conference in San Francisco.

For more information about the 10th Annual Game Developers Choice Awards, check out the official website - and for information about the 2010 Game Developers Conference, please visit the official GDC website.


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Comments


Michel McBride-Charpentier
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"Best Downloadable Game" is a category in 2010? Really? I think it might be time to change that to best PSN/XBLA/WiiWare game, because on a PC every game is downloadable.

Simon Carless
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Well, there's at least one PC game on there, Michel - the category is defined as: "Best Downloadable Game Award recognizes the overall best game released on console or PC platforms specifically and solely for digital download - with an emphasis on smaller, more 'casual'-friendly titles."

Michel McBride-Charpentier
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Ok that description is a little more clear. But I still don't see how distribution method has anything to do with the game itself. Were Spider and Flight Control even considered under Downloadable? Some kind of "casual" or "smaller game" category would probably be more appropriate.

Christopher Plummer
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How does Demon's Souls not even get nominated for Best Game design? If we're talking pound for pound in game design, Demon's Souls wins against all of those games.

Adam Saltsman
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Nominations are done by popular vote I think? While these votes may be from game developers, the nominating pool is large enough for the trend to be toward popular or highly visible games, not necessarily toward apt or appropriate selections. Also, all these things are highly subjective!



For me, the complete absence of SFIV, Spelunky, Osmos, Captain Forever, Drop7, Closure, and Clash of Heroes renders these nominations almost completely irrelevant. If Batman wins best game design but SFIV and Captain Forever (and Demon Souls) weren't even competing, what does that actually mean? If Spider beats Spirit Tracks without having to go up against Clash of Heroes or Drop7, is it still prestigious and significant?



Having an elite jury select the awards might be more meaningful or more prestigious if the nominations weren't limited to high profile metacritic winners?



THAT SAID, I am genuinely excited to see indie games step out past the 'downloadable' category and vie for the "real" honors, that is so exciting to me, despite any issues I might have. All my love and respect to those small studios (TGC, Tiger Style, etc)!

Greg Wohlwend
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Cool to see Zeno Clash up there. Also, glad that new SMB didn't see the light of day. Bury that crap deep in the Earth!



@Adam, agree completely, Spelunky specifically... Derek had the class to leave Spelunky out of the IGF because it would have beat everyone in every category, and it feels flat not having him win _something_. Well, he's won our hearts. That's probably better.



:)

scott anderson
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@Greg, Adam: Closure and Spelunky will probably be on this list in a year or two when the commercial console versions are released.

Adam Saltsman
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I bet you're right! It's pretty hard to be a GDC Award contender without being on the 360, unless you're a second-party PS3 exclusive.

Chris Remo
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PC games have it even tougher :( It's the way of the world these days!

Chris Sykora
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Wow. I guess games that are released early in the year are forgotten. RE5 I think should have deserved some recognition. It wasn't a masterpiece but still is one of the prettiest games I have seen.



Not sure if I agree with giving ACII a visual award. The screenshots never matched actual gameplay graphics.

Brandon Sheffield
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I really wanted SF IV to be on there. It wins best game design in my heart! heh.

Christopher Plummer
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I understand your point Adam. Although, I'm curious why you guys believe that SFIV belongs on there. I'm not taking a stab at it...I'm genuinely curious what they did that was so great. Personally, fighting games as a genre have continued to underwhelm me this gen because the game design seems so dated.

Jim Burner
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I can understand why people tend to pass over New Super Mario Bros. Wii as just another installment in a long running series, but in my mind it should be up for Best Design. There are parts of that game that have me grinning from ear to ear it's so cleverly thought out. And yeah, DEMON'S SOULS.

M C
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The strength of Demon's Souls was superior, elegant design, so it is ashame the nomination for Best Design does not include it. DS really shows how smart rules evoke more powerful emotion than industry best production values.


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