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EVENTS AT GDC 

| GAME DEVELOPERS CHOICE AWARDS

About the Game Developers Choice Awards

Please note: this information refers to GDC 2015, check back for updates.

GDCA Game Developers Choice Awards are the premier accolades for peer-recognition in the digital games industry, celebrating creativity, artistry and technological genius. Industry professionals from around the world nominate for the awards, free of charge, ensuring that the recipients reflect the community's opinions.

Awards in thirteen categories will be given at a ceremony produced by the Game Developers Conference (GDC) on Wednesday, March 4, 2015 at GDC. The gala event, held in conjunction with the Independent Games Festival, will be hosted at San Francisco's Moscone Center.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015
6:30 - 8:30 PM
GDC Ballroom, West Hall, Street Level

For further details about the Choice Awards, visit www.gamechoiceawards.com.

Award Categories

Lifetime Achievement Award
The Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes the career and achievements of a developer who has made an indelible impact on the craft of game development and games as a whole.

WINNER: Hironobu Sakaguchi
Pioneer Award
The Pioneer Award (formerly known as the First Penguin Award) celebrates those individuals who developed a breakthrough technology, game concept, or gameplay design at a crucial juncture in video game history - paving the way for the myriads who followed them.

WINNER: David Braben
Ambassador Award
The Ambassador Award honors an individual or individuals who have helped the game industry advance to a better place, either through facilitating a better game community from within, or by reaching outside the industry to be an advocate for video games and help further our art.

WINNER: Brenda Romero
Audience Award

WINNER: Elite: Dangerous (Frontier Developments)

Game of the Year
The Game of the Year Award recognizes the choice of game developers for the overall best game release.

WINNER: Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor (Monolith Productions/Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment)

Finalists:
Alien: Isolation (Creative Assembly/Sega)
Bayonetta 2 (Platinum Games/Nintendo)
Destiny (Bungie/Activision)
Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft (Blizzard)
Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor (Monolith Productions/Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment)

Honorable Mentions: Titanfall (Respawn/Electronic Arts), Valiant Hearts: The Great War (Ubisoft Montpellier/Ubisoft), Far Cry 4 (Ubisoft Montreal/Ubisoft), Dragon Age: Inquisition (BioWare/Electronic Arts), Super Smash Bros. for Wii U (Sora Ltd. and BANDAI NAMCO/Nintendo)
Innovation Award
The Innovation Award recognizes the single game that demonstrates true innovation, advances the state of the art, and pushes the boundaries of games as an expressive medium.

WINNER: Monument Valley (ustwo)

Finalists:
Bounden (Game Oven)
Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor (Monolith Productions/Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment)
Monument Valley (ustwo)
This War of Mine (11 bit studios)
The Vanishing of Ethan Carter (The Astronauts)

Honorable Mentions: Crypt of the Necrodancer (Brace Yourself Games), Extrasolar (Lazy 8 Studios), Elite: Dangerous (Frontier Developments), Elegy for a Dead World (Dejobaan Games), 80 Days (inkle)
Best Audio
The Best Audio Award recognizes the overall excellence of audio in a game - including, but not limited to, sound effects, musical composition, sound design, orchestration, etc.

WINNER: Alien: Isolation (Creative Assembly/Sega)

Finalists:
Alien: Isolation (Creative Assembly/Sega)
Destiny (Bungie/Activision)
Hohokum (Honeyslug/Sony)
Transistor (Supergiant Games)
The Vanishing of Ethan Carter (The Astronauts)

Honorable Mentions: Child of Light (Ubisoft Montreal/Ubisoft), Far Cry 4 (Ubisoft Montreal/Ubisoft), D4: Dark Dreams Don't Die (Access Games/Microsoft), Bayonetta 2 (Platinum Games/Nintendo), Crypt of the Necrodancer (Brace Yourself Games)
Best Debut
The Best Debut Award recognizes the best game from any development studio which released its first publicly available title.

WINNER: Stoic Studio (The Banner Saga)

Finalists:
The Astronauts (The Vanishing of Ethan Carter)
Respawn Entertainment (Titanfall)
Stoic Studio (The Banner Saga)
Upper One Games (Never Alone)
Yacht Club Games (Shovel Knight)

Honorable Mentions: Dynamighty (CounterSpy), Hinterland Games (The Long Dark), 1337 & Senri (Leo's Fortune), MachineGames (Wolfenstein: The New Order), Hipster Whale (Crossy Road)
Best Design
The Best Game Design Award recognizes the overall excellence of design in a game - including, but not limited to, gameplay mechanics, playability, play balancing, and level design.

WINNER: Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft (Blizzard)

Finalists:
Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker (Nintendo EAD Tokyo and 1-Up Studio/Nintendo)
Dragon Age: Inquisition (BioWare/Electronic Arts)
Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft (Blizzard)
Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor (Monolith Productions/Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment)
Shovel Knight (Yacht Club Games)

Honorable Mentions: Mario Kart 8 (Nintendo EAD Tokyo/Nintendo), Alien: Isolation (Creative Assembly/Sega), Destiny (Bungie/Activision), Monument Valley (ustwo), Far Cry 4 (Ubisoft Montreal/Ubisoft)
Best Handheld/Mobile Game
Best Handheld Game Award recognizes the overall best game commercially released on any handheld platform.

WINNER: Monument Valley (ustwo)

Finalists:
80 Days (inkle)
Hearthstone (Blizzard)
Monument Valley (ustwo)
Super Smash Bros. 3DS (Sora Ltd. and BANDAI NAMCO/Nintendo)
Threes! (Sirvo)

Honorable Mentions: Bounden (Game Oven), Bravely Default (Silicon Studio and Square Enix/Nintendo and Square Enix),Desert Golfing (Captain Games), Velocity 2X (FuturLab), Fantasy Life (Level-5/Nintendo)
Best Narrative
The Best Narrative Award recognizes the overall excellence of storytelling in a game - including, but not limited to, scenario, plot construction, story, dialogue, and other major factors.

WINNER: Kentucky Route Zero: Act III (Cardboard Computer)

Finalists:
80 Days (inkle)
Kentucky Route Zero: Act III (Cardboard Computer)
Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor (Monolith Productions/Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment)
This War of Mine (11 bit studios)
The Vanishing of Ethan Carter (The Astronauts)

Honorable Mentions: Dragon Age: Inquisition (BioWare/Electronic Arts), Valiant Hearts: The Great War (Ubisoft Montpellier/Ubisoft), Tales From The Borderlands: Episode 1 (Gearbox Software/Telltale Games),D4: Dark Dreams Don't Die (Access Games/Microsoft), Hatoful Boyfriend (Mediatonic/Devolver Digital)
Best Technology
The Best Technology Award recognizes the overall excellence of technology in a game - including, but not limited to, graphics programming, artificial intelligence, networking, and physics.

WINNER: Destiny (Bungie/Activision)

Finalists:
Destiny (Bungie/Activision)
Elite: Dangerous (Frontier Developments)
Far Cry 4 (Ubisoft Montreal/Ubisoft)
Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor (Monolith Productions/Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment)
Wolfenstein: The New Order (MachineGames/Bethesda)

Honorable Mentions: Assassin's Creed Unity (Ubisoft Montreal/Ubisoft), The Last of Us: Remastered (Naughty Dog/Sony), Sunset Overdrive (Insomniac Games/Microsoft), Alien: Isolation (Creative Assembly/Sega), Infamous: Second Son (Sucker Punch Productions/Sony)
Best Visual Art
The Best Visual Art Award recognizes the overall excellence of visual art in a game - including, but not limited to, art direction, animation, modeling, character design, texture creation, and so on.

WINNER: Monument Valley (ustwo)

Finalists:
Alien: Isolation (Creative Assembly/Sega)
Bayonetta 2 (Platinum Games/Nintendo)
Child of Light (Ubisoft Montreal/Ubisoft)
Hohokum (Honeyslug and Sony Santa Monica/Sony)
Monument Valley (ustwo)

Honorable Mentions: Never Alone (Upper One Games/E-Line Media), The Vanishing of Ethan Carter (The Astronauts), Transistor (Supergiant Games), Broken Age: Act 1 (Double Fine Productions), Destiny (Bungie/Activision)