The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild takes Game of the Year at GDC Awards 2018

GDC 2018 - Awards - Breath of the Wild

The winners of the 18th Annual Game Developers Choice Awards are in, the ceremony concluding earlier this week in San Francisco, USA. Honoring some of the best games of 2017, the nominations are made by peers in the gaming industry, with an advisory committee staffed by veterans from both developers and publishers.

In addition to the usual awards for Best Design, Best Debut, and the coveted Game of the Year were industry recognitions for Tim Schafer and Rami Ismail, winners of the Lifetime Achievement and Ambassador Award respectively.

Schafer is best known for designing LucasArts games Full Throttle and Grim Fandango, with credits for the iconic Day of the Tentacle and the first two Monkey Island games. He later founded Double Fine Productions to develop Psychonauts, Brütal Legend, and the crowdfunded controversy Broken Age, although the studio is also recognized for its publicly-voted game jams, webcomics, and indie publishing efforts.

GDC 2018 - Awards - Tim Schafer

Ismail is the co-founder of indie studio Vlambeer, responsible for Ridiculous Fishing and Nuclear Throne among others, though he is better known for his outspoken work and contributions in building the indie scene at large. Aside from helping schools and incubators to consulting on policies, he also created the free-to-use presskit() service.

GDC 2018 - Awards - Rami Ismail

The public also got to have their say with an online vote, granting Nier: Automata its only award at the ceremony. It appears director Yoko Taro flew over for the event too.

GDC 2018 - Awards - Nier Automata

Here’s the full list, with winners highlighted in bold:

Lifetime Achievement

Tim Schafer

Ambassador Award

Rami Ismail

Audience Award (Public Vote)

Nier: Automata

Best Audio

Cuphead
Nier: Automata
Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
Horizon Zero Dawn

Best Design

Super Mario Odyssey
Horizon Zero Dawn
PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
Nier: Automata

Best Narrative

Night in the Woods
Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice
What Remains of Edith Finch
Horizon Zero Dawn
Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus

Best Technology

Destiny 2
Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice
Assassin’s Creed: Origins
Horizon Zero Dawn
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Best Visual Art

Persona 5
Cuphead
Horizon Zero Dawn
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
Night in the Woods

Best Mobile Game

Reigns: Her Majesty
Hidden Folks
Monument Valley 2
Gorogoa
Bury Me, My Love

Best VR/AR Game

Superhot VR
Star Trek: Bridge Crew
Lone Echo
Resident Evil 7: Biohazard
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim VR

Best Debut

Hollow Knight
Golf Story
Cuphead
Night in the Woods
Gorogoa

Innovation Award

Gorogoa
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
What Remains of Edith Finch
Everything
PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds

Game of the Year

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds
Nier: Automata
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
Horizon Zero Dawn
Super Mario Odyssey

GDC 2018 - Awards - Breath of the Wild

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Nintendo’s The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild swept up a total of three awards, while StudioMDHR’s Cuphead and Jason Robert’s Gorogoa picked up two each.

GDC 2018 - Awards - Convention Floor

The GDC Awards didn’t take place in a vacuum; it was part of the larger Game Developer’s Conference, which saw hands-on booths with the new Oculus Go as well as a trove of panels and presentations, some of which are available on YouTube.


Photos: GDC 2018

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Ade Putra

Ade thinks there's nothing quite like a good game and a snug headcrab. He grew up with HIDEO KOJIMA's Metal Gear Solid, lives for RPGs, and is waiting for light guns to make their comeback.