Many of gamings biggest developers, performers, personalities, and of course fans attended or tuned into the second annual Game Awards this past Thursday. A wide array of games and the developers and performers behind them were recognized. Yet many of this year's most memorable moments weren't all about the winning of such accolades.
- The winner of both 'Best RPG' and 'Game of the Year' was The Witcher 3. Its creators, CD Projekt Red, were also honored as 'Developer of the Year'.
- Sam Barlow's Her Story and its star Viva Seifert were recognized with both 'Best Narrative' and 'Best Performance' respectively.
- Psyonix's surprise hit Rocket League won both 'Best Sports/Racing Game' and 'Best Independent Game'.
- 'Best Action/Adventure Game' as well as 'Best Score/Soundtrack' went to Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
- Nintendo's new franchise Splatoon took home awards for 'Best Shooter' and 'Best Multiplayer'.
- Other winners included 'Best Mobile/Handheld Game': Lara Croft GO, 'Best Art Direction': Ori and the Blind Forest, and 'Best Fighting Game': Mortal Kombat X.
In addition to such honors, time was taken to remember the late Satoru Iwata. Reggie Fils-Aime, President of Nintendo of America, spoke in tribute of him; noting how uniquely qualified he was to lead [Nintendo] and how "fearless" he was in the face of doubt.
"...I think every gamer is better for having Mr. Iwata's vision and talent help inspire and shape the passion we all share." Citing the influence he had over the success of the Game Boy, the Nintendo D.S., and the Wii.
"No matter what is going on in our lives or in the world, Mr. Iwata wanted Nintendo to be about putting smiles on peoples' faces. Nintendo at its heart is about making us feel younger then we are today. Mr. Iwata I hope you are smiling right now."
Also, in the spirit of commemoration was Kinda Funny co-founder Greg Miller's acceptance speech for the Trending Gamer Award. Miller spoke about the unsung sacrifice game developers often make for their work.
Referring to the animosity on the Internet they [game developers] often face despite their hard work he says, "I'm sure it comes down [to] every day somebody says 'is this worth it?' And I want you to know that on the behalf of the millions of lives you change it is worth it. Thank you for making games."
One such creator, Hideo Kojima, was notably absent from The Game Awards, as Kiefer Sutherland (Snake) accepted Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain's award for 'Best Action/Adventure Game' in his stead. Host and producer Geoff Keighley subsequently explained his absence.
"Mr. Kojima had every intention of being with us tonight, but unfortunately he was informed by a lawyer representing Konami - just recently - that he would not be allowed to travel to tonight's award ceremony to accept any awards."
Keighley expressed his own disappointment - as did the audience - even dedicating a performance of Quiet's theme from the game's soundtrack by Stefanie Joosten to him. All of which ignited an outpouring of support towards Kojima on Twitter, of which he was thankful for.
Several announcements about future games were made throughout the conference as well.
- Double Fine Productions revealed a campaign to fund Psychonauts 2 through fig; the relatively new crowdfunding platform that presents opportunities for investors to possibly see a return on the money they pledge.
- Harmonix is teaming up with Oculus Rift to make Rock Band VR for its headset. Coming in 2016, it will feature Dragon Force's "Through the Fire and Flames", a track made famous within the music game genre by Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock.
- Tell Tale announced its mini series The Walking Dead: Michonne will debut in February 2016, but also unveiled a new Batman game to be coming sometime next year as well. Counting Minecraft: Story Mode, the developer has six series set for release over the next two years.
- Shadow Complex has been remastered for PS4, Xbox One, and PC (which it is currently free on).
- Rocket League is coming to Xbox One in February 2016.
- Trailers for Uncharted 4, Quantum Break, Far Cry Primal, Rise Of The Tomb Raider DLC, and Shaq-Fu: A Legend Reborn.