The 2020 SXSW Gaming Award Winners Announced

by Gary Catig

South by South West was one of the many events that fell victim to the COVID-19 pandemic. Though it didn’t go on as planned, the organizers still went ahead and released the names of award winners which would have been announced during the popular festival. Included were the honorees for the seventh annual SXSW Gaming Awards.

The most creative and influential titles, teams, and individuals from the gaming industry were recognized in nineteen different categories. The winners were determined by a combination of fan vote and input from the SXSW staff and advisory board members. Death Stranding, Disco Elysium and Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice all ended up tied for the most awards; each with two wins. However, Sekiro took home the top prize of Video Game of the Year. Take a look at all the winners below.

2020 SXSW Gaming Awards Category 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: Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
Studio: FromSoftware / Activision

MOBILE GAME OF THE YEAR
Awarded to the game that exemplifies overall excellence and creates a unique gaming experience on any handheld device.
Winner: Sky: Children of the Light
Studio: thatgamecompany

TABLETOP GAME OF THE YEAR
Awarded to the game that exemplifies overall excellence and ingenuity of any tabletop game in any genre.
Winner: Paladins of the West Kingdom
Studio: Renegade Game Studios

XR GAME OF THE YEAR
Awarded to the VR game that exemplifies overall excellence in gameplay and design across any VR platform.
Winner: No Man’s Sky BEYOND VR
Studio: Hello Games

TRENDING GAME OF THE YEAR
Awarded to the game that consistently entertained and kept us watching on social platforms with its humor, stories, and more.
Winner: Pokemon Sword and Shield
Studio: Game Freak / The Pokemon Company, Nintendo

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: Disco Elysium
Studio: ZA/UM

MOST PROMISING NEW INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY
Awarded to a new property that risked creating something fresh and that excelled within its genre or category for the year.
Winner: The Outer Worlds
Studio: Obsidian Entertainment / Private Division

EXCELLENCE IN ANIMATION
Awarded to the game with the most outstanding animations.
Winner: Kingdom Hearts III
Studio: Square Enix

EXCELLENCE IN ART
Awarded to the game with the most expressive and creative artistic style.
Winner: The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening
Studio: Nintendo

EXCELLENCE IN DESIGN
Awarded to the game with the best overall design concept and best execution.
Winner: Control 
Studio: Remedy Entertainment / 505 Games

EXCELLENCE IN GAMEPLAY
Awarded to the game with the best gameplay mechanics.
Winner: Devil May Cry 5
Studio: Capcom

EXCELLENCE IN MULTIPLAYER
Awarded to the game with the best player-to-player interaction experience.
Winner: Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers
Studio: Square Enix

EXCELLENCE IN MUSICAL SCORE
Awarded to the game that best exemplifies artistic excellence in musical score and how it progresses the narrative of the game.
Winner: Death Stranding
Studio: Kojima Productions / Sony Interactive Entertainment

EXCELLENCE IN NARRATIVE
Awarded to the game with the best storyline and dialogue.
Winner: Disco Elysium
Studio: ZA/UM

EXCELLENCE IN SFX
Awarded to the game with the most outstanding and impactful sound effects.
Winner: Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
Studio: Respawn Entertainment / Electronic Arts

EXCELLENCE IN TECHNICAL ACHIEVEMENT
Awarded to the game that pushed the capabilities of technology and programming.
Winner: Death Stranding
Studio: Kojima Productions / Sony Interactive Entertainment

EXCELLENCE IN VISUAL ACHIEVEMENT
Awarded to the game with the most well-designed and stunning visuals.
Winner: Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
Studio: FromSoftware / Activision

GAME INDUSTRY CHAMPION OF CHANGE
This award recognizes an individual who has brought about positive change and broken down barriers for others across the game industry.
Winner: Steven Spohn

GAME INDUSTRY JOURNALIST OF THE YEAR
This award recognizes an individual with the most groundbreaking and influential coverage of the game industry.
Winner: Cecilia D’Anastasio

Gary Catig

Gary Catig is west coast raised, east coast educated, and has a touch of southern charm. He has spent most of his adult life making science fiction a reality as an engineer conducting research in the military, microprocessor, and biotechnology fields. While currently living in San Diego, he enjoys all facets of pop culture including but not limited to comics, TV, movies, and music.

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