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Home » Featured, Headline, News

GDC09; The GDC Choice Awards – Winners and Losers

Submitted by on Thursday, 26 March 20094 Comments

gdca GDC09; The GDC Choice Awards   Winners and LosersIt was red carpet and beard combing time over at San Francisco last night as the luminaries of the gaming industry gathered together to slap their peers on the back and tell each other: “Your game rocked! No, YOUR game rocked!”

The fact is: a lot of games rocked last year so this was always going to be a tight contest.

Apart from the usual plethora of award categories, a certain Japanese visionary was also in attendance to pick up a Lifetime Achievement Award. Considering Kojima-san is only 45 we’re hoping he doesn’t take this as an incentive to stop making games.

So, who were the big winners on the night and were there any shock surprises from the people who really should know a good game when they see one?

We’ll go straight in with the nominations for …

Best New Debut:

  • Braid
  • Sins of a Solar Empire
  • LittleBigPlanet
  • World of Goo
  • Soul Bubbles

Probably no great surprise here to see LittleBigPlanet take the award. Sackboy and co. have been a revelation this year and to say any other game had a bigger debut would have been crazy talk.

Best Audio:

  • Dead Space
  • Left 4 Dead
  • Metal Gear Solid 4
  • Gears of War 2

Dead Space wins and, with its atmospheric use of score and effects, we can see why. We still won’t play it with the lights off or alone in the house. Or in space. Definitely won’t play it in space.

Best Game Design:

  • Fallout 3
  • Left 4 Dead
  • Braid
  • Far Cry 2
  • LittleBigPlanet

Game Design is a big category considering that, irrespective of budget, flashy graphics or being part of a successful franchise, it basically all comes down to game design in terms of whether or not your game is a success. Chalk another one up for the Media Molecule guys with LittleBigPlanet winning again.

Best Downloadable Game:

  • World of Goo
  • Braid
  • N+
  • PixelJunk Eden
  • Castle Crashers

It would have been nice to see Q-Games picking up the award, or even Braid which, despite not currently on the PS3, we are big fans of. That’s not to take anything away from the winner though. We just don’t know much about World of Goo though we have heard some pretty good things about it. Obviously the game developers casting their votes thought so too.

Best Handheld Game:

  • God of War: Chains of Olympus
  • Patapon
  • Advance Wars: Days of Ruin
  • echochrome
  • The World Ends With You

Ah Kratos, how you make us proud. Ready at Dawn squeezed every ounce of goodness from the PSP and it’s nice to see them getting the deserved kudos for God of War: Chains of Olympus. And they’re making more PSP games, too. Good news all round. We do feel a bit sorry for echochrome and Patapon. We’ve lost many an hour to each of those games.

Best Writing Award:

  • Fallout 3
  • Braid
  • Metal Gear Solid 4
  • GS4
  • GTA IV
  • Far Cry 2

Consider us amazed. With Kojima in the room you would have expected the writing award to go to Mr. Obfuscation himself. Just goes to show that having complex writing doesn’t mean having the best writing. Fallout 3 picks up the accolade with its 100+ hours of story based (!) narrative.

Best Technology Award:

  • Gears of War 2
  • LittleBigPlanet
  • Left 4 Dead
  • GTA IV
  • Spore

LittleBigPlanet triumphs again against stiff opposition considering the scope of GTA IV and Spore.

Best Visual Art Award:

  • LittleBigPlanet
  • Gears of War 2
  • Fallout 3
  • Metal Gear Solid 4
  • Prince of Persia

Finally, the Price gets some recognition! Congratulations to Ubisoft who took a chance in the visual department with Prince of Persia and pulled off one of the most beautiful games to date.

Innovation Award:

  • LittleBigPlanet
  • Spore
  • World of Goo
  • Boom Blox
  • Braid

We’re not even going to pretend any other game was in the running for this one. LittleBigPlanet. No surprises there.

GDC Game of the Year Award:

  • Fable 2
  • LittleBigPlanet
  • Fallout 3
  • Left 4 Dead
  • GTA IV

Fallout 3! We thought it might have gone to industry favourite LittleBigPlanet or commerical juggernaut GTA IV but it’s good to see that Bethesda’s classic is still making waves and picking up prizes.

Other awards you might be interested in:

  • Life Time Achievement Award: Hideo Kojima
  • Ambassador Award: Tommy Tallarico
  • Pioneer Award: Harmonix’s Alex Rigopulos and Eran Egozy

Another big night for LittleBigPlanet and the PS3 in general. Congratulations to all those who picked up gongs and better luck next time to those who missed out. We still loved your games.