The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt nabs eight nominations at 2016 SXSW Gaming Awards

sxsw-logoSouth by Southwest Gaming recently announced the nominees for this year’s SXSW Gaming Awards and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, not surprisingly, has captured the most accolades. CD Projekt’s sprawling RPG is up for eight awards, including “Game of the Year.” It was also nominated for “Excellence in Gameplay,” “Excellence in Art,” “Excellence in Technical Achievement,” “Excellence in Visual Achievement,” “Excellence in Narrative,” “Excellence in Musical Score,” and “Most Enduring Character.”

Competing against Geralt of Rivia for “Game of the Year” is a familiar-looking quartet of games including Bloodborne, Fallout 4, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, and Undertale. Bloodborne was actually a close second to The Witcher 3 with seven nominations.

Who wins at the 2016 SXSW Gaming Awards will be determined in part by a public vote that will hosted by IGN from Monday, February 1 through Friday, February 12. The winners will be announced on Saturday, March 19 at 9:00 PM (Eastern Time) and you can watch it live on Twitch.

The complete list of this year’s nominees can be found after the break.

Game of the Year: Awarded to the game that exemplifies overall excellence and creates a distinct gaming experience across all platforms and genres

  • Bloodborne (Sony Computer Entertainment / From Software)
  • Fallout 4 (Bethesda Softworks / Bethesda Game Studios)
  • Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain (Konami / Kojima Productions)
  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (CD Projekt / CD Projekt)
  • Undertale (Toby Fox / Toby Fox)

Tabletop Game of the Year: Awarded to the game that exemplifies overall excellence and ingenuity of any tabletop game in any genre

  • Pandemic Legacy (Z-Man Games)
  • Blood Rage (CoolMiniOrNot)
  • Above and Below (Red Raven Games)
  • Lanterns: The Harvest Festival (Renegade Game Studios)
  • Codenames (Czech Games)

Mobile Game of the Year: Awarded to the game that exemplifies overall excellence and creates a unique gaming experience on any handheld device

  • Downwell (Devolver Digital / Moppin)
  • Fallout Shelter (Bethesda Softworks / Bethesda Game Studios)
  • Her Story (Sam Barlow / Sam Barlow)
  • Lara Croft Go (Square Enix / Square Enix Montreal)
  • SteamWorld Heist (Image and Form International / Image and Form International)

Excellence in Gameplay: Awarded to the game with the best gameplay mechanics

  • Bloodborne (Sony Computer Entertainment / From Software)
  • Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain (Konami / Kojima Productions)
  • Undertale (Toby Fox / Toby Fox)
  • Rocket League (Psyonix / Psyonix)
  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (CD Projekt / CD Projekt)

Excellence in Art: Awarded to the game with the most expressive and creative artistic style

  • Bloodborne (Sony Computer Entertainment / From Software)
  • Ori and the Blind Forest (Microsoft Studios / Moon Studios)
  • Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate (Ubisoft / Ubisoft Quebec)
  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (CD Projekt / CD Projekt)
  • Yoshi’s Woolly World (Nintendo / Good-Feel)

Excellence in Animation: Awarded to the game with the most outstanding animation effects and graphics

  • Batman: Arkham Knight (Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment / Rocksteady Studios)
  • Rise of the Tomb Raider (Square Enix / Crystal Dynamics)
  • Ori and the Blind Forest (Microsoft Studios / Moon Studios)
  • The Order: 1886 (Sony Computer Entertainment / Ready at Dawn)
  • Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate (Ubisoft / Ubisoft Quebec)

Excellence in Technical Achievement: Awarded to the game that pushed the capabilities of technology and programming

  • Fallout 4 (Bethesda Softworks / Bethesda Game Studios)
  • Just Cause 3 (Square Enix / Avalanche Studios)
  • Until Dawn (Sony Computer Entertainment / Supermassive Games)
  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (CD Projekt / CD Projekt)
  • Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain (Konami / Kojima Productions)

Excellence in Visual Achievement: Awarded to the game with the most well-designed and stunning visuals

  • Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture (Sony Computer Entertainment / The Chinese Room)
  • Star Wars: Battlefront (Electronic Arts / EA DICE)
  • The Order: 1886 (Sony Computer Entertainment / Ready at Dawn)
  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (CD Projekt / CD Projekt)
  • Rise of the Tomb Raider (Square Enix / Crystal Dynamics)

Excellence in Narrative: Awarded to the game with the best storyline and dialogue

  • Life Is Strange (Square Enix / Dontnod Entertainment)
  • Her Story (Sam Barlow / Sam Barlow)
  • Soma (Frictional Games / Frictional Games)
  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (CD Projekt / CD Projekt)
  • Tales From the Borderlands (Telltale Games / Telltale Games)

Excellence in Design: Awarded to the game with the best overall design concept and best execution

  • Fallout 4 (Bethesda Softworks / Bethesda Game Studios)
  • Rocket League (Psyonix / Psyonix)
  • Super Mario Maker (Nintendo / Nintendo)
  • Bloodborne (Sony Computer Entertainment / From Software)
  • Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain (Konami / Kojima Productions)

Excellence in SFX: Awarded to the game with the most outstanding and impactful sound effects

  • Rise of the Tomb Raider (Square Enix / Crystal Dynamics)
  • Bloodborne (Sony Computer Entertainment / From Software)
  • The Order: 1886 (Sony Computer Entertainment / Ready at Dawn)
  • Star Wars: Battlefront (Electronic Arts / EA DICE)
  • Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Siege (Ubisoft / Ubisoft Montreal)

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

  • Ori and the Blind Forest (Microsoft Studios / Moon Studios)
  • Crypt of the NecroDancer (Klei Entertainment / Brace Yourself Games)
  • Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain (Konami / Kojima Productions)
  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (CD Projekt / CD Projekt)
  • Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture (Sony Computer Entertainment / The Chinese Room)

Excellence in Multiplayer: Awarded to the game with the best player-to-player interaction experience

  • Call of Duty: Black Ops III (Activision / Treyarch)
  • Halo 5: Guardians (Microsoft Studios / 343 Industries)
  • Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime (Asteroid Base / Asteroid Base)
  • Rocket League (Psyonix / Psyonix)
  • Splatoon (Nintendo / Nintendo)

Excellence in Convergence: Awarded to the game that excels in crossover to other entertainment mediums such as film, music, toys, animation, sports and more

  • Disney Infinity: Star Wars (Disney Interactive Studios / Avalanche Software)
  • Rock Band 4 (Mad Catz / Harmonix)
  • Guitar Hero Live (Activision / FreeStyle Games)
  • Batman: Arkham Knight (Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment / Rocksteady Studios)
  • Star Wars: Battlefront (Electronic Arts / EA DICE)

Most Enduring Character: Awarded to the best game character that left an overwhelming impression

  • Lara Croft (Rise of the Tomb Raider)
  • Geralt (The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt)
  • The Joker (Batman: Arkham Knight)
  • Hannah Smith (Her Story)
  • Ori (Ori and the Blind Forest)

Most Fulfilling Crowdfunded Game: Awarded to the game that was primarily produced via crowdfunding platforms and had excelled beyond the expectations set before it

  • Broken Age (Double Fine Productions / Double Fine Productions)
  • Kingdom Death: Monster (Kingdom Death)
  • Pillars of Eternity (Paradox Interactive / Obsidian Entertainment)
  • Kerbal Space Program (Squad / Squad)
  • Undertale (Toby Fox / Toby Fox)

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

  • Ori and the Blind Forest (Microsoft Studios / Moon Studios)
  • Bloodborne (Sony Computer Entertainment / From Software)
  • Life Is Strange (Square Enix / Dontnod Entertainment)
  • Splatoon (Nintendo / Nintendo)
  • Undertale (Toby Fox / Toby Fox)

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

  • Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture (Sony Computer Entertainment / The Chinese Room)
  • Her Story (Sam Barlow / Sam Barlow)
  • Emily Is Away (Kyle Seeley / Kyle Seeley)
  • Life Is Strange (Square Enix / Dontnod Entertainment)
  • Undertale (Toby Fox / Toby Fox)

Most Valuable Esports Team: Awarded to the professional team that excels in performance and provides the most valuable impact in its competitive scene

  • Cloud9
  • Evil Geniuses
  • Team Archon
  • Team EnVyUs
  • Counter Logic

Most Entertaining Online Personality: Awarded to the online gaming-related personality that consistently entertains and keeps us watching with its humor, stories, special effects, and more

  • Greg Miller (Kinda Funny)
  • Markiplier
  • PewDiePie
  • Angry Joe (The Angry Joe Show)
  • Tim Schafer (Double Fine Adventure Documentary Series)

Gamer’s Voice Award: Awarded to the favorite game in the Indie Corner as decided exclusively by attendees on the SXSW Gaming Expo floor. Indie Corner is a spot in the Expo where anyone can test out 40 indie games. This year’s Gamer’s Voice Award is split between unique multiplayer and singleplayer categories.

Multiplayer Finalists:

  • Arena Gods (Supertype)
  • Breaker Blocks (Spriteborne)
  • Death Stair (RnD Labs
  • Gang Beasts (Bone Loaf)
  • GoatPunks (Studio Canvas)
  • Gruff (Studio Woe)
  • Home Improvisation (The Stork Burnt Down)
  • Inversus (Hypersect)
  • Karmaka (Hemisphere Games)
  • Move or Die (Those Awesome Guys)
  • Random Encounters (Regular People Gaming)
  • Rivals of Aether (Dan Fornace)
  • Stikbold! A Dodgeball Adventure (Game Swing)
  • Sundown (Mild Beast Games)
  • Super Sky Arena (Hammer Labs)

Single-Player Finalists

  • _Prism (Clint Siu)
  • Affordable Space Adventures (Knapnok Games)
  • Armello (League of Geeks)
  • Aztez (Team Colorblind)
  • Bazaar (Temple Gates Games)
  • Burly Men at Sea (Brain & Brain)
  • Deliver Us The Moon (KeokeN Interactive)
  • Eden Star: Destroy, Build, Protect (Flix Interactive)
  • Fragments of Him (Sassybot)
  • ICBM (REPVBLIC)
  • Kingdom (noio)
  • Layers of Fear (Bloober Team)
  • Odallus (JoyMasher)
  • Okhlos (Coffee Powered Machine)
  • P.O.L.L.E.N (Mindfield Games)
  • Pinstripe (Atmos Games)
  • Radical Rebels (Pixel Pushers Union 512)
  • Ray’s The Dead (Ragtag Studio)
  • Read Only Memories (MidBoss)
  • Snakebird (Noumenon Games)
  • Soft Body (Bodysoft)
  • Strafe (Pixel Titans)
  • Superhot (Superhot)
  • The Magic Circle (Question)
  • The Town of Light (LKA)
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John Scalzo is Warp Zoned’s Editor-In-Chief and resident retro gaming expert. You can follow him on Twitter or email him at john AT warpzoned DOT com.


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