2018 SXSW Gaming Awards Winners Revealed



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No one game dominated this year, but Zelda and PUBG each won three awards

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The results are in! Tonight’s fifth annual South by Southwest Gaming Awards just wrapped up, revealing the results of over 500,000 votes casted by gamers around the globe. This year’s two big winners, sweeping three categories each, were Nintendo best-seller The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and upstart multiplayer phenom PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS. Read on for the full scoop.

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The star-studded presentation, hosted by IGN’s own Alanah Pearce (a.k.a. Charalanahzard) and Major League Gaming impresario Rich Campbell, featured high-profile guest presenters like OMGitsfirefoxx (former SXSW Gaming Awards host), Raphael Colantonio, Saira Mueller, Patricia Summersett (the voice of Zelda!), and other gaming luminaries.

You’ll want to check out the Twitch VOD to experience the intermission performance by Manatee Commune, “Seattle’s best electronic musician and one-man synth, guitar, violin, and percussion artist,” as well as a surprise guest appearance by The Attack’s host Alex Corea.

This being SXSW, even the livestream itself was interactive. Through Muxy, a special Twitch extension suite, viewers were able to team up with their favorite streamers and register their guesses for each category’s winner, which the app kept track over the course of the evening.

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As it turns out, viewers who supported The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS showed keen foresight. While each game won three categories, Zelda arguably outshone all others, winning the prestigious trio of Excellence in Gameplay, Excellence in Design, and Video Game of the Year. But PUBG demonstrated its wild popularity by taking home Trending Game of the Year, Esports Game of the Year, and, of course, Excellence in Multiplayer. Few could argue these accolades were undeserved.

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Only three other games won more than one category. Side-scrolling old-timey shooter Cuphead walked away with Excellence in Art and Animation, the memorably weird NieR: Automata took Excellence in Technical Achievement and Musical Score, and PlayStation’s open-world epic Horizon: Zero Dawn won Excellence in Visual Achievement and Most Promising New Intellectual Property.

Even with five nominations, Super Mario Odyssey scored only a single win for Excellence in SFX (sound effects), which shows just how strong the field was this year. Resident Evil 7 Biohazard got the best virtual reality nod and indie faves Night in the Woods and Doki Doki Literature Club! won Most Fulfilling Community-Funded Game and the Matthew Crump Cultural Innovation Award, respectively.

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Here’s the complete list of tonight’s winners, as voted by thousands of gamers:

  • Excellence in Visual Achievement: Horizon: Zero Dawn
  • Excellence in Technical Achievement: NieR: Automata
  • Excellence in SFX: Super Mario Odyssey
  • Excellence in Narrative: What Remains of Edith Finch
  • Excellence in Multiplayer: PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS
  • Excellence in Musical Score: NieR: Automata
  • Excellence in Gameplay: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
  • Excellence in Design: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
  • Excellence in Convergence: Star Wars Battlefront II
  • Excellence in Animation: Cuphead
  • Excellence in Art: Cuphead
  • Most Promising New Intellectual Property: Horizon: Zero Dawn
  • Most Fulfilling Community-Funded Game: Night in the Woods
  • Matthew Crump Cultural Innovation Award: Doki Doki Literature Club!
  • Trending Game of the Year: PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS
  • Esports Game of the Year: PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS
  • VR Game of the Year: Resident Evil 7: Biohazard
  • Tabletop Game of the Year: Gloomhaven
  • Mobile Game of the Year: Fire Emblem Heroes
  • Video Game of the Year: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
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Be sure to check out the livestream’s archived VOD on Twitch for the full SXSW Gaming Awards 2018 experience. Congrats to all involved, kudos to all the gamers who voted, and here’s to another great year of gaming!

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