2013 Game Developers Choice Awards Nominees Unveiled

Published 1 year ago by

Game Developers Choice Awards Nominees 2013

Running from March 25-29, the 2013 Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, California, looks to be a major discussion driver for some of the year’s hottest topics. Bungie will be on hand with a glimpse into the world of Destiny; Valve was rumored to be staging talks on its forthcoming Steam console; and with any luck we might finally see the next-generation rumor mill euthanized by official Xbox 720 and PlayStation 4 announcements (although, according to said mill, those odds are a bit slimmer).

But part of the event is also a time for reflection, for celebration of the last calendar year in gaming. March 27 marks the 13th annual Game Developers Choice Awards — a revelry of 2012′s best games and brightest developers, as voted upon by their industry peers. The list of nominees has been announced today, and it places Journey, Dishonored, and The Walking Dead in contention for the most trophies while scattering a healthy mix of triple-A and indie names across each category.

A few examples of the diversity: Journey, Assassin’s Creed III, and Halo 4, are in the mix for Best Audio… right alongside Hotline Miami and Sound Shapes; Dishonored, XCOM: Enemy Unknown and Journey are competing for Best Game Design… as are Mark Of The Ninja and Spelunky; Best Narrative features nominees like Spec Ops: The Line, Mass Effect 3, Dishonored and The Walking Dead… but then tosses in a nod for Virtue’s Last Reward, Japanese developer Chunsoft’s visual-novel adventure tale on the Nintendo 3DS. Not unlike the UK’s BAFTA awards, the broader scope of the GDC’s candidates and categories paints a stark contrast to gaming’s predominant mainstream ceremony, the Spike VGA’s.

Here’s the full list of categories and nominees, which is capped off by Game-of-the-Year bids for Dishonored, The Walking Dead, Mass Effect 3, Journey and (our Game of the Year) XCOM: Enemy Unknown.


Best Audio

  • Journey (Thatgamecompany/Sony Computer Entertainment)
  • Hotline Miami (Dennaton Games/Devolver Digital)
  • Sound Shapes (Queasy Games/Sony Computer Entertainment)
  • Assassin’s Creed III (Ubisoft Montreal/Ubisoft)
  • Halo 4 (343 Industries/Microsoft Studios)


Best Debut

  • Humble Hearts (Dust: An Elysian Tail)
  • Polytron Corporation (Fez)
  • Giant Sparrow (The Unfinished Swan)
  • Subset Games (FTL: Faster Than Light)
  • Fireproof Games (The Room )


Best Game Design

  • Dishonored (Arkane Studios/Bethesda Softworks)
  • Mark Of The Ninja (Klei Entertainment/Microsoft Studios)
  • Spelunky (Derek Yu/Andy Hull)
  • Journey (Thatgamecompany/Sony Computer Entertainment)
  • XCOM: Enemy Unknown (Firaxis Games/2K Games)


Best Downloadable Game

  • The Walking Dead (Telltale Games)
  • Spelunky (Derek Yu/Andy Hull)
  • Trials: Evolution (RedLynx/Microsoft Studios)
  • Mark Of The Ninja (Klei Entertainment/Microsoft Studios)
  • Journey (Thatgamecompany/Sony Computer Entertainment)


Best Technology

  • Far Cry 3 (Ubisoft Montreal/Ubisoft)
  • PlanetSide 2 (Sony Online Entertainment)
  • Halo 4 (343 Industries/Microsoft Studios)
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops II (Treyarch/Activision)
  • Assassin’s Creed III  (Ubisoft Montreal/Ubisoft)


Best Handheld/Mobile Game

  • Gravity Rush (SCE Japan Studio/Sony Computer Entertainment)
  • Hero Academy (Robot Entertainment)
  • Sound Shapes (Queasy Games/Sony Computer Entertainment)
  • The Room (Fireproof Games)
  • Kid Icarus: Uprising (Sora/Nintendo)


Best Narrative

  • Spec Ops: The Line (Yager Entertainment/2K Games)
  • Mass Effect 3 (BioWare/Electronic Arts)
  • Dishonored (Arkane Studios/Bethesda Softworks)
  • The Walking Dead (Telltale Games)
  • Virtue’s Last Reward (Chunsoft/Aksys Games)


Best Visual Arts

  • Borderlands 2 (Gearbox Software/2K Games)
  • Journey (Thatgamecompany/Sony Computer Entertainment)
  • Far Cry 3 (Ubisoft Montreal/Ubisoft)
  • Dishonored (Arkane Studios/Bethesda Softworks)
  • Halo 4 (343 Industries/Microsoft Studios)



  • Mark of the Ninja (Klei Entertainment/Microsoft Studios)
  • Journey  (Thatgamecompany/Sony Computer Entertainment)
  • FTL: Faster Than Light (Subset Games)
  • The Unfinished Swan (Giant Sparrow/Sony Computer Entertainment)
  • ZombiU (Ubisoft Montpellier/Ubisoft)


Game of the Year

  • Dishonored (Arkane Studios/Bethesda Softworks)
  • The Walking Dead (Telltale Games)
  • Mass Effect 3 (BioWare/Electronic Arts)
  • XCOM: Enemy Unknown (Firaxis Games/2K Games)
  • Journey (Thatgamecompany/Sony Computer Entertainment)


Winners will be announced on Wednesday, March 27th at 6:30 pm Pacific Time during the official, invitation-only ceremony at GDC 2013. February will see the nominees revealed for three Special Award categories: the Pioneer, Ambassador and Lifetime Achievement awards. It will also mark the beginning of a first-ever online vote for an “Audience Award,” which all finalists are eligible for.

No explanation was given on the specific nature of the Audience Award, but we’re guessing it’s related more closely to a fan-voted Game of the Year than, say, 2012′s best gaming fanbase. Either way, we’ll cover all of the results once the trophies handed out; be sure to check to back!

What’s your take on the Game Developers Choice Awards nominees for 2013?


Follow Brian on Twitter @Brian_Sipple.

TAGS: Assassin's Creed 3, Black Ops 2, Borderlands 2, Dennaton Games, Dishonored, Far Cry 3, Fez, FTL: Faster Than Light, Gravity Rush, Halo 4, Hotline Miami, Journey, Kid Icarus: Uprising, Mark of the Ninja, Mass Effect 3, PlanetSide 2, Polytron, Sound Shapes, Spec Ops: The Line, Spelunky, The Walking Dead, Trials Evolution, Unfinished Swan, XCOM: Enemy Unknown


Post a Comment

  1. Solid list.

  2. Best Audio: Journey or Halo 4

    Best Debut: Humble Hearts (Dust: An Elysian Tail) simply amazing

    Best Game Design: tie between Dishonored, Mark Of The Ninja and Journey

    Best Downloadable Game: Mark Of The Ninja or dust elysian tale (why is it never listed !?!?)

    Best Technology: FC3 since the others are more or less the same thing just refined. CoD is in no way shape or form a contender in this category and should just f*** off.

    Best Handheld/Mobile Game: dont know or care about any of them.

    Best Narrative: tie between Spec Ops: The Line and Walking Dead

    Best Visual Arts: far cry 3 with journey close behind.

    Innovation: Mark of the Ninja (more like encouragement for dev’s to make better stealth games). Journey (you dont need big budget, voice acting or multiplayer to have a good game)

    Game of the Year: journey only b/c it’s the only one really worthy out of a list of so so games.

  3. Anthony Mole would be happy, ha.

  4. Finally something that doesn’t involved call of duty, don’t get me wrong, i like black ops 2 but c.o.d is somewhat getting old for me

    • Best Technology thats about it for them

      • they dont even deserve to be considered given that they’re running on old tech made to look ‘new’.

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