The Game Awards 2015 – The Final Results

The 2nd Annual 'Keighleys' Are Over

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Geoff Keighley presented his vision of The Game Awards this past Thursday evening for the second consecutive year. The two hour event was streamed live from Los Angeles California and was definitely lower key than the previous years ceremony. One thing was for sure… it’s still leaps and bounds better than what Spike TV used to broadcast.

In this article I’ll highlight the winners of each category and of the evening itself.

BEST FAMILY GAME
Super Mario Maker (Nintendo EAD Group No. 4/Nintendo)
I have made it clear that I love Super Mario Maker. When this award was announced to begin the show it made it pretty clear Super Mario Maker wasn’t taking home the full fledged GOTY award, but it was nice to see it recognized.

BEST FIGHTING GAME
Mortal Kombat X (NetherRealm Studios/Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment)
Perhaps more appropriately named the ‘Only Fighting Game’ of the year, Mortal Kombat X builds on the success of MK9 and is perfectly deserving of this accolade.

BEST MULTIPLAYER GAME
Splatoon (Nintendo EAD Group No. 2/Nintendo)
You’re a squid, you’re a kid, you’re a best multi-player of the year winner. Fans of the other games in this category were understandably choked at this one.

BEST MOBILE/HANDHELD GAME
Lara Croft Go (Square Enix Montreal/Square Enix)
This is an extremely broad category that I would like to see broken into Mobile and Handheld next year. That being said Lara Croft Go is another well done mobile game from the publisher and wasn’t undeserving of this win.

ESPORTS TEAM OF THE YEAR
OpTic Gaming
What follows is all I know about current eSport teams: These guys play Call of Duty which is relatively new to the hardcore eSports scene which makes it interesting that they won over players of more ‘popular’ eSports titles. Good for them… I guess.

ESPORTS PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Kenny “KennyS” Schrub (Counter-Strike: Global Offensive/Team EnVyUs)
Listen, I’ve already said all I know about eSports, but CS:GO is a very exciting game to watch at high level play.

ESPORTS GAME OF THE YEAR
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (Valve)
This was definitely a three horse race, and I’m not sure anyone was really upset at this win. I can’t help feeling that a there needs to be a separate platform for eSports awards like most other sports have.

MOST ANTICIPATED GAME
No Man’s Sky (Hello Games)
This or Uncharted 4 were definitely no brainers. At least Uncharted 4 is a known quantity, No Man’s Sky still has numerous question marks surrounding it’s release. I just… want to play it already.

BEST NARRATIVE
Her Story (Sam Barlow)
Hey Story was nominated (and won) a plethora of awards but I cannot remember hearing much of anything about this game except for right around when it came out. It definitely looks intriguing enough to pick up dare I say.

TRENDING GAMER
Greg Miller
I sort of recognize this gent but for all intents and purposes have no idea who he is. What I do recognize is his heartfelt speech (that ran a bit long) wherein he acknowledged all the people behind the scenes that make video games and how grateful he is that people continue to work tirelessly to make them even when sometimes the only thanks they get is their names in small font in the credits. Class act.

BEST INDIE GAME
Rocket League (Psyonix)
It was at this time that the audience was swept away by the tears of Undertale fans. Rocket League, with the push it received, and a port coming to Xbox with licensed Gears of War and Halo vehicles can hardly be called indie at this point, but it was all the same a gaming phenomenon that deserved recognition.

BEST SPORTS/RACING GAME
Rocket League (Psyonix)
See, this makes more sense.

GAMES FOR IMPACT
Life is Strange (Dontnod Entertainment/Square Enix)
I don’t know that this game did anything to change video games for the better but it did treat it’s characters sexuality and behaviour more like footnotes of who they are rather than making it the focal point of their personalities like many movies, comic books, and other games continue to do.

BEST FAN CREATION
Portal Stories: Mel (Prism Studios)
This is one of the stranger awards because of how non-inclusive it is. What can, and cannot, be nominated depends on the willingness of the original content maker allowing heavy mods for their games. Due to this I would leave this category out all together in the future.

BEST ART DIRECTION
Ori and the Blind Forest (Moon Studios/Microsoft Studios)
No doubt a beautiful game as were all the games in this category.

BEST ACTION/ADVENTURE GAME
Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain (Kojima Productions/Konami)
MGSV is a fanboy sandbox that gives you near infinite freedom on the battlefield. Hideo Kojima and his team delivered an open world adventure worthy of mention next to the games that no doubt inspired it.

BEST SCORE/SOUNDTRACK
Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain (Ludvig Forssell, Justin Burnett, Daniel James/Kojima Productions)
Kojima’s ego just leveled up.

BEST PERFORMANCE
Viva Seifert (Her Story)
Without playing the game I can’t really speak to her performance.

DEVELOPER OF THE YEAR
CD Projekt Red (The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt)
GAME OF THE YEAR
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (CD Projekt Red/Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment)
BEST ROLE-PLAYING GAME
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (CD Projekt Red/Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment)
A turkey of awards for CD Projekt Red who take home what are arguably the ‘big boy awards’ of the event. Listen, I may like Fallout 4 more but I have nothing negative to say about this choice as RPG and GOTY 2015.

BEST SHOOTER
Splatoon (Nintendo EAD Group No. 2/Nintendo)
Reggie came all the way to Los Angeles for this event, alright? He’s gotta go home with at least a suitcase full of awards. If anyone, EA was snubbed by this one with all their Battlefront ads baked into the two hour show.

Other evening highlights included a feature on Westwood Studios the creators of Dune II and Command & Conquer to name a few, and two extremely real moments featuring Geoff Keighley just speaking into the camera with his back to the audience.
The first of which was a tribute to the late Nintendo President Iwata-san in which Geoff told a personal story of his final meeting with Iwata before throwing to a brief slideshow and performance by Ben Harper.
The second was Geoff unabashedly throwing Konami under the bus for preventing Hideo Kojima from attending the ceremony and accepting the awards his game and team earned. The boos were real as you can experience in the video below (provided by IGN’s YouTube account).

“Are The Game Awards worth watching?”. I would say yes. Geoff Keighley is not trying to make the ‘Academy Awards’ for video games. He is trying to craft a yearly event that is unique to the video game industry but treats it with respect and inclusion in a way that no one has before. It is worth supporting. Good job, Mr. Keighley.

-L