Game Awards 2023

Game Awards 2023

The contenders for this year's Game Awards have been announced, with Baldur's Gate 3 and Alan Wake 2 picking up the most nominations. Dubbed the "Oscars of gaming" by some and the "industry's longest commercial" by others, the show is a major event.

In a year stuffed with critically acclaimed releases, competition for the top awards is likely to be fierce at the ceremony on 7 December. Both frontrunners got eight nominations each, including Game of the Year.

Survival horror Alan Wake 2 and fantasy RPG Baldur's Gate 3 will also face off in the Best Game Direction, Best Narrative, Best Music and Best Performance categories. They're joined in the Game of the Year race by PS5 exclusive Spider-Man 2, Resident Evil 4 Remake, Super Mario Bros Wonder and The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom.

Xbox exclusive Starfield was notably absent from most of the main categories but did get a nomination in the Best RPG category. In Best Performance, British actor Ben Starr's turn in Final Fantasy XVI is up against Idris Elba's appearance in Cyberpunk 2077 expansion Phantom Liberty.

As for independent games, puzzle adventure Cocoon and fishing-meets-HP Lovecraft adventure Dredge are both nominated for best debut and best indie overall. Set up by journalist Geoff Keighley in 2014, The Game Awards have grown into a major event and organisers estimate that 103 million livestream viewers tuned in worldwide last year.

The ceremony is a mixture of awards show and preview event, with many fans watching for new trailers and announcements of forthcoming titles. A common criticism of the show is that it spends more time showing trailers and ads than it does on handing out prizes, but there are usually major announcements.

Last year's reveals included new glimpses of the Super Mario Bros Movie and Hideo Kojima's Death Stranding sequel, plus release dates for Final Fantasy XVI and Diablo IV. But there are still 31 awards in total across a wide range of categories including audio design, best independent game and accessibility and innovation.

Winners are decided by a panel of industry experts and a fan vote which counts for 10% of the final score. Last year God of War Ragnarök won the night and took home six awards, including Best Performance for Kratos voice actor Christopher Judge.

His whopping eight-minute acceptance speech was one of the most memorable moments of the night, second only to "flute guy" - the orchestra member who stole the show with his energetic performance.

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