2019 SXSW Gaming Awards nominees announced

From Best VR Game to Excellence in Design, the finalists for the 2019 SXSW Gaming Awards have been revealed.

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The gaming presence continues to grow at the SXSW, the yearly conglomerate of film, interactive content, and music festivals in Austin, TX, and part of that experience is the award show that happens on the penultimate day of the full event. Today, the South by Southwest programming team has revealed the finalists across the 21 unique categories for the 2019 SXSW Gaming Awards. The show is dedicated to both AAA and indie developers and gives honors to games, teams, and individuals across the gaming industry.

“2018 was an incredible year in the gaming industry,” said Andrew McNeill, Gaming Conference Manager at SXSW Gaming, in the press release for the announcement. “Developers large and small took leaps of faith to provide players with experiences unlike anything we’ve ever seen before.”

sxsw 2019 gaming awards nominees categories revealed announced finalists

The 2019 SXSW Gaming Awards winners are determined by a weighted total between public and advisory board votes. Public votes start today and end on February 17, 2019. The event takes place on March 16 at 7 PM CT in Austin, TX and SXSW Gaming wristband and SXSW badge holders can attend the show at the Hilton Austin Downtown. If you're planning to attend, you should check out the SXSW 2019 keynotes and speakers. The Gaming Awards categories and nominees can all be found below.


2019 SXSW Gaming Awards Nominees

VR Game of the Year
Awarded to the VR game that exemplifies overall excellence in gameplay and design across any VR platform.

  • Astro Bot Rescue Mission - ASOBI / SIE
  • Beat Saber - Beat Games
  • Moss - Polyarc Games
  • Sprint Vector - Survios, Inc.

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

  • Battlefield V - EA DICE / Electronic Arts
  • Forza Horizon 4 - Playground Games / Turn 10 Studios / Microsoft Studios
  • God of War - Sony Santa Monica / SIE
  • Red Dead Redemption 2 - Rockstar Games
  • Tetris Effect - Resonair / Monstars Inc. / Enhance, Inc.

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

  • GRIS - Nomada Studio / Devolver Digital
  • Marvel’s Spider-Man - Insomniac Games / SIE
  • Octopath Traveler  - Square Enix / Acquire / Nintendo
  • Return of the Obra Dinn - 3909 LLC
  • Super Smash Bros. Ultimate - BANDAI NAMCO Studios Inc. / Sora Ltd. / Nintendo

Excellence in Animation
Awarded to the game with the most outstanding animations.

  • Detroit: Become Human - Quantic Dream / SIE
  • Dragon Ball FighterZ - Arc System Works Co., Ltd. / BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment America, Inc.
  • God of War - Sony Santa Monica / SIE
  • Marvel’s Spider-Man - Insomniac Games / SIE
  • Red Dead Redemption 2 - Rockstar Games

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

  • Beat Saber - Beat Games
  • Dead Cells - Motion Twin
  • God of War - Sony Santa Monica / SIE
  • Marvel’s Spider-Man - Insomniac Games / SIE
  • Super Smash Bros. Ultimate - BANDAI NAMCO Studios Inc. / Sora Ltd. / Nintendo

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

  • Astro Bot Rescue Mission - ASOBI / SIE
  • Detroit: Become Human - Quantic Dream / SIE
  • God of War - Sony Santa Monica / SIE
  • Marvel’s Spider-Man - Insomniac Games / SIE
  • Red Dead Redemption 2 - Rockstar Games

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

  • Destiny 2: Forsaken - Bungie
  • Fortnite - Epic Games
  • Monster Hunter: World - Capcom
  • Overcooked 2 - Ghost Town Games / Team17
  • Super Smash Bros. Ultimate - BANDAI NAMCO Studios Inc. / Sora Ltd. / Nintendo

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

  • Celeste - Matt Makes Games
  • Detroit: Become Human - Quantic Dream / SIE
  • Florence - Mountains / Annapurna Interactive
  • God of War - Sony Santa Monica / SIE
  • Marvel’s Spider-Man - Insomniac Games / SIE

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

  • Assassin’s Creed Odyssey - Ubisoft Québec / Ubisoft
  • Detroit: Become Human - Quantic Dream / SIE
  • God of War - Sony Santa Monica / SIE
  • GRIS - Nomada Studio / Devolver Digital
  • Red Dead Redemption 2 - Rockstar Games

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

  • Dragon Ball FighterZ - Arc System Works Co., Ltd. / BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment America, Inc.
  • EA SPORTS FIFA 19 - Electronic Arts
  • Jurassic World Evolution - Frontier Developments
  • Marvel’s Spider-Man - Insomniac Games / SIE
  • Star Trek Fleet Command - DIGIT Game Studio / Scopely

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.

  • 11-11: Memories Retold - Digixart / Aardman Animations / BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment
  • Celeste - Matt Makes Games
  • Monster Prom - Beautiful Glitch / Those Awesome Guys
  • The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit - Dontnod Entertainment / Square Enix
  • Where the Water Tastes Like Wine - Johnnemann Nordhagen / Good Shepherd Entertainment

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.

  • Celeste - Matt Makes Games
  • GRIS - Nomada Studio / Devolver Digital
  • Octopath Traveler - Square Enix / Acquire / Nintendo
  • Red Dead Redemption 2 - Rockstar Games
  • Tetris Effect - Resonair / Monstars Inc. / Enhance, Inc.

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

  • Donut County - Ben Esposito / Annapurna Interactive
  • God of War - Sony Santa Monica / SIE
  • Into the Breach - Subset Games
  • Red Dead Redemption 2 - Rockstar Games
  • Return of the Obra Dinn - 3909 LLC

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.

  • Ashen - A44 / Annapurna Interactive
  • Beat Saber - Beat Games
  • Dead Cells - Motion Twin
  • GRIS - Nomada Studio - Devolver Digital
  • Octopath Traveler - Square Enix / Acquire / Nintendo

Most Evolved Game
Awarded to the game that was enhanced with the best additional content after its original release.

  • Destiny 2: Forsaken - Bungie
  • Fortnite - Epic Games
  • No Man’s Sky NEXT - Hello Games
  • Overwatch - Blizzard
  • Pokémon Go - Niantic / The Pokémon Company

Most Promising New Esports Game
Awarded to the online game that has the best competitive scene, or potential to grow one, and most entertainment value.

  • NBA 2K19 - NBA 2K League / 2K Games
  • Dragon Ball FighterZ - Arc System Works Co., Ltd. / BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment America, Inc
  • Fortnite - Epic Games
  • GWENT: The Witcher Card Game - CD Projekt Red / CD Projekt
  • SOULCALIBUR VI - BANDAI NAMCO Studios / BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment America Inc.

Most Fulfilling Community-Funded Game
Awarded to the game that was primarily produced via crowdfunding platforms and had excelled beyond the expectations set before it.

  • CrossCode - Radical Fish Games / Deck13 Interactive GmbH
  • Monster Prom - Beautiful Glitch / Those Awesome Guys
  • Moonlighter - Digital Sun / 11 bit studios
  • Root - Leder Games
  • Wandersong - Greg Lobanov / Humble Bundle

Trending Game of the Year
Awarded to the game that consistently entertained and kept us watching on social platforms with its humor, stories, and more.

  • Beat Saber - Beat Games
  • Celeste - Matt Makes Games
  • Marvel’s Spider-Man - Insomniac Games / SIE
  • Monster Hunter: World - Capcom
  • Red Dead Redemption 2 - Rockstar Games

sxsw 2019 dates festival conference schedule

The 2019 SXSW Gaming Awards take place Saturday, March 16 at 7 PM CT and is open to all SXSW badge and wristband holders. SXSW runs from March 8 to March 17, with SXSW Gaming happening on the last two days of the event. Stay tuned to Shacknews for additional gaming and tech updates.

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