Excellence in Gameplay Award
Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons from 505 Studios
Excellence in Art Award
Bioshock Infinite from the newly-closed Irrational Games
Excellence in Animation Award
Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch from NAMCO BANDAI
Excellence in Technical Achievement Award
Grand Theft Auto V from Rockstar Games
Excellence in Narrative Award
The Last of Us, again
Excellence in Design and Direction Award
Tearaway from Media Molecule
Excellence in Gaming Marketing Award
Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag from Ubisoft
Excellence in SFX Award
The Last of Us from Naughty Dog
Excellence in Musical Score Award
The Last of Us wins again!
Best Multiplayer Game Award
Super Mario 3D World from Nintendo
Texas Arts Achievement Award is for a Texas-based game development studio, and the winner was Galactic Cafe, developers of The Stanley Parable.
SXSW Gamer’s Voice Award was decided by votes from attendees of the Gaming Expo. Nidhogg from Messhof won, a tough choice over all the great candidates in Indie Corner.
This category is for the best game based on a property from another medium. The winner was Injustice: Gods Among Us from Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, based on the DC Comics universe.
Matthew Crump Cultural Innovation Award
SxSW Game’s cultural innovation category recognizes any game, indie or mainstream, on any platform, in which the player experience is not the typical game protagonist. It’s sad that in such a creative industry as gaming, our typical game protagonist is overwhelming a straight, young, white male, but maybe that is changing. The winner was Papers, Please from 3909 LLC, a dystopian adventure about a border guard of a fictional republic.
With so much internet love for the winners, especially The Last of Us and The Stanley Parable, I wouldn’t say there were any huge surprises among the winning games. Overall, the growing SxSW Gaming expo offers good recognition for these award-winning games, highlights some indies, and brings game developers to professional sessions.