Tonight at the 2019 Game Developers Conference (GDC), several developers were honored at the 19th annual Game Developers Choice Awards (GDCA). Sony Interactive Entertainment's action adventure series God of War took the top honors with a Game of the Year win. Sony Santa Monica's soft reboot of the graphic action title saw an older, wiser Kratos trying to teach his son to be a better god than he was.
“The Game Developers Choice Awards represent the most refined games of the year, and the sheer variety of games honored tonight showed that games can still represent wholly new and unique creative visions," said GDC general manager Katie Stern. "A number of independently developed titles like Celeste, Gris and Florence helped prove how internal or deeply personal turmoil can make for massively appealing games for millions of fans. While games like God of War and Red Dead Redemption 2 capture our imagination with poignant moments juxtaposed against epic tales of staggering scale and technical prowess."
IGF Awards Grand Prize winner Return of the Obra Dinn took its third win for the evening, winning the Best Narrative award here at the GDCAs. Florence, an interactive adventure about love from developer Mountains, won awards for Best Debut and Best Mobile Game. Virtual reality sensation Beat Saber likewise took in two awards for the night: Best VR/AR Game and the Audience Award.
Longtime Sega producer, director, and designer Rieko Kodama won the Pioneer Award at the ceremony, celebrating the work she's done on games like Alex Kidd in Miracle World, Phantasy Star, Phantasy Star 2, Skies of Arcadia, and Sonic the Hedgehog. The Lifetime Achievement Award went to Amy Hennig, the creative director and writer of games like Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver and Uncharted, celebrating her career in the industry spanning two decades.
The Game Developers Choice Awards winners are:
- Best Audio - Celeste (Matt Makes Games)
- Best Debut - Florence (Mountains)
- Best Design - Into the Breach (Subset Games)
- Best Mobile Game - Florence (Mountains)
- Innovation Award - Nintendo Labo (Nintendo EPD / Nintendo)
- Best Narrative - Return of the Obra Dinn (Lucas Pope / 3909)
- Best Technology - Red Dead Redemption 2 (Rockstar Games)
- Best Visual Art - Gris (Nomada Studio / Devolver Digital)
- Best VR/AR Game - Beat Saber (Beat Games)
- Audience Award - Beat Saber (Beat Games)
- Game of the Year - God of War (Sony Santa Monica / Sony Interactive Entertainment)
- Pioneer Award - Rieko Kodama
- Lifetime Achievement Award - Amy Hennig