The best kinds of fans are gamers, and nothing proved that more than the dazzling awards show at The Game Awards 2016.
The excitement began outside the venue, where fans lined up outside of the Microsoft Theater. A buzz hung in the air. A bright sign, “THE GAME AWARDS 2016”, certainly helped hype up the atmosphere, and as people started entering the venue the anticipation was infectious. What better event is there for people who love games than an awards show recognizing the best of them?
While movies have the Academy Awards and music has the Grammy Awards, games have never had a dedicated, mainstream awards night that brought the entire industry together—until games journalist and personality Geoff Keighley brought the Game Awards together, taking his experience from his previous role at the Spike Video Game Awards. Now in its third year, Geoff has made the Game Awards into an industry-respected, spectacular show for gamers, developers and industry veterans, recognizing talents and efforts in our spectacular world of games.
As one of the main sponsors, AMD had a front-and-center role at the Game Awards as the host of the behind-the-scenes Red Room. Walls lined with the imagery from the upcoming Assassin’s Creed movie from Fox, and the Red Room boasted Oculus Rift VR booths with the Assassin’s Creed VR Experience for VIP to dive into. Just across from the Red Room was the “red carpet” entrance zone, where developers and personalities stopped by for photos and interviews.
Friends greeted friends. Journalists chatted with developers. And while having fun with the allure of an awards show, the Game Awards was clearly a night where familiar faces had a great reason to come together in like-minded company.
Bringing the entertainment to the 2016 awards show included guests like Run the Jewels, the hip-hop duo involved in Gears of 4, to swimming champion Michael Phelps and Clueless Gamer/talk show host Conan O’Brien presenting awards—and of course, the stars in the gaming industry themselves from Nolan North to industry icon Hideo Kojima, who finally received the award he wasn’t able to receive last year. (This moment may have had us tear up a tad, with Kojima declaring his love onstage for all those who supported him.)
As a treat, Kojima gave us a fantastic cinematic look into his project, Death Stranding:
Who could forget about games themselves? While E3 is known for new announcements on upcoming titles, gamers got plenty from the awards night to mark on their calendars: Telltale’s Walking Dead Season 3, a new chapter in the Shovel Knight story with Specter of Torment, a Bulletstorm remaster—not to mention some deep-dive looks into anticipated titles like Mass Effect: Andromeda and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Does anyone doubt 2017 will be a fantastic year for gamers?
Geoff Keighley also took time to show off the one-of-a-kind Mark V tank-inspired rig, meticulously crafted by MNPCTECH in partnership with The Game Awards and Gaming Tribe. The rig, powered by dual SAPPHIRE NITRO+ Radeon RX 480 GPUs and an AMD FX-8370 Black Edition Processor, marked the launch of Battlefield 1, a WWI first-person shooter from EA Dice and Electronic Arts. (You can still enter the giveaway here. The giveaway closes December 14.)
— Battlefield (@Battlefield) December 2, 2016
Perhaps the most touching moments of the night came from Ryan Green, co-creator of That Dragon, Cancer which took home the Games for Impact award. The game, created by Ryan and Amy Green with their family friend Josh Larson, explored the Greens’ experience in raising their son Joel diagnosed with terminal cancer. Much like the game itself, Green’s acceptance speech was an emotional one.
After thanking his team, partners Kickstarter backers and the industry for supporting the game, Green closed his speech with a humbling call, “And I hope that when we are all willing to see each other, not for just who we want to be, but who we are, and who we’re meant to be. This act of love and this act of grace can change the world.”
Moments like these are precisely what make the Game Awards so special. More than handing out awards, the Game Awards successfully brought gamers together for something simple: recognizing industry efforts and celebrating the common thread of the night, our collective love for games.
With amazing games coming down the pipeline for 2017, we can’t wait for the Game Awards next year.
See the complete list of winners from the night:
Best Family Game: Pokemon Go
Best Mobile/Handheld: Pokemon Go
Best Fighting Game: Street Fighter V
Best VR Game: Rez Infinite
Best Independent Game: Inside
Games for Impact: That Dragon, Cancer
Trending Gamer: Boogie2988
Best Action Game: DOOM
Best Strategy Game: Civilization 6
Best Multiplayer: Overwatch
Best Art Direction: Inside
Best Music/Sound Design: DOOM
Best Sports/Racing: Forza Horizon 3
Best RPG: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – Blood and Wine DLC
Best eSports Game: Overwatch
Best eSports Team: Cloud 9
Best eSports Player: Marcelo David, aka Coldzera
Best Action/Adventure Game: Dishonored 2
Best Performance: Nolan North (Nathan Drake in Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End)
Best Narrative: Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
Best Game Direction: Blizzard for Overwatch
Most Anticipated Game: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
Game of the Year: Overwatch
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Annie Lee is a Marketing and Communications Specialist for the Radeon Technologies Group at AMD. Her postings are her own opinions and may not represent AMD’s positions, strategies or opinions. Links to third party sites are provided for convenience and unless explicitly stated, AMD is not responsible for the contents of such linked sites and no endorsement is implied.