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The Game Awards 2016: And the nominees are…

Yes, 2016 is coming to a close. As such, we gamers look forward to the awards show which for us, is like the Oscars. The nominees for the 2016 Game Awards were announced just yesterday, and the offerings this year were definitely nothing to sneeze at.

As if there were a doubt this year, the game with the most nominations for the Geoff Keighley-produced event is Naughty Dog’s Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, garnering a hugely impressive EIGHT nominations across six different categories, not the least of which being the highly-coveted Game of the Year. Naughty Dog does face some stiff competition, however, with the final Nathan Drake game facing off against Playdead’s Inside, Blizzard Entertainment’s Overwatch, id Software’s Doom, and Titanfall 2 from Respawn Entertainment.

Unsurprisingly, each of these titles has received multiple nominations for the Game Awards, with Overwatch, Inside, and Campo Santo’s Firewatch each receiving five. All three of those games are also up for Best Art Direction, as well. Titanfall 2, Doom, and EA DICE’s Battlefield 1 each garnered nominations in four categories, and are all nominated for Best Action Game.

29 different publications put forth a panel of judges for this year’s Game Awards. The nomination selection for the esports categories were also assisted by eight esports-focused outlets, and those awards will be determined by worldwide fan votes.

In order to be eligible for the awards this year, each game had to have been commercially released on or before November 24th, 2016. Unfortunately, that does exclude some of the bigger names coming out in the last part of this year, including Dead Rising 4, The Last Guardian, and Final Fantasy XV. However, that DOES mean that games which were released late in 2015 are eligible, which includes Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege. That game has been nominated for Best Multiplayer Game at this year’s ceremony.

Fans can view the Game Awards 2016 on December 1st, as it will be livestreamed across a wide variety of platforms. The pre-show is set to kick off at 8:30pm ET (5:30pm Pacific), with the actual event starting at 9:00pm ET (6:00pm Pacific).

We have the full list of this year’s categories & their respective nominees for you below.

 

GAME OF THE YEAR
For a game that delivers the absolute best experience across all creative and technical fields.

  • Doom (id Software/Bethesda Softworks)
  • Inside (Playdead)
  • Overwatch (Blizzard Entertainment)
  • Titanfall 2 (Respawn Entertainment/Electronic Arts)
  • Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End (Naughty Dog/Sony Interactive Entertainment)

 

BEST GAME DIRECTION
Recognizing a game studio for outstanding creative vision, game direction and design.

  • Blizzard Entertainment (for Overwatch)
  • EA DICE (for Battlefield 1)
  • id Software (for Doom)
  • Naughty Dog (for Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End)
  • Respawn Entertainment (for Titanfall 2)

 

BEST NARRATIVE
For outstanding storytelling and narrative development in a game.

  • Firewatch (Campo Santo)
  • Inside (Playdead)
  • Mafia 3 (Hangar 13/2K Games)
  • Oxenfree (Night School Studio)
  • Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End (Naughty Dog/Sony Interactive Entertainment)

 

BEST ART DIRECTION
For outstanding creative and technical achievement in artistic design and animation.

  • Abzu (Giant Squid/505 Games)
  • Firewatch (Campo Santo)
  • Inside (Playdead)
  • Overwatch (Blizzard Entertainment)
  • Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End (Naughty Dog/Sony Interactive Entertainment)

 

BEST MUSIC/SOUND DESIGN
For outstanding audio, inclusive of score, original song, licensed soundtrack and sound design.

  • Battlefield 1 (EA DICE/Electronic Arts)
  • Doom (id Software/Bethesda Softworks)
  • Inside (Playdead)
  • Rez Infinite (Enhance Games)
  • Thumper (Drool)

 

BEST PERFORMANCE
Awarded to an individual for voice-over acting, motion and/or performance capture.

  • Alex Hernandez as Lincoln Clay, Mafia 3
  • Cissy Jones as Delilah, Firewatch
  • Emily Rose as Elena, Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
  • Nolan North as Nathan Drake, Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
  • Rich Sommer as Henry, Firewatch
  • Troy Baker as Sam Drake, Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End

 

GAMES FOR IMPACT
Honoring exemplary games that take on real-world issues and advocate for social change.

  • 1979 Revolution: Black Friday (Ink Stories)
  • Block’hood (Plethora Project/Devolver Digital)
  • Orwell (Osmotic Studios/Surprise Attack)
  • Sea Hero Quest (Glitchers)
  • That Dragon, Cancer (Numinous Games)

 

BEST INDEPENDENT GAME
For outstanding achievement in a game made outside the traditional publisher system.

  • Firewatch (Campo Santo)
  • Hyper Light Drifter (Heart Machine)
  • Inside (Playdead)
  • Stardew Valley (ConcernedApe/Chucklefish Games)
  • The Witness (Thekla Inc.)

 

BEST MOBILE/HANDHELD
For the best game playable on mobile phones and dedicated gaming handhelds.

  • Clash Royale (Supercell)
  • Fire Emblem Fates (Intelligent Systems/Nintendo)
  • Monster Hunter Generations (Capcom)
  • Pokémon GO! (Niantic Labs)
  • Severed (DrinkBox Studios)

 

BEST VR GAME
For the best game experience playable in virtual reality.

  • Batman: Arkham VR (Rocksteady Studios/Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment)
  • Eve: Valkyrie (CCP Games)
  • Job Simulator (Owlchemy Labs)
  • Rez Infinite (Enhance Games)
  • Thumper (Drool)

 

BEST ACTION GAME
For the best game experience focused around first or third person combat.

  • Battlefield 1 (EA DICE/Electronic Arts)
  • Doom (id Software/Bethesda Softworks)
  • Gears of War 4 (The Coalition/Microsoft Studios)
  • Overwatch (Blizzard Entertainment)
  • Titanfall 2 (Respawn Entertainment/Electronic Arts)

 

BEST ACTION/ADVENTURE GAME
For the best game experience that combines combat with traversal and puzzle solving.

  • Dishonored 2(Arkane Studios/Bethesda Softworks)
  • Hitman (IO Interactive/Square Enix)
  • Hyper Light Drifter (Heart Machine)
  • Ratchet & Clank (Insomniac Games/Sony Interactive Entertainment)
  • Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End (Naughty Dog/Sony Interactive Entertainment)

 

BEST RPG
The best game designed for rich player character customization and progression, both offline and online, including massively multiplayer.

  • Dark Souls 3 (FromSoftware/Bandai Namco Entertainment)
  • Deus Ex: Mankind Divided (Eidos Montreal/Square Enix)
  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – Blood and Wine (CD Projekt Red/Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment)
  • World of Warcraft: Legion (Blizzard Entertainment)
  • Xenoblade Chronicles X (Monolith Soft/Nintendo)

 

BEST FIGHTING GAME
For a game designed primarily around head-to-head combat.

  • Killer Instinct Season 3 (Iron Galaxy Studios/Microsoft Studios)
  • The King of Fighters 14 (SNK/Atlus USA)
  • Pokkén Tournament (Bandai Namco Studios/The Pokémon Co. International)
  • Street Fighter V (Capcom)

 

BEST STRATEGY GAME
Best game focused on real time or turn-based strategy.

  • Sid Meier’s Civilization 6 (Firaxis Games/2K Games)
  • Fire Emblem Fates (Intelligent Systems/Nintendo)
  • The Banner Saga 2 (Stoic Studio/Versus Evil)
  • Total War: Warhammer (The Creative Assembly/Sega)
  • XCOM 2 (Firaxis Games/2K Games)

 

BEST FAMILY GAME
Best game for family play, including toys-to-life, rhythm/music/dance, and other genres.

  • Dragon Quest Builders (Square Enix)
  • Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens (TT Fusion/Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment)
  • Pokémon Go (Niantic Labs)
  • Ratchet & Clank (Insomniac Games/Sony Interactive Entertainment)
  • Skylanders Imaginators (Toy for Bob/Activision)

 

BEST SPORTS/RACING
For traditional and non-traditional sports and racing games.

  • FIFA 17 (EA Vancouver/Electronic Arts)
  • Forza Horizon 3 (Playground Games/Microsoft Studios)
  • MLB The Show 16 (SIE San Diego Studio/Sony Interactive Entertainment)
  • NBA 2K17 (Visual Concepts/2K Sports)
  • Pro Evolution Soccer 2017 (PES Productions/Konami)

 

BEST MULTIPLAYER
For outstanding online multiplayer gameplay and design, including co-op and massively multiplayer experiences.

  • Battlefield 1 (EA DICE/Electronic Arts)
  • Gears of War 4 (The Coalition/Microsoft Studios)
  • Overcooked (Ghost Town Games/Team17)
  • Overwatch (Blizzard Entertainment)
  • Titanfall 2 (Respawn Entertainment/Electronic Arts)
  • Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege (Ubisoft Montreal/Ubisoft)

 

MOST ANTICIPATED GAME
An upcoming game that has shown significant ambition and promise in moving the gaming medium forward.

  • God of War (SIE Santa Monica Studio/Sony Interactive Entertainment)
  • Horizon Zero Dawn (Guerrilla Games/Sony Interactive Entertainment)
  • Mass Effect: Andromeda (BioWare/Electronic Arts)
  • Red Dead Redemption 2 (Rockstar Studios/Rockstar Games)
  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Nintendo)

 

TRENDING GAMER
For a notable influencer, online streamer or media personality in 2016.

  • AngryJoeShow
  • Boogie2988
  • Danny O’Dwyer
  • JackSepticEye
  • Lirik

 

BEST FAN CREATION
For fan-created content, such as mods, fan films, and other player content.

  • Project A2MR
  • Pokémon Uranium
  • Brutal Doom 64
  • Enderal: The Shards of Order

 

BEST ESPORTS PLAYER
The esports player judged to be the most outstanding performer in 2016, irrespective of game.

  • Faker – Lee Sang-hyeok (SK Telecom T1, League of Legends)
  • Coldzera – Marcelo David (SK Gaming, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive)
  • ByuN – Hyun Woo (Starcraft 2)
  • Infiltrator – Lee Seeon-woo (Team Razer, Street Fighter 5)
  • Hungrybox – Juan Debiedma (Team Liquid, Super Smash Bros.)

 

BEST ESPORTS TEAM
The esports team or organization judged to be the most outstanding for performance in 2016, irrespective of game.

  • SK Telecom T1 (League of Legends)
  • Wings Gaming (Dota 2)
  • SK Gaming
  • ROX Tigers (League of Legends)
  • Cloud 9

 

BEST ESPORTS GAME
The esports game that has shown creative and technical excellence in 2016 with the best gameplay, community support and content updates.

  • Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (Valve)
  • Dota 2 (Valve)
  • League of Legends (Riot Games)
  • Overwatch (Blizzard Entertainment)
  • Street Fighter 5 (Capcom)

What say you, dear readers? What games and/or personalities are you rooting for this year? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

About Doug T. (225 Articles)
A lifelong gamer, a foodie, an advocate for people with disabilities, and an avowed geek. Doug was born in South America, currently resides in Northern VA, and spends the majority of his time indulging in his current passions of gaming & food, while making sure not to take life or himself too seriously.
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