Industry By Kristian Wingfield-Bennett / March 2, 2017 Blizzard Entertainment’s popular and stylish multiplayer shooter, Overwatch, was honored with the prize for Game of the Year at last nights 17th annual Game Developers Choice Awards (GDCA) ceremony during the 2017 Game Developers Conference (GDC) at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. Overwatch’s carefully calibrated balance and polished gameplay mechanics also earned the game the award for Best Design. An archive of the award ceremony, as well as the full presentation of the Independent Games Festival Awards (IGF Awards), can be viewed at http://twitch.tv/gdc. The Game Developers Choice Awards honor the very best games of the year, and was created for and voted on by developers. Winners are selected by the Game Developers Choice Awards-specific International Choice Awards Network (ICAN), which is an invitation-only group comprised of leading game creators from all parts of the industry. Every year, the Game Developers Choice Awards also recognize developers who have made significant contributions to the art, science and craft of video games with three special awards. This year, the Pioneer Award was given to Jordan Mechner, the game designer, programmer and screenwriter best known for creating the landmark series, Prince of Persia. The Ambassador Award, which recognizes those whose actions have helped video games to “advance to a better place,” went to Mark DeLoura, for dedicating his life to the education and the productive use of technology within academia, the media and videogames, holding roles that include Senior Advisor for Digital Media during the Obama administration. The Lifetime Achievement award was given to Tim Sweeney, the founder of Epic Games, and the creator of seminal game/creation tool ZZT and the influential Unreal Engine. Following the 1998 PC game Unreal, which Sweeney co-created, the game’s engine became the underpinning for a slew of acclaimed games, including Epic’s own Gears of War and Unreal franchises, as well as the BioShock series, Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell, and the Batman: Arkham series of games. “This year’s amazing slate of winners is a testament to the diversity of experiences in games. Pokemon Go took gaming outdoors using AR, while Job Simulator showed how lo-fi aesthetics could meet cutting edge tech for a winning VR experience. Overwatch once again proved Blizzard’s uncanny ability to make a perfectly balanced multiplayer game, and Inside delved deep into our dark psyches to unearth our scariest nightmares,” said Meggan Scavio, General Manager of the Game Developers Conference. “These nominees speak to the strength of games as a medium, but also show the various textures and possible creative outlets that interactive entertainment can provide. Congrats to all of the winners and nominees for following their visions and thanks to all developers who strive to make amazing games for us day in and day out.” The Game Developers Choice Awards winners are: Best Audio Inside (Playdead) Best Debut Campo Santo (Firewatch) Best Design Overwatch (Blizzard Entertainment) Best Mobile/Handheld Game Pokemon Go (Niantic) Innovation Award No Man’s Sky (Hello Games) Best Narrative Firewatch (Campo Santo) Best Technology Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End (Naughty Dog) Best Visual Art Inside (Playdead) Best VR/AR Game Job Simulator: The 2050 Archives (Owlchemy Labs) Audience Award Battlefield 1 (EA DICE) Game of the Year Overwatch (Blizzard Entertainment) Pioneer Award Jordan Mechner Ambassador Award Mark DeLoura Lifetime Achievement Award Tim Sweeney For more information about the 17th Annual Game Developers Choice Awards, please visit the official website at http://www.gamechoiceawards.com . For information about the 2017 Game Developers Conference, please visit the official website at http://www.gdconf.com .