The Game Awards 2020: Full Rewards Recap and Nominees

The Game Awards 2020: Full Rewards Recap and Nominees 11
| Dec 11, 2020

This year’s annual ceremony for The Game Awards took on a digital approach amid the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, but continued to celebrate a fresh crop of video games with significant merits. From games which set a bar for storytelling to bending the medium with creative sparks, developers worldwide are were nominated for a wide range of categories from narratives, direction, impact and music. Other awards recognized rising stars in the world of eSports and digital content creators who continued churning out the latest online videos and streams for audiences at home. Hosted by Canadian game journalist and producer Geoff Keighley, The Game Awards is an evolution of its former Spike Video Game Awards and became a self sustaining event touted as the “Oscars for games.” Developers also took to the virtual stage for world reveals of new IPs and various updates for some of the industry’s biggest franchises.

2020 didn’t stop the prestigious event from assembling a wide variety of presenters, including Jacksepticeye, famed director Christopher Nolan, outspoken developer and awards advocate Josef Fares, legendary former Nintendo of America head Reggie Fils-Aime and voice actor chameleon Nolan North. The names were a few for presenters behind the awards for some of this year’s most played titles. Some including The Last of Us Part II drew opinions, as Naughty Dog’s sequel drew in the largest amount of nominations in over 10 categories. Other games such as Hades, DOOM Eternal and Animal Crossing come close to earning a few awards in Action, Family and Multiplayer while going head-to-head for GOTY.

The pre-show presented several awards, particularly for eSports, score and a strangely bizzare one from Devolver Digital for their own published games. Its half-hour preview also revealed a number of indie-based titles from said developer and other studios.

In honour of Mario’s 35th anniversary, the London Phil Harmonic orchestra led a suite based on the iconic franchise. Its iconic theme was complimented with tracks from Super Mario 64, Super Mario Galaxy and Super Mario Odyssey in a seamless medley from Abbey Road studios. They also returned for a composition of The Game Awards’ annual symphony, mixing in some familiar tunes from 2020’s hottest games. Pearl Jam member Eddie Vedder performed “Future Days” as featured in The Last of Us Part II in an acoustic live rendition, presented by Troy Baker who revealed the track was played by Neil Druckmann to his daughter as a lullaby every night. The song was late incorporated into the game, along with Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson’s other dreams to be a singer and astronaut (respectively). Vedder took a minute to thank Naughty Dog for using the song with Ellie and Joel’s story. Ultimately, the symphony returned with a suite featuring Final Fantasy VII Remake, Doom Eternal, Ghost of Tsushima, The Last of Us Part II and the wholesome suite of Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

You can read a separate piece which rounded all of the specific reveals, demos and showcases for The Game Awards 2020 here. Below are the winners, reported event highlights and notable speeches made by recipients.

Game of the Year

The Game Awards 2020: Full Rewards Recap And Nominees
The Last of Us Part II – Naughty Dog

Animal Crossing: New Horizons (Nintendo)
DOOM Eternal (id Software/Bethesda)
Final Fantasy VII Remake (Square Enix)
Ghost of Tsushima (Sucker Punch/SIE)
Hades (Supergiant Games)
The Last of Us Part II (Naughty Dog/SIE)

Winner: The Last of Us Part II (Naughty Dog/SIE)

In a brief acceptance speech, Naughty Dog’s new CEO Neil Druckmann looked forward to “getting drunk” with his teammates while thanking the entire studio for creating “better, more meaningful” titles.

Best Game Direction

Final Fantasy VII Remake (Square Enix)
Ghost of Tsushima (Sucker Punch/SIE)
Hades (Supergiant Games)
Half-Life: Alyx (Valve)
The Last of Us Part II (Naughty Dog/SIE)

Winner: The Last of Us Part II (Naughty Dog/SIE)

Naughty Dog CEO Neil Druckmann accepted the award on behalf of the studio, crediting his team for a privilege to bring the sequel to life.

Best Narrative

13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim (George Kamitani)
Final Fantasy VII Remake (Kazushige Nojima, Motomu Toriyama, Hiroki Iwaki, Sachie Hirano)
Ghost of Tsushima (Ian Ryan, Liz Albl, Patrick Downs, Jordan Lemos)
Hades (Greg Kasavin)
The Last of Us Part II (Neil Druckmann, Halley Gross)

Winner: The Last of Us Part II (Neil Druckmann, Halley Gross)

Halley Gross accepted the award for The Last of Us Part II, crediting Neil Druckmann for telling “a ballsy story” which divided players after launch. She also thanked voters for connecting with the characters across a long journey and in their support of its development.

Best Art Direction

The Game Awards 2020: Full Rewards Recap And Nominees
Ghost of Tsushima – Sucker Punch Productions

Final Fantasy VII Remake (Square Enix)
Ghost of Tsushima (Sucker Punch/SIE)
Hades (Supergiant Games)
Ori and the Will of the Wisps (Moon Studios/Xbox Game Studios)
The Last of Us Part II (Naughty Dog/SIE)

Winner: Ghost of Tsushima (Sucker Punch/SIE)

Best Score and Music

The Game Awards 2020: Full Rewards Recap And Nominees
Final Fantasy VII Remake – Square Enix

DOOM Eternal (Mick Gordon)
Final Fantasy VII Remake (Nobuo Uematsu, Masahi Hamauzu, Mitsuto Suzuki)
Hades (Darren Korb)
Ori and the Will of the Wisps (Gareth Coker)
The Last of Us Part II (Gustavo Santaolala, Mac Quale)

Winner: Final Fantasy VII Remake (Nobuo Uematsu, Masahi Hamauzu, Mitsuto Suzuki)

Kenji Kawamori accepted the award for Best Score and Music, thanking the sound team for recreating the PlayStation hit’s audio for modern players. He also credited Mr. Nobuo Uematsu for its original soundtrack. Kawamori also suggested players to revisit Final Fantast VII Remake on their PS4s in “focusing attention on the music.”

Best Audio Design

DOOM Eternal (id Software/Bethesda)
Half-Life: Alyx (Valve)
Ghost of Tsushima (Sucker Punch/SIE)
Resident Evil 3 (Capcom)
The Last of Us Part II (Naughty Dog/SIE)

Winner: The Last of Us Part II (Naughty Dog/SIE)

Best Performance

Ashley Johnson as Ellie, The Last of Us Part II
Laura Bailey as Abby, The Last of Us Part II
Daisuke Tsuji as Jin Sakai, Ghost of Tsushima
Logan Cunningham as Hades, Hades
Nadji Jeter as Miles Morales, Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales

Winner: Laura Bailey as Abby, The Last of Us Part II

Accepting the first major award of the night, Laura Bailey thanked fans for their “passionate” responses while playing Abby in a complex narrative. She told Naughty Dog the performance would take the full impact of Joel and Ellie’s first adventure. She also credited friends, family and co-star Troy Baker for their support in bringing Abby to life. Over webcam, her phone constantly rang from congratulations as the speech happened.

Games for Impact

The Game Awards 2020: Full Rewards Recap And Nominees
Tell Me Why – Dontnod Entertainment

If Found… (DREAMFEEL/Annapurna Interactive)
Kentucky Route Zero: TV Edition (Cardboard Computer/Annapurna Interactive)
Spiritfarer (Thunder Lotus Games)
Tell Me Why (Dontnod Entertainment/Xbox Game Studios)
Through the Darkest of Times (Paintbucket Games)

Winner: Tell Me Why (Dontnod Entertainment/Xbox Game Studios)

Community Manager Livy Hall accepted the award and spoke about the need for communities to be represented in story-driven games such as Tell Me Why. She also credited the nominees for creating games with significant messages to help others.

Best Ongoing Game

Apex Legends (Respawn/EA)
Destiny 2 (Bungie)
Call of Duty Warzone (Infinity Ward/Activision)
Fortnite (Epic Games)
No Man’s Sky (Hello Games)

Winner: No Man’s Sky (Hello Games)

Best Indie Game

The Game Awards 2020: Full Rewards Recap And Nominees
Hades – Supergiant Games

Carrion (Phobia Game Studio)
Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout (Mediatonic/Devolver)
Hades (Supergiant Games)
Spelunky 2 (Mossmouth)
Spiritfarer (Thunder Lotus Games)

Winner: Hades (Supergiant Games)

Best Mobile, Presented by LG WING, Powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon

Among Us (InnerSloth)
Call of Duty Mobile (TiMi Studios/Activision)
Genshin Impact (miHoYo)
Legends of Runeterra (Riot Games)
Pokémon Café Mix (Genius Sonority)

Winner: Among Us (InnerSloth)

In one of two award speeches, InnerSloth cited mobile as the most accessible version which connected players around the world. Through its original format on phones, the studio thanked partners and fans for their overwhelming support “in the past two years” as Among Us grew.

Best Community Support

The Game Awards 2020: Full Rewards Recap And Nominees
Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout – Mediatonic/Devolver Digital

Apex Legends (Respawn/EA)
Destiny 2 (Bungie)
Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout (Mediatonic/Devolver)
Fortnite (Epic Games)
No Man’s Sky (Hello Games)
Valorant (Riot Games)

Winner: Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout (Mediatonic/Devolver)

Innovation in Accessibility

Assassin’s Creed Valhalla (Ubisoft Montreal/Ubisoft)
Grounded (Obsidian/Xbox Game Studios)
HyperDot (Tribe Games)
The Last of Us Part II (Naughty Dog/SIE)
Watch Dogs Legion (Ubisoft Toronto/Ubisoft)

Winner: The Last of Us Part II (Naughty Dog/SIE)

Naughty Dog thanked accessibility developers and advocates for their help in creating a highly playable experience, while the insight of consultants created detailed settings to cement the story-driven narrative. The category also recognized Naughty Dog as the developer who removed the most barriers in their game at launch.

Best VR/AR Game

The Game Awards 2020: Full Rewards Recap And Nominees
Half-Life: Alyx – Valve

Dreams (Media Molecule/SIE)
Half-Life: Alyx (Valve)
MARVEL’s Iron Man VR (Camoflaj/SIE)
STAR WARS: Squadrons (Motive Studios/EA)
The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners (Skydance Interactive)

Winner: Half-Life: Alyx (Valve)

Best Action Game

DOOM Eternal (id Software/Bethesda)
Hades (Supergiant Games)
Half-Life: Alyx (Valve)
Nioh 2 (Team Ninja)
Streets of Rage 4 (DotEmu)

Winner: Hades (Supergiant Games)

Best Action/Adventure Game

Assassin’s Creed Valhalla (Ubisoft Montreal/Ubisoft)
Ghost of Tsushima (Sucker Punch/SIE)
MARVEL’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales (Insomniac Games/SIE)
Ori and the Will of the Wisps (Moon Studios/Xbox Game Studios)
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order (Respawn/EA)
The Last of Us Part II (Naughty Dog/SIE)

Winner: The Last of Us Part II (Naughty Dog/SIE)

Best Role Playing Game

Final Fantasy VII Remake (Square Enix)
Genshin Impact (miHoYo)
Persona 5 Royal (Atlus, P Studios)
Wasteland 3 (inXile Entertainment/Koch)
Yakuza: Like a Dragon (Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio/Sega)

Winner: Final Fantasy VII Remake (Square Enix)

Best Fighting Game

The Game Awards 2020: Full Rewards Recap And Nominees
Mortal Kombat 11 – NetherRealm Studios

Granblue Fantasy: Versus (Arc System Works/Cygames)
Mortal Kombat 11/Ultimate (NetherRealm Studios/WB Games)
Street Fighter V: Champion Edition (Dimps/Capcom)
One Punch Man: A Hero Nobody Knows (Spike Chunsoft/Bandai-Namco)
UNDER NIGHT IN-BIRTH Exe: Late[cl-r] (French Bread/Arc System Works)

Winner: Mortal Kombat 11/Ultimate (NetherRealm Studios/WB Games)

Best Family Game

The Game Awards 2020: Full Rewards Recap And Nominees
Animal Crossing New Horizons – Nintendo

Animal Crossing: New Horizons (Nintendo)
Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time (Toys for Bob/Activision)
Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout (Mediatonic/Devolver)
Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit (Velan Studios/Nintendo)
Minecraft Dungeons (Mojang/Double Eleven/Xbox Game Studios)
Paper Mario: The Origami King (Intelligent Systems/Nintendo)

Winner: Animal Crossing: New Horizons (Nintendo)

Best Simulation/Strategy Game

The Game Awards 2020: Full Rewards Recap And Nominees
Microsoft Flight Simulator – Asoco/Xbox Game Studios

Crusader Kings III (Paradox Development Studio/Paradox)
Desperados III (Mimimi Games/THQN)
Gears Tactics (Splash Damage/The Coalition/Xbox Game Studios)
Microsoft Flight Simulator (Asobo/Xbox Game Studios)
XCOM: Chimera Squad (Firaxis/2K)

Winner: Microsoft Flight Simulator (Asobo/Xbox Game Studios)

Best Sports/Racing Game

Dirt 5 (Codemasters Cheshire/Codemasters)
F1 2020 (Codemasters Birmingham /Codemasters)
FIFA 21 (EA Vancouver/EA Sports)
NBA 2K21 (Visual Concepts/2K)
Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 Remake (Vicarious Visions/Activision)

Winner: Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 Remake (Vicarious Visions/Activision)

Best Multiplayer Game

The Game Awards 2020: Full Rewards Recap And Nominees
Among Us – InnerSloth

Animal Crossing: New Horizons (Nintendo)
Among Us (InnerSloth)
Call of Duty: Warzone (Infinity Ward/Raven/Activision)
Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout (Mediatonic/Devolver)
Valorant (Riot Games)

Winner: Among Us (InnerSloth)

In their debut game, InnerSloth thanked fans for their massive support for Among Us across mobile, online and PC platforms. They also credited players for connecting with each other amid the worldwide lockdown.

Best Debut Game

The Game Awards 2020: Full Rewards Recap And Nominees
Phasmaphobia – Kinetic Games

Carrion (Phobia Game Studio/Devolver)
Mortal Shell (Cold Symmetry/Playstack)
Raji: An Ancient Epic (Nodding Heads Games)
Röki (Polygon Treehouse/CI Games)
Phasmophobia (Kinetic Games)

Winner: Phasmophobia (Kinetic Games)

Content Creator of the Year, Presented by Adobe and BossLogic

Alanah Pearce
NickMercs
TimtheTatman
Jay-Ann Lopez
Valkyrae

Winner: Valkyrae

Best Esports Game

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (Infinity Ward/Raven/Activision)
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (Valve)
Fortnite (Epic Games)
League of Legends (Riot Games)
Valorant (Riot Games)

Winner: League of Legends (Riot Games)

Best Esports Coach

Crusty
Grabbz
Rambo
Zefa
Zonic

Winner: Zonic

Best Esports Athlete

Ian “Crimsix” Porter / Call of Duty
Heo “Showmaker” Su / League of Legends
Kim “Canyon” Geon-bu / League of Legends
Anthony “Shotzzy” Cuevas-Castro / Call of Duty
Matthieu “ZywOo” Herbaut / Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

Winner: Heo “Showmaker” Su / League of Legends

Best Esports Team

DAMWON Gaming / League of Legends
Dallas Empire / Call of Duty
San Francisco Shock / Overwatch League
G2 Esports / League of Legends
Team Secret / DOTA2

Winner: G2 Esports / League of Legends

Best Esports Event

BLAST Premier: Spring E2020 European Finals (CS:GO)
Call of Duty League Championship 2020
IEM Katowice 2020 (CS:GO)
League of Legends World Championship 2020
Overwatch League Grand Finals 2020

Winner: League of Legends World Championship 2020

Best Esports Host

Eefje “Sjokz” Depoortere
Alex “Machine” Richardson
Alex “Goldenboy” Mendez
James “Dash” Patterson
Jorien “Sheever” van der Heijden

Winner: Eefje “Sjokz” Depoortere