2021 SXSW Gaming Awards Winners Announced

Award Season Has Gone Digital
  • Dayna Eileen | 
    Mar 22, 2021
2021 SXSW Gaming Awards Winners Announced

SXSW, South by Southwest, announced their winners for 2021s Gaming Awards.

The awards exist to celebrate “the most creative and influential titles, teams and individuals in the industry”. This year there were a total of 43 nominees across 12 categories, here are the winners:

2021 SXSW Gaming Awards Category Winners

Video Game of the Year
Awarded to the game that exemplifies overall excellence and creates a distinct gaming experience across all platforms and genres.
Winner: Hades — Supergiant Games

Indie Game of the Year
Awarded to the indie game that exemplifies overall excellence and creates a distinct gaming experience across all platforms and genres.
Winner: Deep Rock Galactic — Ghost Ship Games / Coffee Stain Publishing

Tabletop Game of the Year
Awarded to the game that exemplifies overall excellence and ingenuity of any tabletop game in any genre.
Winner: The Search for Planet X — Renegade Game Studios / Foxtrot Games

VR Game of the Year
Awarded to the VR game that exemplifies overall excellence in gameplay and design across any VR platform.
Winner: Half-Life: Alyx — Valve

Half — Life: Alyx, SXSW VR Game of the Year
Half — Life: Alyx, SXSW VR Game of the Year

Matthew Crump Cultural Innovation Award
Awarded to the game that best challenges the “norm” of everyday gaming and offers a culturally innovative view of a game world, character, or gameplay.
Winner: Dreams — Media Molecule / Sony Interactive Entertainment

Excellence in Animation, Art, & Visual Achievement
Awarded to the game with the most well-designed and stunning visuals, including animation effects and graphics.
Winner: Ghost of Tsushima — Sucker Punch Productions / Sony Interactive Entertainment

Excellence in Game Design
Awarded to the game with the best overall design concept, gameplay mechanics, and best execution.
Winner: Hades — Supergiant Games

Excellence in Score
Awarded to the game that best exemplifies artistic excellence in musical score and how it progresses the narrative of the game.
Winner: Ori and the Will of the Wisps — Moon Studios / Xbox Game Studios

Ori and the Will of the Wisps, SXSW Excellence in Score Winner
Ori and the Will of the Wisps, SXSW Excellence in Score Winner

Excellence in Multiplayer
Awarded to the game with the best player-to-player interaction experience.
Winner: Deep Rock Galactic — Ghost Ship Games / Coffee Stain Publishing

Excellence in Narrative
Awarded to the game with the best storyline and dialogue.
Winner: The Last of Us Part II — Naughty Dog / Sony Interactive Entertainment

Excellence in Audio Design
Awarded to the game with the most outstanding and impactful sound effects.
Winner: DOOM Eternal — id Software / Bethesda Softworks

Excellence in Technical Achievement
Awarded to the game that pushed the capabilities of technology and programming furthest or most effectively.
Winner: Microsoft Flight Simulator — Asobo Studio / Xbox Game Studios

SXSW hosted a virtual SXSW Gaming Awards show in partnership with IGN and presented by Discord where they presented the winners. The award show results were “determined by a weighted total between staff and advisory board input and public voting”. SXSW takes pride in their live conferences and festivals, but this year had to move their events to a digital format. Hopefully by next year, they will be able to celebrate with the industry and its best in person.



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