Past Highlights

SXSW Gaming brings the best games, projects, teams, and personalities to Austin, Texas to be recognized at the SXSW Gaming Awards. Take a look at these exceptional highlights from previous years.


Past Highlights

2016 SXSW Gaming Awards Hosts Jacksepticeye and Rachel Quirico – Photo by Estevan Aviles

Past Gaming Awards Winners

 

The SXSW Gaming Awards recognizes the greatest titles, teams, and individuals from across the gaming industry. Since its premiere in 2014, the show has exploded in attendance to become a must-see stop for thousands of attendees during SXSW Gaming.

Browse past winners from SXSW 2016, 2015 and 2014 below.

Read the most recent news on SXSW Gaming, and view all 2017 Gaming Awards nominees today!

2016 SXSW Gaming Awards

The 2016 SXSW Gaming Awards took place at the Hilton in downtown Austin, with hosts Jacksepticeye and Rachel Quirico.

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.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – CD Projekt / CD Projekt RED

Mobile Game of the Year
Awarded to the game that exemplifies overall excellence and creates a unique gaming experience on any handheld device.
Her Story – Sam Barlow

Tabletop Game of the Year
Awarded to the game that exemplifies overall excellence and ingenuity of any tabletop game in any genre.
Pandemic Legacy – Z-Man Games

Excellence in Gameplay
Awarded to the game with the best gameplay mechanics.
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain – Konami

Excellence in Art
Awarded to the game with the most expressive and creative artistic style.
Bloodborne – Sony Computer Entertainment / FromSoftware

Excellence in Animation
Awarded to the game with the most outstanding animation effects and graphics.
Rise of the Tomb Raider – Square Enix / Crystal Dynamics

Excellence in Technical Achievement
Awarded to the game that pushed the capabilities of technology and programming.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – CD Projekt / CD Projekt RED

Excellence in Visual Achievement
Awarded to the game with the most well-designed and stunning visuals.
The Order: 1886 – Sony Computer Entertainment / Ready at Dawn

Excellence in Narrative
Awarded to the game with the best storyline and dialogue.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – CD Projekt / CD Projekt RED

Excellence in Design
Awarded to the game with the best overall design concept and best execution.
Bloodborne – Sony Computer Entertainment / FromSoftware

Excellence in SFX
Awarded to the game with the most outstanding and impactful sound effects.
Star Wars Battlefront – Electronic Arts / EA DICE

Excellence in Musical Score
Awarded to the game that best exemplifies artistic excellence in musical score and how it progresses the narrative of the game.
Ori and the Blind Forest – Microsoft Studios / Moon Studios

Excellence in Multiplayer
Awarded to the game with the best player-to-player interaction experience.
Rocket League – Psyonix

Excellence in Convergence
Awarded to the game that excels in crossover to other entertainment mediums such as film, music, toys, animation, sports and more.
Batman: Arkham Knight – Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment / Rocksteady Studios

Most Enduring Character
Awarded to the best game character that left an overwhelming impression.
Lara Croft, Rise of the Tomb Raider – Square Enix / Crystal Dynamics

Most Valuable Esports Team
Awarded to the professional team that excels in performance and provides the most valuable impact in its competitive scene.
Evil Geniuses

Most Entertaining Online Personality
Awarded to the online gaming-related personality that consistently entertains and keeps us watching with their humor, stories, special effects, and more.
Kinda Funny – Greg Miller

Most Promising New Intellectual Property
Awarded to a new property that risked creating something fresh and that excelled within its genre or category for the year.
Splatoon – Nintendo

Most Fulfilling Crowdfunded Game
Awarded to the game that was primarily produced via crowdfunding platforms and had excelled beyond the expectations set before it.
Undertale – Toby Fox

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.
Undertale – Toby Fox

Gamer’s Voice Award
Awarded to the best games created by indie developers, selected by SXSW Gaming attendees.

Multiplayer: Gang Beasts – Bone Loaf
Single Player: SUPERHOT – SUPERHOT Sp. z o.o.

Hosts

Séan “Jacksepticeye” William McLoughlin
“Jacksepticeye” is the self-proclaimed “most energetic video game commentator on YouTube.” He currently has over 7 million subscribers, close to 3 billion views, and over 1900 uploaded videos. Jack’s channel is the most subscribed and watched in Ireland and is one of the fastest growing channels on all of youtube. He gained major recognition after a shoutout from PewDiePie and has only grown more and more since. Jack shows a wide variety of games and styles on his channel from over the top, bombastic gameplay commentary to a more humble and down to earth side in his vlogs. He keeps a very consistent schedule for his uploads and engages heavily with viewers and subscribers by answering hundreds of comments daily.

Rachel Quirico
Rachel “Seltzer” Quirico began her career in esports as a competitive Team Fortress 2 player for PMS Clan. After years of competing and an appearance on the television show WCG Ultimate Gamer, Rachel put aside her controller in favor of a microphone in order to bring her love of gaming to a mainstream audience. Rachel seeks to highlight the excitement and personalities of the pro gaming scene she loves, and since 2010, she has published over 300 interviews with pro players across 15+ games. Additionally, as a host/emcee for well over 30 events spanning Korea, Europe, and the US, Rachel has established herself as an esport icon and one of the scene’s most recognizable female faces. She currently streams on Twitch on her own channel under Seltzer.


2015 SXSW Gaming Awards

The 2015 SXSW Gaming Awards took place at ACL Live at the Moody Theater in downtown Austin, with hosts Markiplier and Janet Varney.

Winners

Game of the Year
Awarded to the indie or mainstream game that exemplifies gaming excellence.
Dragon Age: Inquisition – Electronic Arts/BioWare

Mobile Game of the Year
Awarded to the mobile game that exemplifies gaming excellence.
Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft – Blizzard Entertainment

Table Top Game of the Year
Awarded to the tabletop game that exemplifies gaming excellence.
Star Realms – White Wizard Games

Excellence in Gameplay
Awarded to the title that exemplifies excellence in gameplay mechanics.
Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor – Warner Bros. Interactive/Monolith Productions

Excellence in Art
Awarded to the title that exemplifies excellence in art and design.
Child of Light – Ubisoft/Ubisoft Montreal

Excellence in Animation
Awarded to the title that exemplifies excellence in animation.
Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor – Warner Bros. Interactive/Monolith Productions

Excellence in Technical Achievement
Awarded to the title that exemplifies excellence in technical achievement.
Destiny – Activision/Bungie

Excellence in Visual Achievement
Awarded to the game that best exemplifies stunning visuals.
Far Cry 4 – Ubisoft/Ubisoft Montreal

Excellence in Narrative
Awarded to the title that exemplifies excellence in game narrative.
The Wolf Among Us – Telltale Games

Excellence in Design and Direction
Awarded to the title that exemplifies excellence design and direction.
Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor – Warner Bros. Interactive/Monolith Productions

Excellence in SFX
Awarded to the title that exemplifies excellence game sound effects.
Alien: Isolation – SEGA/The Creative Assembly

Excellence in Musical Score
Awarded to the title that exemplifies artistic excellence in musical score, and how it is used to progress the narrative of a game.
Transistor – Supergiant Games

Excellence in Multiplayer
Awarded to the title that exemplifies excellence in multiplayer gaming.
Super Smash Bros. Wii U – Nintendo

Excellence in Convergence
Awarded to the game that best exemplifies excellence in the crossover to other entertainment mediums such as film, music, toys, animation, sports, and more.
South Park: The Stick of Truth – Ubisoft/Obsidian Entertainment

Most Valuable Character
Awarded to the best game character that left an overwhelming impression
Ellie, The Last of Us: Left Behind – Sony Computer Entertainment/Naughty Dog

Most Valuable Esports Team
Awarded to the professional team that excelled in performance and provided the most valuable impact in its competitive scene(s).
Cloud9

Most Valuable Online Channel
Awarded to the gaming-related channel that consistently entertains and keeps us watching with its humor, stories, special effects, and more.
Rooster Teeth

Most Valuable Add-On Content
Awarded to the best additional content or DLC that added even more value to a great game making the experience that much better.
The Last of Us: Left Behind – Sony Computer Entertainment/Naughty Dog

Most Anticipated Crowdfunded Game
Awarded to the most highly-anticipated crowdfunded game, through such platforms as Kickstarter, Early Access, Indiegogo, that lived up to expectations or has yet to grace our collections.
Star Citizen – Cloud Imperium Games

Matthew Crump Cultural Innovation Award
Awarded to the title that most challenges the “norm” of everyday gaming, and offers a culturally innovative view of a game world, character or gameplay.
This War of Mine – 11 Bit Studios

Gamer’s Voice Award
Awarded to the favorite game in the Indie Corner as decided exclusively by gamers on the SXSW Gaming Expo floor.
SpeedRunners – tinyBuild

Hosts

Markiplier
Mark Edward Fischbach, known by his online pseudonym Markiplier, is an American YouTube personality. Originally from O’ahu, Hawaii, Fischbach began his career in Cincinnati, Ohio. He is currently based in Los Angeles, California. As of September 2016, his channel has over 14.5 million subscribers, over 5.6 billion total video views, and is the 22nd most subscribed channel on YouTube. Fischbach specializes in Let’s Play gameplay commentary videos and indie games, commonly of survival horror and action video games.

Janet Varney
As the voice for the title character on Nickelodeon’s The Legend of Korra, host of the Nerdist’s The JV Club podcast, a regular guest on the stage show and podcast phenomenon, The Thrilling Adventure Hour, and co-founder of SF Sketchfest, the San Francisco Comedy Festival, Varney is a powerhouse actress with over 15 years of entertaining to fans worldwide.


2014 SXSW Gaming Awards

The inaugural SXSW Gaming Awards in 2014 took place at the Long Center in downtown Austin, with hosts SMOSH and iJustine.

Winners

Game of the Year
Awarded to the indie or mainstream game that exemplifies gaming excellence.
The Last of Us – Sony Computer Entertainment/Naughty Dog

Excellence in Gameplay Award
Awarded to the title that exemplifies excellence in gameplay mechanics.
Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons – 505 Studios/Starbreeze Studios

Excellence in Art Award
Awarded to the title that exemplifies excellence in art and design.
Bioshock Infinite – 2K Games/Irrational Games

Excellence in Animation Award
Awarded to the title that exemplifies excellence in animation.
Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch – NAMCO BANDAI/Level-5 and Studio Ghibli

Excellence in Technical Achievement Award
Awarded to the title that exemplifies excellence in technical achievement.
Grand Theft Auto V – Rockstar Games

Excellence in Narrative Award
Awarded to the title that exemplifies excellence in game narrative.
The Last of Us – Sony Computer Entertainment/Naughty Dog

Excellence in Design and Direction Award
Awarded to the title that exemplifies excellence design and direction.
Tearaway – Sony Computer Entertainment/Media Molecule

Excellence in Gaming Marketing Award
Awarded to the title that excelled in overall marketing.
Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag – Ubisoft

Excellence in SFX Award
Awarded to the title that exemplifies excellence game sound effects.
The Last of Us – Sony Computer Entertainment/Naughty Dog

Excellence in Musical Score Award
Awarded to the title that exemplifies artistic excellence in musical score, and how it is used to progress the narrative of a game.
The Last of Us – Sony Computer Entertainment/Naughty Dog

Convergence Award
Awarded to the game that best exemplifies excellence in the crossover to other entertainment mediums such as film, music, toys, animation, sports, and more.
Injustice: Gods Among Us – Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment

Matthew Crump Cultural Innovation Award
Awarded to the title that most challenges the “norm” of everyday gaming, and offers a culturally innovative view of a game world, character or gameplay.
Papers, Please – 3909 LLC

Best Multiplayer Game Award
Awarded to the title that exemplifies excellence in multiplayer gaming.
Super Mario 3D World – Nintendo

Texas Arts Achievement Award
This award went to a Texas-based studio or company for achievement in game development and awareness in our great state.
Galactic Café

SXSW Gamer’s Voice Award
Awarded to the favorite game in the Indie Corner as decided exclusively by gamers on the SXSW Gaming Expo floor.
Nidhogg – Messhof

Hosts

SMOSH
Smosh is an American web-based sketch comedy duo consisting of Ian Andrew Hecox and Daniel Anthony Padilla. Padilla began posting flash animations on Newgrounds in 2003, under the name Smosh. He was later joined by his friend Ian Hecox. Soon afterward, they began to post videos on YouTube in the autumn of 2005 and became one of the most popular channels on that site. As of October 2016, the Smosh channel has more than 22 million subscribers and 5.9 billion video views. The Smosh team has expanded to include others to handle animated, other language, and video gaming content videos, and the sketches have included more actors.

iJustine
Justine Ezarik is an American YouTube personality, host, and actress. She is best known as iJustine, with over 600 million views across her YouTube channels since 2006. She gained attention as a lifecaster who communicated directly with her millions of viewers on her Justin.tv channel, ijustine.tv. She acquired notability in roles variously described as a “lifecasting star”, a “new media star”, or one of the Web’s most popular lifecasters. She currently posts videos on her main channel iJustine, as well as iJustineGaming.

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Spotlight on SXSW Gaming Awards

Relive the magic of the 2016 SXSW Gaming Awards ceremony with hosts Jacksepticeye and Rachel Quirico!

Awards

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