A huge year for video games is coming to a close, and the second annual production of Geoff Keighley’s The Game Awards will air on December 3rd to cap things off. Last year the show emerged from the ashes of the Spike Video Game Awards and delivered the goods with a combination of jury and fan-voted categories, and entertainment that included new game trailers and a co-performance between Imagine Dragons and Koji Kondo.

This year we’re expecting more of the same, with a few tweaks and hopeful improvements. Some categories were added and some were removed. The Game Awards of 2015 will feature nominees in 22 categories versus 21 from the 2014 show. The new categories include Best Art Direction and Best Multiplayer, which have replaced Best Remaster and Best Online Experience. Another new category in the fan-voted lineup is Best Fan Creation, a nice touch that will award a gamer (or in the case of Twitch Dark Souls, a community of gamers) for creating their own content.

The nominees for the coveted Game of the Year award are Bloodborne, Fallout 4, Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain, Super Mario Maker, and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, the last of which was the most-nominated game with seven nominations. Below are all the nominees:

Game of the Year

  • Bloodborne (From Software/Sony Computer Entertainment)
  • Fallout 4 (Bethesda Game Studios/Bethesda Softworks)
  • Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain (Kojima Productions/Konami)
  • Super Mario Maker (Nintendo EAD Group No. 4/Nintendo)
  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (CD Projekt Red/Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment)

Developer of the Year

  • Bethesda Game Studios
  • CD Projekt Red
  • From Software
  • Kojima Productions
  • Nintendo

Best Independent Game

  • Axiom Verge (Tom Happ)
  • Her Story (Sam Barlow)
  • Ori and the Blind Forest (Moon Studios/Microsoft Studios)
  • Rocket League (Psyonix)
  • Undertale (tobyfox)

Best Mobile/Handheld Game

  • Downwell (Moppin/Devolver Digital)
  • Fallout Shelter (Bethesda Game Studios|Behaviour Interactive/Bethesda Softworks)
  • Lara Croft Go (Square Enix Montreal/Square Enix)
  • Monster Hunter 4: Ultimate (Capcom)
  • Pac-Man 256 (Hipster Whale/Bandai Namco Entertainment)

Best Narrative

  • Her Story (Sam Barlow)
  • Life is Strange (Dontnod Entertainment/Square Enix)
  • Tales From the Borderlands (Telltale Games)
  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (CD Projekt Red/Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment)
  • Until Dawn (Supermassive Games/Sony Computer Entertainment)

Best Art Direction

  • Batman: Arkham Knight (Rocksteady Studios/Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment)
  • Bloodborne (From Software/Sony Computer Entertainment)
  • Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain (Kojima Productions/Konami)
  • Ori and the Blind Forest (Moon Studios/Microsoft Studios)
  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (CD Projekt Red/Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment)

Best Score/Soundtrack

  • Fallout 4 (Inon Zur/Bethesda Game Studios)
  • Halo 5: Guardians (Kazuma Jinnouchi/343 Industries)
  • Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain (Ludvig Forssell, Justin Burnett, Daniel James/Kojima Productions)
  • Ori and the Blind Forest (Gareth Coker/Moon Studios)
  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (Marcin Przybyłowicz, Mikolai Stroinski, Percival/CD Projekt Red)

Best Performance

  • Ashly Burch as Chloe Price (Life is Strange)
  • Camilla Luddington as Lara Croft (Rise of the Tomb Raider)
  • Doug Cockle as Geralt (The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt)
  • Mark Hamill as The Joker (Batman: Arkham Knight)
  • Viva Seifert (Her Story)

Games for Change

  • Cibele (Nina Freeman)
  • Her Story (Sam Barlow)
  • Life is Strange (Dontnod Entertainment/Square Enix)
  • Sunset (Tale of Tales)
  • Undertale (tobyfox)

Best Shooter

  • Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 (Treyarch/Activision)
  • Destiny: The Taken King (Bungie/Activision)
  • Halo 5: Guardians (343 Industries/Microsoft Studios)
  • Splatoon (Nintendo EAD Group No. 2/Nintendo)
  • Star Wars Battlefront (EA DICE/Electronic Arts)

Best Action/Adventure Game

  • Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate (Ubisoft Quebec/Ubisoft)
  • Batman: Arkham Knight (Rocksteady Studios/Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment)
  • Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain (Kojima Productions/Konami)
  • Ori and the Blind Forest (Moon Studios/Microsoft Studios)
  • Rise of the Tomb Raider (Crystal Dynamics/Microsoft Studios)

Best Role-Playing Game

  • Bloodborne (From Software/Sony Computer Entertainment)
  • Fallout 4 (Bethesda Game Studios/Bethesda Softworks)
  • Pillars of Eternity (Obsidian Entertainment/Paradox Interactive)
  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (CD Projekt Red/Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment)
  • Undertale (tobyfox)

Best Fighting Game

  • Guilty Gear 3rd -Sign- (Arc System Works/Aksys Games)
  • Mortal Kombat X (NetherRealm Studios/Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment)
  • Rise of Incarnates (Bandai Namco Entertainment)
  • Rising Thunder (Radiant Entertainment)

Best Family Game

  • Disney Infinity 3.0 (Avalanche Software/Disney Interactive)
  • Lego Dimensions (TT Games/Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment)
  • Skylanders Superchargers (Vicarious Visions|Beenox/Activision)
  • Splatoon (Nintendo EAD Group No. 2/Nintendo)
  • Super Mario Maker (Nintendo EAD Group No. 4/Nintendo)

Best Sports/Racing Game

  • FIFA 16 (EA Canada/Electronic Arts)
  • Forza Motorsports 6 (Turn 10 Studios/Microsoft Studios)
  • NBA 2K16 (Visual Concepts/2K Sports)
  • Pro Evolution Soccer 2016 (PES Productions/Konami)
  • Rocket League (Psyonix)

Best Multiplayer

  • Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 (Treyarch/Activision)
  • Destiny: The Taken King (Bungie/Activision)
  • Halo 5: Guardians (343 Industries/Microsoft Studios)
  • Rocket League (Psyonix)
  • Splatoon (Nintendo EAD Group No. 2/Nintendo)

Most Anticipated Game

  • Horizon Zero Dawn (Guerrilla Games/Sony Computer Entertaiment)
  • No Man’s Sky (Hello Games)
  • Quantum Break (Remedy Entertainment/Microsoft Studios)
  • The Last Guardian (GenDesign/Sony Computer Entertainment)
  • Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End (Naughty Dog/Sony Computer Entertainment)

eSports Player of the Year

  • Kenny “KennyS” Schrub (Counter-Strike: Global Offensive/Team EnVyUs)
  • Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok (League of Legends/SK Telecom T1)
  • Olof “olofmeister” Kajbjer (Counter-Strike: Global Offensive/Fnatic)
  • Peter “ppd” Dager (Dota 2/Evil Geniuses)
  • Syed Sumail “Suma1L” Hassan (Dota 2/Evil Geniuses)

eSports Team of the Year

  • Evil Geniuses
  • Fnatic
  • Optic Gaming
  • SK Telecom T1
  • Team SoloMid

eSports Game of the Year

  • Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare (Sledgehammer Games/Activision)
  • Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (Valve)
  • Dota 2 (Valve)
  • Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft (Blizzard Entertainment)
  • League of Legends (Riot Games)

Trending Gamer

  • Total Biscuit
  • Christopher “MonteCristo” Mykles
  • Greg Miller
  • Markiplier
  • PewDiePie

Best Fan Creation

  • GTA 5 – Targets (Hoodoo Operator)
  • Real GTA (Corridor Digital)
  • Portal Stories: Mel (Prism Studios)
  • Super Mario Maker e-Reader Levels (Baddboy78 / theycallmeshaky)
  • Twitch Plays Dark Souls (Twitch Community)

The list of nominees for Game of the Year reveals a continued bias toward immersive, blockbuster-sized single-player experiences (with the exception of Super Mario Maker). The show seems content to show its appreciation for games whose impact comes mostly through multiplayer experiences through the Best Multiplayer and Best Shooter categories (which have almost identical lists of nominees), and for smaller story-based games like Her Story and Life is Strange through the Best Narrative category. The eSports categories (Best eSports game, best eSports Team, best eSports Player, and Trending Gamer) will still be decided by fan vote, which is a great way to show appreciation for the growing world of eSports and involve fans in the award show at the same time.

witcher 3 wild hunt The Game Awards 2015: Official Nominations Announced

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt leads the 2015 nominations

Despite the flaws we’ve seen in game awards shows over the years, The Game Awards distinguishes itself by making an effort to celebrate the whole spectrum of video games. While the Academy Awards show focuses on a narrow scope of movies – grouping dramas, comedies, and thrillers into the same genre, and grouping all movies made outside of Hollywood into one category for Foreign Films – The Game Awards attempts to show appreciation for the different types. Huge RPGs, small RPGs, indie platformers, online shooters, racing games and eSports all receive recognition. More than anything else, The Game Awards are perhaps an indication of just how rich the field of gaming is right now.

That said, from the nominations we think The Witcher is in a good position to clean house – it’s got a 2003 Return of the King vibe all over it. There is a small chance that Bloodborne or Super Mario Maker will sneak in the dark horse win, though.

The Game Awards will air live from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles on December 3, 2015 9pm ET/ 6pm PT and will be available via Twitch, YouTube, Steam, Xbox Live, and PSN.

Source: The Game Awards

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