58 companies. 20 different games. 17 retailers. 12 publishers.
Whichever way you cut it, the 19 prizes at this year’s MCV Industry Excellence Awards are going to be contested by a diverse number of businesses.
Sure, a clutch of the finalists were inevitable choices.
11 nominations for Microsoft is a fitting recognition of a busy year for the format-holder, with both core new IP (the divisive Alan Wake) and a wave of new ones on Kinect, not to mention the ever-present Halo: Reach.
And nine for the always-impressive Ubisoft shows the diverse array of its output, be that with tentpole franchises like Assassin’s Creed or new dancing games, and its relationship with retail.
There’s also expected nods for Rockstar Games after last year’s storming success of Red Dead Redemption, and recognition for staple releases like Football Manager and Nintendo’s always-inspiring marketing innovations.
But surprises, there are plenty.
For the first time, we’ve got apps in the running. Two in fact (Zavvi’s and the geo-location gimmick for Fable III).
Elsewhere, digital distribution experts like GOG.com, Green Man Gaming, Direct2Drive and Incomm finally get their day in the sun – and there’s also a nomination for recent surprise sales hit Deathsmiles by Rising Star Games.
We have even managed to fit in a nod for GAME’s recent decision to sell Xbox Live DLC in-store, with its pledge to make digital video games ‘famous’ through its stores.
But amongst those 58 companies, 20 different games, 17 retailers and 12 publishers… there can only be 19 winners.
And this year, that diverse array of companies and brands actually proves for many that it is all to play for. There are no inevitable winners this year. It is all up for grabs.
Whatever happens, it is certain to be a close contest as these are still the most fiercely coveted awards given their close view of the games trade.
So congratulations to all of you who made it this far, you’ve deserved it. And good luck for Thursday, April 7th.