Just as it dominated the nominations, Sony Santa Monica Studios’ God of War took top prize in nine categories at the recent DICE Awards, including outstanding game direction, game design, story, art direction, and the much-coveted Game of the Year.
The Academy’s top honour, Game of the Year (GOTY), celebrates a single title that stands above every other game released "with the strength of its craft, depth and innovation" and this year, God of War, Into the Breach, Marvel’s Spider-Man, Red Dead Redemption 2, and Return of the Obra Dinn were all been shortlisted for the coveted award. Previous Game of the Year winners include Zelda: Breath of the Wild (2018), Overwatch (2017), Fallout 4 (2016), Dragon Age: Inquisition (2015), and The Last of Us (2014).
Despite 11 nominations, Marvel’s Spider-Man secured one award – outstanding achievement in animation – whilst Red Dead Redemption II took home just one of the eight awards it was nominated for – outstanding technical achievement. The only game other than God of War to pick up multiple awards was Celeste, which won both action game of the year and outstanding achievement for an independent game.
The DICE Awards ran from February 10th to February 13th, 2019, in Las Vegas. The awards celebrate excellence in art, animation, story, music, game design, and game direction, as well as "looking at emerging technologies such as Immersive Reality". The game must have been released to the public between January 1st and December 31st, 2018.
For 2019, DICE’s theme celebrates "trailblazers, disruptors, technical masterminds and poets of pixels continue to change the game, building and promoting community on both sides of the screen". Bonnie Ross – Microsoft Corporate VP and head of Halo studio 343 Industries – was also honoured and inducted into The Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences’ (AIAS) Hall of Fame.
The full list of award winners is below (thanks, Polygon):
- Game of the Year: God of War (Sony Interactive Entertainment/SIE Santa Monica Studio)
- Outstanding Achievement in Game Direction: God of War
- Outstanding Achievement in Game Design: God of War
- Portable Game of the Year: Florence
- Outstanding Achievement for an Independent Game: Celeste
- Immersive Reality Game of the Year: Beat Saber
- Immersive Reality Technical Achievement: Tónandi
- Outstanding Achievement in Online Gameplay: Fortnite
- Strategy/Simulation Game of the Year: Into the Breach
- Sports Game of the Year: Mario Tennis Aces
- Role-Playing Game of the Year: Monster Hunter: World
- Racing Game of the Year: Forza Horizon 4
- Fighting Game of the Year: Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
- Family Game of the Year: Unravel Two
- Adventure Game of the Year: God of War
- Action Game of the Year: Celeste
- Outstanding Technical Achievement: Red Dead Redemption 2
- Outstanding Achievement in Story: God of War
- Outstanding Achievement in Sound Design: God of War
- Outstanding Achievement in Original Music Composition: God of War
- Outstanding Achievement in Character: God of War – Kratos
- Outstanding Achievement in Art Direction: God of War
- Outstanding Achievement in Animation: Marvel’s Spider-Man