CD Projekt RED’s The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt claimed top honors at the 16th annual Game Developers Choice Awards this week, earning the event’s coveted Game of the Year award during a ceremony held at the 2016 Game Developers Conference in San Francisco.
Organizers of the Independent Games Festival also hosted an awards ceremony during GDC this week, naming Sam Barlow’s Her Story as this year’s winner of the IGF’s Excellence in Narrative award as well as the Seumas McNally Grand Prize for Best Independent Game.
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The annual Game Developers Choice Awards honor innovation and quality among commercially released console and PC games. In addition to winning the event’s Game of the Year award, The Witcher 3 also took home the Game Developers Choice Awards’ prize for Best Technology.
Xbox One and PC platformer Ori and the Blind Forest also earned multiple awards at this year’s ceremony, including Best Debut and Best Visual Art. Her Story, in addition to its cross-category wins at the Independent Games Festival, earned Game Developers Choice Awards in the Best Narrative, Best Handheld/Mobile Game, and Innovation Award categories.
Other Game Developers Choice Awards winners include Rocket League (Best Design) and Life is Strange (Audience Choice). This year’s event also granted its Ambassador Award to USC Games Program director Tracy Fullerton and honored Bethesda’s Todd Howard with the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award. Pioneer Award honors went to Minecraft creator Markus “Notch” Persson.
The annual Independent Games Festival Awards highlight independently produced and unconventional games, including 2016 award winners Mini Metro (Excellence in Audio), Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes (Excellence in Design), Oxenfree (Excellence in Visual Art), Cibele (Nuovo Award), and Beglitched (Best Student Game).
Developer Girls Make Games received the event’s ID@Xbox Rising Star Award, while Toby Fox’s Undertale won the IGF’s Audience Award. All IGF reward winners receive a $3,000 cash prize for each category won.