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Hades wins Game of the Year at 21st Annual Game Developers Choice Awards

Supergiant Games’ stylish roguelike Hades was honored by the game development community as the recipient of the Game of the Year award at tonight’s 21st annual Game Developers Choice Awards (GDCA) ceremony. The ceremony, which honored some of the biggest and most innovative games of the past year, took place as part of the 2021 Game Developers Conference (GDC). An archive of the award ceremony, as well as the full presentation of the Independent Games Festival Awards (IGF Awards), can be viewed at

In addition to Game of the Year, Hades was the recipient of the Best Audio and Best Design Awards. The roguelike action dungeon crawler won praise and accolades for combining the best aspects of Supergiant's critically acclaimed titles, including the fast-paced action of Bastion, the rich atmosphere and depth of Transistor, and the character-driven storytelling of Pyre.

Developer Sucker Punch Productions took home two awards for Ghost of Tsushima, for Best Visual Art and the Audience Award. Ghost of Tsushima is a beautiful open world, action-adventure game where players control a samurai that must use the shadows and other less-than-noble techniques to save his home from Mongol invaders.

The full slate of winners of the 2021 GDCAs also includes Best Debut winner Phasmophobia by Kinetic Games, an indie horror game where players must enter dangerous haunted locations in order to gather evidence of the paranormal. Genshin Impact by miHoYo won Best Mobile Game, for the impressive open-world game full of slick combat and countless mysteries.

The Innovation Award went to Dreams by Media Molecule for its game creation system, which allows players to create anything from games to gadgets, music to movies, puzzles to paintings and everything in-between and beyond. The Award for Best Narrative went to The Last of Us Part II developed by Naughty Dog, which continues the story of the critically acclaimed The Last of Us in a gritty revenge story set in a post-apocalyptic Earth. Asobo Studio’s Microsoft Flight Simulator won the Best Technology Award; in the game players can create their flight plan and fly anywhere on the planet, while navigating challenging weather conditions. Lastly, the Best VR/AR Game Award went to Half-Life: Alyx by Valve, the immersive, genre-bending virtual reality game set in the legendary Half-Life series.

The Game Developers Choice Awards honor the very best games of the year, and were created for and voted on by developers. Winners in all categories except the Audience Award and Special Awards are selected by the Game Developers Choice Awards-specific International Choice Awards Network (ICAN), which is an invitation-only organization, comprised of leading game creators from all parts of the industry.

In addition to the best games of the last year, the GDCAs also honor the dedicated individuals who have helped further the art, science and craft of video games with special awards. This year’s Pioneer Award, which recognizes breakthrough tech and game design milestones, went to Tom Fulp, creator of Newgrounds and trailblazer of the Macromedia Flash games that helped define a generation of indie developers. The advent of Newgrounds brought about an explosion of creations and gave a platform for independent developers’ Flash games.

The Lifetime Achievement Award was given to influential game designer Laralyn McWilliams, who holds 28 years of experience working across all genres, particularly on ground-breaking MMO games. The award recognizes Laralyn McWilliams’ video game career, in which she has led the design for award-winning adventure, social, strategy, simulation, platform, brawler, FPS and massively multiplayer online games. She was Creative Director for the ground-breaking MMO Free Realms at Sony Online Entertainment and was lead designer for the critically acclaimed Full Spectrum Warrior, the most nominated game of E3 2003.

“We’re wowed to see so many creative and excellent titles released during the past year, which has been a difficult one for many, and we are proud to be able to honor them tonight,” said Katie Stern, who oversees the GDC as VP of Entertainment Media at Informa Tech. “GDC is about bringing the game development community together to celebrate the craft of video games, and there is no better way than to recognize the hard work and talent that made these games possible.”

The Game Developers Choice Awards winners are:

Best Audio

Hades (Supergiant Games)

Best Debut

Phasmophobia (Kinetic Games)

Best Design

Hades (Supergiant Games)

Best Mobile Game

Genshin Impact (miHoYo)

Innovation Award

Dreams (Media Molecule / Sony Interactive Entertainment)

Best Narrative

The Last of Us Part II (Naughty Dog / Sony Interactive Entertainment)

Best Technology

Microsoft Flight Simulator (Asobo Studio / Xbox Game Studios)

Best Visual Art

Ghost of Tsushima (Sucker Punch Productions / Sony Interactive Entertainment)

Best VR/AR Game

Half-Life: Alyx (Valve)

Audience Award

Ghost of Tsushima (Sucker Punch Productions / Sony Interactive Entertainment)

Game of the Year

Hades (Supergiant Games)

Pioneer Award

Tom Fulp

Lifetime Achievement Award

Laralyn McWilliams

The awards were livestreamed on the official Twitch channel for the Game Developers Conference (GDC) at and are archived both on Twitch and on the official GDC YouTube Channel at


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