This year’s Game Awards was hotly contested between the epic dark-fantasy, role-playing game (RPG), Elden Ring, and the action-adventure, God of War Ragnarök.
Elden Ring edged the contest and won the coveted game of the year award. The game also beat off stiff competition from Horizon Forbidden West and Stray.
The Game Awards, held this year at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, has become one of the biggest nights in gaming. In addition to the award ceremony, developers announce upcoming titles with exclusive trailer releases.
The event was briefly interrupted by a stage crasher who stood causally amongst developers as they delivered their speeches. He was reportedly arrested, and the awards proceeded without further interruption.
Elden Ring: Game of the Year
Elden Ring is developed by FromSoftware Inc., a Japanese developer best known for the Dark Souls series. The game is published by Bandai Namco Entertainment.
Like Dark Souls, Elden Ring has been lauded for the difficult challenge it presents to players. FromSoftware’s games are notorious for this same reason and may have some players hurling their controllers or keyboards against their monitors in frustration.
Elden Ring was created by Hidetaka Miyazaki. Miyazaki joined FromSoftware in 2004 and has become well-known for directing the Dark Souls series. George R. R. Martin, best known as the author of Game of Thrones, collaborated with Miyazaki on Elden Ring’s story and world-building.
Elden Ring was an overnight success upon release. The title has sold over 17.5 million units as of September 30th, according to publisher Bandai Namco. On Metacritic, the game has an exceptionally high critic score of 94, and Steam’s 446,206 user reviews are “very positive.”
At the Game Awards, Elden Ring picked up the prestigious Game of the Year Award but also scooped up several other accolades, including Best Game Direction and Best Role Playing Game.
During his acceptance speech, Miyazaki thanked the teams at FromSoftware and Bandai Namco, as well as George R. R. Martin, for their hard work on the game. He also teased future content, saying “As for Elden Ring, we have several more things we want to do.”
Congrats on Game of Year! pic.twitter.com/TMyHVbrZKW
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 9, 2022
God of War Ragnarök
Although God of War Ragnarök missed out on the top prize, developer Santa Monica Studio and publisher Sony Interactive Entertainment did pick up several other awards for their critically acclaimed game.
The game picked up an impressive seven awards out of a total of ten it was nominated for. Notably, the game picked up the award for Best Narrative, and actor Christopher Judge won the prize for Best Performance for his portrayal of Kratos.
The God of War series follows the adventures of the fictional Greek god Kratos. Earlier games in the series followed Kratos as he battled against the ancient Greek mythological pantheon. Ragnarök and the previous God of War title introduced the Norse gods into the mix.
Prizes for the gamers themselves were also up for grabs. Jacob “Yay” Whiteaker won the award for Best Esports Athlete, this year. Whiteaker plays the game Valorant professionally for the esports team, Cloud9.
Esports has grown massively over the past few years. Esports athletes play video games at a professional or semi-professional level, and viewers tune in to watch them play in the same way traditional sports fans might view a game of football.
Alex Byfield, an esports athlete, who plays Counter strike: Global Offensive, told Greek Reporter, “The level of dedication, focus, and sacrifice that is required to be an Esports athlete is still underestimated by the mainstream media.”
“Players such as Yay will be practicing six days, if not seven days a week against players from all around the world,” Byfield continued. “With millions of dollars on the line each month, it’s no surprise becoming a professional gamer is the dream of many young people today.”
Last year, the global esports market was valued at more than USD $1 billion, representing a growth of nearly 50 percent from the year before. The gaming industry as a whole is expected to reach a value of $220.79 billion by the end of this year.