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The Golden Joystick Awards are an annual awards ceremony in the video gaming industry. While once they were voted for by just residents of Great Britain, the voting is now open to anyone online who wants to vote for their favourite games across many categories.
This year, the Golden Joystick Awards ceremony took place in London at the Bloomsbury Big Top, with millions of people casting their vote online from the eSports Game of the Year to the Ultimate Game of the Year, as well as the best game on each platform.
The likes of Metro Exodus, Tetris Effect, Days Gone, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Observation, Sunless Skies, Control, and Outer Wilds all received multiple nominations, and yet only two games won in multiple categories, each winning two apiece. It just goes to show the tremendous strength of gaming over the last 12 months.
So, let’s dig into which games, studios, and industry heads won big at the 2019 Golden Joystick Awards.
Platform games of the year
The world of eSports continues to grow each year, giving opportunities to gamers and gaming fans all over the world to compete, stream, and broadcast. As the years tick by, even more games are considered to be major eSports titles, with Fortnite Battle Royale winning eSports Game of the Year in 2019, stopping Overwatch from winning the award three years on the trot. As for the Best Streamer/Broadcaster of the year, the award deservedly went to Soleil ‘Ewok’ Wheeler – the first female member of Faze Clan.
Further prestigious gaming awards
Landing the Breakthrough Award this year are the developers of one of the most instantly-recognisable games of the year: House House, creators of Untitled Goose Game. For an indie game from a relatively unknown developer, Untitled Goose Game received a lot of hype due the game advertising that you could be a goose and cause havoc. Upon release, the game certainly delivered.
There is a slew of incredible-looking titles on the horizon, including the likes of Biomutant, Marvel’s Avengers, Dying Light 2, Halo Infinite, The Last of Us Part II, Animal Crossing: New Horizons, Away: The Survival Series, Ghost of Tsushima, and many more, but unsurprisingly, it was Cyberpunk 2077 that took the award for being the Most Wanted game.
As for games that are out now, in a separate line to the picks of the online public, there is also the Critics’ Choice Award. Last year, Red Dead Redemption 2 sealed the prize, with The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild winning in 2017, and this year 505 Games’ reality-bending Control took the prestigious award.
Achievements in gaming
For the Outstanding Contribution Award, the voters gave the nod to Dontnod Entertainment’s episodic adventure series Life is Strange, which was originally released at the start of 2015. The studio’s continued release of episodes and willingness to tackle important topics has earned them a lot of praise. Logan Marshall-Green, who starred as David Smith in the narrative-driven title Telling Lies from Outer Wilds developer Annapurna Interactive, landed the Best Performer prize on the night in London.
One of the most prestigious awards of the evening, the Lifetime Achievement Award, went to Yu Suzuki. Suzuki ran Sega AM2 for 18 years before founding his new studio, Ys Net, which will release Shenmue III on 19 November this year. He was fundamental in the development of the Sega Models 1 to 3, the Sega Space Harrier, the Dreamcast, and the Sega NAOMI.
Winner of the Ultimate Game of the Year 2019
As you would assume, this is the biggest prize on the night of gaming awards, with the winner being deemed the Ultimate Game of the Year. At the 2019 Golden Joystick Awards, there were many fine candidates, including the likes of Control, Days Gone, Metro Exodus, and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, but it was the remake of the classic Resident Evil 2 that won the massive award.
Many cite that Resident Evil 2 is more than a mere remake, with the developers – Sony Interactive Entertainment – tweaking the game enough to make it a superb title by modern standards while keeping everything that was great about the game in the first place.
The 2019 Golden Joystick Awards named some very worthy winners on the night, but many fans will be disappointed that their favourites didn’t claim a prize. On the bright side, that shows how strong the gaming industry is right now, with 2020 looking set to be even more difficult to decide.
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