2021 SXSW Gaming Awards Announces Nominees

This week, the team behind the 2021 SXSW Gaming Awards decided to show off the nominees for this year's ceremony. Much like last year, the eight annual awards will be broadcast online due to the COVID-19 pandemic still going on, which will take place on Saturday, March 20 at 5pm PT, primarily broadcast on the award show's Twitch channel. You can read the full list of nominees below.

SXSW Announces 2020 SXSW Gaming Awards Nominees
Credit: SXSW

SXSW Gaming Awards Video Game of the Year
Awarded to the game that exemplifies overall excellence and creates a distinct gaming experience across all platforms and genres.

  • DOOM Eternal — id Software / Bethesda Softworks
  • Ghost of Tsushima — Sucker Punch Productions  / Sony Interactive Entertainment
  • Hades — Supergiant Games
  • Ori and the Will of the Wisps — Moon Studios / Xbox Game Studios
  • The Last of Us Part II — Naughty Dog / Sony Interactive Entertainment

Indie Game of the Year
Awarded to the indie game that exemplifies overall excellence and creates a distinct gaming experience across all platforms and genres.

  • Bugsnax — Young Horses
  • Cloudpunk — Ion Lands
  • Crown Trick — NExT Studios / Team17
  • Deep Rock Galactic — Ghost Ship Games / Coffee Stain Publishing
  • Huntdown — Easy Trigger Games / Coffee Stain Publishing
  • Ikenfell — Happy Ray Games / Humble Games
  • Monster Sanctuary — Moi Rai Games / Team17
  • Raji: An Ancient Epic — Nodding Heads Games / Super.com
  • Risk of Rain 2 — Hopoo Games / Gearbox Publishing
  • The Last Campfire — Hello Games

Tabletop Game of the Year
Awarded to the game that exemplifies overall excellence and ingenuity of any tabletop game in any genre.

  • Calico — Flatout Games
  • Fort — Leder Games
  • Oceans — North Star Games
  • The Crew: The Quest for Planet Nine — KOSMOS
  • The Search for Planet X — Renegade Game Studios / Foxtrot Games

VR Game of the Year
Awarded to the VR game that exemplifies overall excellence in gameplay and design across any VR platform.

  • Down the Rabbit Hole — Cortopia Studios / Beyond Frames Entertainment
  • Half-Life: Alyx — Valve
  • Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond — Respawn Entertainment / Electronic Arts
  • Star Wars: Squadrons — Motive Studios / Electronic Arts
  • The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners — Skydance Interactive

SXSW Gaming Awards Matthew Crump Cultural Innovation Award
Awarded to the game that best challenges the "norm" of everyday gaming and offers a culturally innovative view of a game world, character, or gameplay.

  • Astro's Playroom — Team ASOBI! / Sony Interactive Entertainment
  • Dreams — Media Molecule / Sony Interactive Entertainment
  • If Found… —  Dreamfeel / Annapurna Interactive
  • Tell Me Why — DONTNOD Entertainment / Xbox Game Studios
  • The Last of Us Part II — Naughty Dog / Sony Interactive Entertainment

Excellence in Animation, Art, & Visual Achievement
Awarded to the game with the most well-designed and stunning visuals, including animation effects and graphics.

  • Assassin's Creed Valhalla — Ubisoft Montreal / Ubisoft
  • Cloudpunk — Ion Lands
  • Final Fantasy VII Remake — SQUARE ENIX
  • Ghost of Tsushima — Sucker Punch Productions  / Sony Interactive Entertainment
  • Ori and the Will of the Wisps — Moon Studios / Xbox Game Studios

Excellence in Game Design
Awarded to the game with the best overall design concept, gameplay mechanics, and best execution.

  • Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time — Toys for Bob / Activision
  • Desperados III — Mimimi Games / THQ Nordic
  • Hades — Supergiant Games
  • Ori and the Will of the Wisps — Moon Studios / Xbox Game Studios
  • Watch Dogs: Legion — Ubisoft Toronto / Ubisoft

Excellence in Score
Awarded to the game that best exemplifies artistic excellence in musical score and how it progresses the narrative of the game.

  • Cyberpunk 2077 — CD Projekt Red / CD Projekt
  • DOOM Eternal — id Software / Bethesda Softworks
  • Final Fantasy VII Remake — SQUARE ENIX
  • Ori and the Will of the Wisps — Moon Studios / Xbox Game Studios
  • Trials of Mana — Xeen / SQUARE ENIX

Excellence in Multiplayer
Awarded to the game with the best player-to-player interaction experience.

  • Deep Rock Galactic — Ghost Ship Games / Coffee Stain Publishing
  • Huntdown — Easy Trigger Games / Coffee Stain Publishing
  • Risk of Rain 2 —  Hopoo Games, Gearbox Publishing
  • Star Wars: Squadrons — Motive Studios / Electronic Arts
  • Valorant — Riot Games

Excellence in Narrative
Awarded to the game with the best storyline and dialogue.

  • Ghost of Tsushima — Sucker Punch Productions  / Sony Interactive Entertainment
  • Hades — Supergiant Games
  • Immortals Fenyx Rising — Ubisoft Quebec / Ubisoft
  • Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales — Insomniac Games /  Sony Interactive Entertainment
  • The Last of Us Part II — Naughty Dog / Sony Interactive Entertainment

Excellence in Audio Design
Awarded to the game with the most outstanding and impactful sound effects.

  • Bugsnax — Young Horses
  • DOOM Eternal — id Software / Bethesda Softworks
  • Observer: System Redux — Bloober Team
  • Star Wars: Squadrons — Motive Studios / Electronic Arts
  • Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1+2 — Vicarious Visions / Activision

Excellence in Technical Achievement
Awarded to the game that pushed the capabilities of technology and programming furthest or most effectively.

  • Astro's Playroom — Team ASOBI! / Sony Interactive Entertainment
  • Dreams — Media Molecule / Sony Interactive Entertainment
  • Genshin Impact — miHoYo
  • Ghost of Tsushima — Sucker Punch Productions  / Sony Interactive Entertainment
  • Microsoft Flight Simulator — Asobo Studio / Xbox Game Studios

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About Gavin Sheehan

Gavin is the current Games Editor for Bleeding Cool. He has been a lifelong geek who can chat with you about comics, television, video games, and even pro wrestling. He can also teach you how to play Star Trek chess, be your Mercy on Overwatch, recommend random cool music, and goes rogue in D&D. He also enjoys hundreds of other geeky things that can't be covered in a single paragraph. Follow @TheGavinSheehan on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Vero, for random pictures and musings.
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