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GAME: Middle-earth: Shadow Of Mordor Receives Top Honor At Game Developers Choice Awards

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, the action-packed blockbuster based on the lore created by J.R.R. Tolkien in  The Hobbit &  The Lord of Rings book series, was honored with the Game of the Year award at Wednesday night’s Game Developers Choice Awards (GDCA) ceremony during the Game Developers Conference (GDC) 2015 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco.

The critically-acclaimed mobile puzzle game  Monument Valley  came away with the most awards of the night, including the Best Visual Art, Innovation & Best Handheld/Mobile Game Awards. Inspired by the visual style of Japanese prints & set in an M.C. Escher-esque world,  Monument Valley  was developed over the course of ten months.

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The Best Debut Award went to indie firm Stoic Studio, founded by former BioWare developers, which developed the notable  The Banner Saga, an epic Viking-themed tactical role-playing game.

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Additional winners of the night include Blizzard Entertainment, which nabbed the Best Design Award for its expertly crafted digital card game, Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft. The haunting score and ambient sound of  Alien: Isolation  netted the Best Audio Award, and Bungie’s multiplayer sci-fi hit  Destiny  took home the award for Best Technology. The Best Narrative Award went to  Kentucky Route Zero: Act III, for the engaging story in the third act of the mysterious point-and-click adventure series. Finally, the second annual Audience Award was given to  Elite: Dangerous, which continues the classic space adventure, trading and combat simulation of the revered  Elite series.

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

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The Game Developers Choice Awards also recognize developers who have contributed to the art, science and craft of video games. This year, the Pioneer Award was given to David Braben, who co-developed the seminal ‘open world’ 3D space trading game  Elite in the early 1980s. The influential best-selling game featured revolutionary 3D graphics, and presented intriguing moral decisions for players.  Elite saw a number of sequels, including the recently crowdfunded  Elite: Dangerous, the winner of tonight’s Audience Award.

The Ambassador Award, which recognizes those whose actions have helped video games to “advance to a better place,” went to game designer and academic Brenda Romero who has been an important figure in video games for over three decades. Romero is one of the longest continuously serving women in the video game industry, and a 2014 Fulbright fellow for her work with Ireland’s game industry.

The Lifetime Achievement award was given to Hironobu Sakaguchi, the creator of the classic  Final Fantasy  series and founder and president of Mistwalker. Before forming Mistwalker, Sakaguchi served as Director of Planning and Development at Square and created  Final Fantasy, a groundbreaking role-playing game that has since gone on to spawn 13 sequels, numerous spinoffs, films and more.

“I continue to be amazed by the diversity of games that we honored tonight, from AAA action titles like  Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor  to standout mobile games like  Monument Valley,” said Meggan Scavio, General Manager of the Game Developers Conference. “The games recognized tonight highlight that the video game industry is moving in bold new directions, and they can offer experiences that can be big, small, intimate, epic, unique, grand and compelling. Congratulations to all the nominees and winners.”

GDCA winners are below:

Best Debut
Stoic Studio (The Banner Saga)

Innovation Award
Monument Valley (ustwo)

Best Technology
Destiny (Bungie/Activision)

Best Audio
Alien: Isolation (Creative Assembly/Sega)

Ambassador Award 
Brenda Romero

Best Visual Art
Monument Valley (ustwo)

Best Narrative
Kentucky Route Zero: Act III (Cardboard Computer)

Pioneer Award
David Braben

Best Design
Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft (Blizzard)

Best Handheld/Mobile Game
Monument Valley (ustwo)

Audience Award
Elite: Dangerous (Frontier Developments)

Lifetime Achievement Award
Hironobu Sakaguchi

Game of the Year
Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor (Monolith Productions/Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment)

For more information about the 15th Annual Game Developers Choice Awards, please visit the official website at  http://www.gamechoiceawards.com . For information about the 2015 Game Developers Conference, please visit the official website at  http://www.gdconf.com .

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About Shaynell

Geeks, Nerds, Gamers ... we’ve all been outcasts for years, decades if you will. We are finally getting recognition and notice and I feel that it is merely just beginning. The force is strong within us all and when we come together and unite for the purpose of staying informed and growing as a whole, everyone benefits. That’s what I expect. I hope to help G33k-HQ continue to grow, expand, unite and inform the Geeks, Nerds and Gamers of the cyber world.

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