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Game Developers Choice Awards Nominations Released

Finalists have been named for the 15th annual Game Developers Choice Awards.  This peer-based video game event celebrates the industry’s top games and developers each year, and winners congregate and revel in their successes during the Game Developers Choice Awards ceremony. This year, the ceremony will be held on March 4th, 2015 during the 2015 Game Developers Conference and alongside the Independent Games Festival Awards.

The 2015 Game Developers Choice Awards are open to any video game that was released during the 2014 calendar year. All platforms and delivery mediums are considered, and both finalists and winners are chosen by the Game Developers Choice Awards-specific International Choice Awards Network (ICAN). This panel is an invitation-only organization, comprised of leading game creators from all areas of the industry.

Shadow of Mordor
The acclaimed Shadow of Mordor is one of the heavyweight contenders for Game of the Year from the Game Developers Choice Awards.

Monolith Productions leads the charge this year with an impressive five nominations for its epic title Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor. Middle-earth is up for Game of the Year, Innovation, Best Design, Best Narrative and Best Technology. Bungie’s much-anticipated and well-received Destiny is also nominated for a handful of awards, including Game of the Year and Best Technology. Alien: Isolation is a contender for multiple honors as well.

Nintendo was well-represented in nearly every category, and received 11 nominations or honorable mentions. Bayonetta 2, Super Smash Bros., and Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker are among the titles that Nintendo helped to produce in 2014. Mario Kart 8, Bravely Default and Fantasy Life are the Nintendo titles that made it on the list of honorable mention nominees in categories such as Best Handheld/Mobile Game and Best Design.

Independent developers represent a distinct population of nominees. The Astronauts, a Polish-based indie studio, has been nominated for its captivating first-person mystery game The Vanishing of Ethan Carter. This title is being considered for several awards, including one for Innovation, Best Debut, Best Narrative and Best Audio. 11 bit studios’ This War of Mine is also among the nominated releases, as is Inkle Studios’ 80 Days and Yacht Club Games’ Shovel Knight.

Blizzard’s free-to-play digital card game Hearthstone received three nominations, and finds itself stacked up against Bayonetta 2, :Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, Destiny and Alien: Isolation for Game of the Year.  The Long Dark and Leo’s Fortune were among the Honorable Mentions in Best Debut category, but the final five include The Vanishing of Ethan Carter, The Banner Saga, Never Alone, Shovel Knight and Titanfall.

Leo's Fortune
Mobile game Leo’s Fortune received an Honorable Mention in the category of Best Debut.

The Game Developers Choice Awards also bestows three Special Awards annually: the Pioneer, Ambassador and Lifetime Achievement awards. The nominees in these categories have yet to be announced, but can expected to be announced in the near future. Gamers can still weigh in on the Audience Award for the Choice Awards; come February, each of these titles is eligible to win the Audience Choice distinction. Check the 15th Annual Game Developers Choice Awards for more information on how to participate, and be sure to review the complete list of nominees and honorable mentions below.

The complete list of nominees, including honorable mentions, for the 15th annual Game Developers Choice Awards is as follows:

Game of the Year
Bayonetta 2 (Platinum Games/Nintendo)
Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor (Monolith Productions/Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment)
Destiny (Bungie/Activision)
Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft (Blizzard)
Alien: Isolation (Creative Assembly/Sega)

Honorable Mentions: Titanfall (Respawn/Electronic Arts), Valiant Hearts: The Great War (Ubisoft Montpellier/Ubisoft), Far Cry 4 (Ubisoft Montreal/Ubisoft), Dragon Age: Inquisition (BioWare/Electronic Arts),Super Smash Bros. for Wii U (Sora Ltd. and BANDAI NAMCO/Nintendo)

Innovation Award
Bounden (Game Oven)
Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor (Monolith Productions/Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment)
This War of Mine (11 bit studios)
The Vanishing of Ethan Carter (The Astronauts)
Monument Valley (Ustwo)

Honorable Mentions: Crypt of the Necrodancer (Brace Yourself Games), Extrasolar (Lazy 8 Studios), Elite: Dangerous (Frontier Developments), Elegy For A Dead World (Dejobaan Games), 80 Days (Inkle Studios)

Best Debut
Yacht Club Games (Shovel Knight)
Respawn Entertainment (Titanfall)
The Astronauts (The Vanishing of Ethan Carter)
Stoic Studio (The Banner Saga)
Upper One Games (Never Alone)

Honorable Mentions: Dynamighty (CounterSpy), Hinterland Games (The Long Dark), 1337 & Senri (Leo’s Fortune), MachineGames (Wolfenstein: The New Order), Hipster Whale (Crossy Road)

Best Design
Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor (Monolith Productions/Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment)
Shovel Knight (Yacht Club Games)
Dragon Age: Inquisition (BioWare/Electronic Arts)
Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker (Nintendo EAD Tokyo and 1-Up Studio/Nintendo)
Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft (Blizzard)

Honorable Mentions: Mario Kart(Nintendo EAD Tokyo/Nintendo), Alien: Isolation (Creative Assembly/Sega),Destiny (Bungie/Activision), Monument Valley (Ustwo), Far Cry 4 (Ubisoft Montreal/Ubisoft)

Best Handheld/Mobile Game
Threes! (Sirvo)
Super Smash Bros. 3DS (Sora Ltd. and BANDAI NAMCO/Nintendo)
Hearthstone (Blizzard)
80 Days (Inkle Studios)
Monument Valley (Ustwo)

Honorable Mentions: Bounden (Game Oven), Bravely Default (Silicon Studio and Square Enix/Nintendo and Square Enix), Desert Golfing (Blinkbat Games), Velocity 2X (FuturLab), Fantasy Life (Level-5/Nintendo)

Best Visual Art
Monument Valley (Ustwo)
Hohokum (Honeyslug and Sony Santa Monica/Sony)
Child of Light (Ubisoft Montreal/Ubisoft)
Bayonetta 2 (Platinum Games/Nintendo)
Alien: Isolation (Creative Assembly/Sega)

Honorable Mentions: Never Alone (Upper One Games/E-Line Media), The Vanishing of Ethan Carter (The Astronauts), Transistor (Supergiant Games), Broken Age: Act 1 (Double Fine Productions), Destiny (Bungie/Activision)

The Vanishing of Ethan Carter
The Vanishing of Ethan Carter is one of the titles up for the Best Narrative, and is also nominated for Best Debut and Best Audio.

Best Narrative
80 Days (Inkle Studios)
This War of Mine (11 bit studios)
Kentucky Route Zero: Episode 3 (Cardboard Computer)
Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor (Monolith Productions/Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment)
The Vanishing of Ethan Carter (The Astronauts)

Honorable Mentions: Dragon Age: Inquisition (BioWare/Electronic Arts), Valiant Hearts: The Great War (Ubisoft Montpellier/Ubisoft), Tales From The Borderlands: Episode 1 (Gearbox Software/Telltale Games),D4: Dark Dreams Don’t Die (Access Games/Microsoft), Hatoful Boyfriend (Mediatonic/Devolver Digital)

Best Audio
Alien: Isolation (Creative Assembly/Sega)
Hohokum (Honeyslug/Sony)
Destiny (Bungie/Activision)
Transistor (Supergiant Games)
The Vanishing of Ethan Carter (The Astronauts)

Honorable Mentions: Child of Light (Ubisoft Montreal/Ubisoft), Far Cry 4 (Ubisoft Montreal/Ubisoft), D4: Dark Dreams Don’t Die (Access Games/Microsoft), Bayonetta 2 (Platinum Games/Nintendo), Crypt of the Necrodancer (Brace Yourself Games)

Best Technology
Destiny (Bungie/Activision)
Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor (Monolith Productions/Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment)
Wolfenstein: The New Order 
Elite: Dangerous (Frontier Developments)
Far Cry 4 (Ubisoft Montreal/Ubisoft)

Honorable Mentions: Assassin’s Creed Unity (Ubisoft Montreal/Ubisoft), The Last of Us: Remastered (Naughty Dog/Sony), Sunset Overdrive (Insomniac Games/Microsoft), Alien: Isolation (Creative Assembly/Sega), Infamous: Second Son (Sucker Punch Productions/Sony)

Mariah Beckman

Mariah lives in Seattle, and is really 3 midgets inside a lady suit.

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