Fallout 4, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Ori and the Blind Forest and Rocket League were clear favourites at the 19th annual DICE Awards.
Fallout 4 took out game of the year, one of three wins for the RPG and four for Bethesda Game Studios.
The ceremony included a lifetime achievement award, honouring late Nintendo president Satoru Iwata. The video montage of classic Iwata quotes and moments was cheerful and heartwarming rather than sorrowful.
The award was collected by Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime, who thanked the Academy on behalf of Iwata’s family. He told a story of Iwata organising a very special and rare drink for Fils-Aime, a typical gesture of the famously generous executive.
“He always put himself second,” Fils-Aime said, quoting Earthbound creator Shigesato Itoi.
“Mr Iwata, you were the best of us. You will never be second to us. You’ll always be number one.”
Other memorable moments included veteran voice talent Troy Baker and Courtenay Taylor presenting character of the year. The pair pointed out that five of the six nominated characters were women – and that if a female character won she would be be presented with 70% of the award, a dig at persistent pay disparity in the games industry and beyond.
Guillermo del Toro inducted Hideo Kojima into the Academy’s Hall of Fame, calling him a standard bearer of the best of the medium.
Konami did not turn up to collect Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain’s Adventure Game of the Year Award, which drew snickers from the audience. Konami blocked Kojima from accepting an award for his game late last year, and Kojima has been very visible at DICE Summit 2016. It seems like the Academy is more interested in seeing Kojima than his former employer.
The full list of winners follows. To be eligible for a DICE Award, a game must be publicly available at retail or via digital distribution, and accessible on a current commercial platform. Nominated titles are peer-reviewed by a panel of industry insiders.
2016 DICE Award winners:
- Action game of the year: Star Wars Battlefront
- Fighting game of the year: Mortal Kombat X
- Family game of the year: Super Mario Maker
- Mobile game of the year: Fallout Shelter
- Outstanding achievement in character: Lara Croft (Rise of the Tomb Raider)
- Lifetime achievement: Satoru Iwata
- Outstanding achievement in original music composition: Ori and the Blind Forest
- Outstanding achievement in sound design: Star Wars Battlefront
- Outstanding achievement in story: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
- Outstanding technical achievement: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
- Outstanding achievement in animation: Ori and the Blind Forest
- Outstanding achievement in art direction: Ori and the Blind Forest
- RPG and MMO game of the year: Fallout 4
- Strategy and simulation game of the year: Heroes of the Storm
- Hall of Fame inductee: Hideo Kojima
- Sports game of the year: Rocket League
- Racing game of the year: Forza Motorsport 6
- Outstanding achievement in online gameplay: Rocket League
- Handheld game of the year: Helldivers
- Technical impact: Visual Basic (Microsoft)
- Adventure game of the year: Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain
- Sprite award: Rocket League
- Outstanding achievement in game design: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
- Outstanding achievement in game direction: Fallout 4
- Game of the year: Fallout 4