2017’s Game Developers Conference has announced its Game Developers Choice Awards nominees, and some of the selections may come as surprises.

With 6th-time host Tim Schafer MC-ing the festivities (as he’s done in 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013 and 2015– every other year for a decade), the peer-recognition GDCA has its work cut out for it this year. With multiple games that took nearly, if not actually, a decade to develop; several shooters that revitalized and evolved gaming’s biggest genre; and some of the strongest indie showings the industry has seen, there’s a lot to consider.

Inside looks to be the potential darling of the show, up for 6 awards (Best Audio, Best Design, the Innovation Award, Best Narrative, Best Visual Art and Game of the Year), with Overwatch (Best Audio, Best Design, Best Technology, Best Visual Art and Game of the Year) and Firewatch (Best Debut, the Innovation Award, Best Narrative, Best Visual Art and Game of the Year) trailing close behind with 5 nominations.

There are, of course, some notable surprises:

  • Besides The Last Guardian (with 4 nominations and 2 honorable mentions), Japanese-developed games didn’t get much love; Dark Souls III got 1 honorable mention, and Final Fantasy XV didn’t get any nods. Similarly, the well-received The Witcher 3 DLC Blood and Wine just got one honorable mention.
  • Dishonored 2, despite getting notably less press than some of the other games, is up for Game of the Year.
  • VR “rhythm violence” game Thumper is up for Best Audio and Best Debut, but doesn’t make the Best VR/AR Game list.
  • Reigns, although a much smaller game than its Nintendo-dominating competition, is up for Best Mobile/Handheld Game. (See Gamespresso’s Reigns review here.)

The Game Developers Choice Awards will take place at the Game Developers Conference, Wednesday, March 1, 2017, 6:30 – 8:30 pm.

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