The 2016 edition of The Game Awards came and went on Thursday night with all trophy winners announced save one. But we found out today that Skyrim mod Enderal did indeed win the fraught Best Fan Creation category. Show host Geoff Keighley confirmed the win to Kotaku, saying that not mentioning them last night was a mistake.
“We tried to cover all the winners across the pre-show and main show but inadvertently didn’t congratulate Enderal for winning Best Fan Creation,” Keighley told me in a text today (full disclosure: we’re friends).
The fan creation category became controversial this year when two nominees, the Metroid-based AM2R and Pokémon Uranium, were both removed from contention last week.
Keighley recently said on a livestream that those Nintendo-based games were pulled because the Japanese gaming giant had never cleared them and issued takedown notices against them. He argued that including them could have made The Game Awards liable for takedowns as well. “It was a bummer to see that happen,” he had said.
Their removal had left the Best Fan Creation category with two nominees: Enderal and Brutal Doom 64, but neither was shown nor mentioned during the awards.
A reader noted the omission to me this morning and directed me to a post on the Enderal subreddit where a developer on the project vented, “I’m frustrated, maybe blowing it out of proportion, but I simply found it disrespectful that they didn’t let us know.”
As of this morning, the official Game Awards site listed winners in all other categories but the Fan Creation one. Strangely, Enderal was listed as the winner on the show’s Wikipedia page. I contacted Keighley about this to find out if the category had been put on ice. No, he swiftly replied, Enderal won. Within an hour, the official site noted that as well.
The Best Fan Creation category has been part of The Game Awards since the first installment in 2014. That year, the winner was Twitch Plays Pokémon. Last year, the winner was Portal Stories: Mel.