Return Of The Obra Dinn Wins Lots Of Awards At GDC, While God Of War Wins Game Of The Year

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This week is the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco. The conference features two awards shows, the Game Developers Choice awards and the Independent Games Festival awards. Here are the winners.


Papers, Please developer Lucas Pope’s latest game, the ocean mystery Return of the Obra Dinn, had a strong showing in both awards. The game about discovering the mysterious events that happened on a sailing ship won Best Narrative at the GDC awards, as well as the IGF Grand Prize and Excellence in Narrative. I never got that far in Obra Dinn, given my love of leaping to wild accusations instead of carefully piecing together its story, but this is certainly more inspiration to give it another go.

You can see all the winners for both awards below.

Game Developers Choice winners:

Best Audio

Celeste (Matt Makes Games)

Best Debut

Mountains (Florence)

Best Design

Into the Breach (Subset Games)

Best Mobile Game

Florence (Mountains)

Innovation Award

Nintendo Labo (Nintendo EPD / Nintendo)

Best Narrative

Return of the Obra Dinn (Lucas Pope)

Best Technology

Red Dead Redemption 2 (Rockstar Games)

Best Visual Art

Gris (Nomada Studio / Devolver Digital)

Best VR/AR Game

Beat Saber (Beat Games)

Audience Award

Beat Saber (Beat Games)

Game of the Year

God of War (Sony Santa Monica / Sony Interactive Entertainment)

Pioneer Award

Rieko Kodama

Lifetime Achievement Award

Amy Hennig

Independent Games Festival winners:

Seamus McNally Grand Prize

Return of the Obra Dinn (Lucas Pope)

Excellence in Visual Art

Mirror Drop (Ian Lilley)

Excellence in Audio

Paratopic (Arbitrary Metric)

Excellence in Design

Opus Magnum (Zacktronics)

Excellence in Narrative

Return of the Obra Dinn (Lucas Pope)

Nuovo Award (given to unusual, experimental games)

Black Room (Cassie McQuater)

Best Student Game

After HOURS (Bahiyya Khan, Claire Meekel, Tim Flusk, Abi Meekel)



I’m definitely a bit biased here, but I’m crossing my fingers that all these GotY awards for God of War will bring back the “semi-open” game. A nice balance of open-world with gated areas has always been my favorite.