Game Awards 2022: Verdict on the Great Rivalry

The jubilee tenth edition of the Game Awards took place last night, the 8th of December, at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. The show was streamed live for nearly four hours on various platforms, such as YouTube and Twitch, reaching more than 10M views. The Game of the Year Award went to ‘Elden Ring’, directed by Hidetaka Miyazaki, with worldbuilding provided by George R. R. Martin, although ‘God of War Ragnarök’ won more awards.
Read on to find out about winners in all 32 categories, gamers’ reactions and other details from the event.

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game awards

Illustration: Milica Mijajlovic

About the Game Awards 2022   

Game developers and game players were brought together to celebrate yet another year of amazing releases and discover who had the most commercial success at this year’s Game Awards. 

The event itself was founded in 2014 by media entrepreneur Geoff Keighley, who also hosts and produces the program. To this date, it represents an annual summary of all new releases and notable milestones in the gaming industry. 

Now, before we get down to this year’s winners, let’s break down the structure of the so-called ‘Oscars for gaming’. 

  • Eligibility – All games published after November 20, 2021, were eligible for this year’s edition of the Game Awards. Similarly, all titles released after November 18, 2022, are eligible for next year’s ceremony. 
  • Voting – Winners are decided based on a blended vote. The voting jury consisted of 100 international global media outlets and influencers, and have a 90% say in who gets to be a winner. The rest 10% go to public fan voting. 
  • Co-streaming – Anyone who’s streaming on any major platform can apply to be an official co-streamer via Google Form. Streaming is free, with co-streamers receiving a special toolkit and the chance for the viewers to win a reward. 
  • Attendees – There are public tickets available for sale at the Microsoft Theater box office. Considering that the number of seats is limited and that the demand is huge, if you’re looking to attend this event in the future, grab your spot on time. 
  • Fees – There were never any fees or entry forms required from game developers or publishers. What’s more, there are no plans for the submission process to change any time soon. 

Apart from honoring the best titles, the Game Awards also included first looks at STAR WARS Jedi: Survivor, Tekken 8, Destiny 2: Lightfall, and more. Not only that, but the ceremony featured performances by The Game Awards Orchestra and Hozier, Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey (GoT), Ashley Johnson (Avengers), Daniel Craig (James Bond), and others. 

Complete List of Winners  

This year’s nominees competed in 32 categories: 

Category Winner 
Game of the Year Elden Ring (FromSoftware/Bandai Namco)   
Best Game Direction Elden Ring (FromSoftware/Bandai Namco) 
Best Narrative God of War Ragnarök (Sony Santa Monica/SIE) 
Best Art Direction Elden Ring (FromSoftware/Bandai Namco) 
Best Score and Music Bear McCreary, God of War Ragnarök 
Best Audio Design God of War Ragnarök (Sony Santa Monica/SIE) 
Best Performance Christopher Judge, God of War Ragnarök 
Games for Impact As Dusk Falls (Interior Night/Xbox Game Studios) 
Best Ongoing Game As Dusk Falls (Interior Night/Xbox Game Studios) 
Best Indie Stray (BlueTwelve Studio/Annapurna) 
Best Debut Indie Stray (BlueTwelve Studio/Annapurna) 
Best Community Support FINAL FANTASY XIV (Square Enix) 
Best Mobile MARVEL SNAP (Second Dinner Studios/Nuverse) 
Best VR/AR Moss: Book II (Polyarc) 
Best Action Bayonetta 3 (Platinum Games/Nintendo) 
Best Action/Adventure God of War Ragnarök (Sony Santa Monica/SIE) 
Best Role Playing Elden Ring (FromSoftware/Bandai Namco) 
Best Fighting MultiVersus (Player First Games/WB Games) 
Best Family Kirby and the Forgotten Land (HAL Laboratory / Nintendo)   
Best Sim/Strategy Mario+Rabbids Sparks of Hope (Ubisoft Milan/Paris/Ubisoft) 
Best Sports/Racing Gran Turismo 7 (Polyphony Digital/SIE) 
Best Multiplayer Splatoon 3 (Nintendo EPD/Nintendo) 
Most Anticipated The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom (Nintendo EPD) 
Content Creator of the Year Ludwig 
Best Adaptation Arcane: League of Legends (Fortiche/Riot Games/Netflix) 
Innovation in Accessibility God of War Ragnarök (Sony Santa Monica/SIE) 
Best eSports Game VALORANT (Riot Games) 
Best eSports Athlete Jacob “Yay” Whiteaker (Cloud9, Valorant) 
Best eSports Team LOUD (Valorant) 
Best eSports Coach Matheus “bzkA” Tarasconi (LOUD, VALORANT) 
Best eSports Event 2022 League of Legends World Championship   
Players Voice Genshin Impact (miHoYo) 

‘God of War Ragnarök’ went home with the most awards, winning six of them, despite being out for only one month. However, ‘Elden Ring’ won the most important one, earning itself the title of Game of the Year 2022. 

If you’ve never set foot in this landscape, you may be wondering why this game is so special. We’ll try to give you an answer below. 

Why is ‘Elden Ring’ GOTY?   

Since the public first learned Hidetaka Miyazaki and George R. R. Martin were working on a game together, we’ve had great expectations. It’s the iconic duo we’ve all been praying for. 

And they didn’t disappoint. 

In ‘Elden Ring’, you can customize your character and roam around the open world, played in a third-person perspective. The environment is interactive and includes gameplay elements such as combat, horse riding, crafting, magic spells, and more. 

Your player character is set on a journey to become the new Elden Lord by repairing the titular Elden Ring. 

Throughout the game, you encounter non-player characters and enemies, with demigods acting as the game’s main boss. Apart from combat, a huge part of the game is a free exploration and it gets even more interesting when you find out there are hidden dungeons, tunnels, and caves. 

This action role-playing game was developed by FromSoftware and published by Bandai Namco Entertainment. It was released on February 25 for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Windows, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S. 

Gamers who are familiar with other FromSoftware releases, such as ‘Armored Core’ or ‘Dark Soul’ series will appreciate the ‘Elden Ring’ gameplay, which is somewhat similar and yet beautifully immersive thanks to great creative minds who contributed to it. 

It’s the all-time fastest-selling game from Bandai Namco, with around 900,000 viewers on Twitch in the first 24 hours from the release, making it the third-largest debut on the platform. By October 2022, the game sold over 17.5 million copies globally and is expected to become even more widespread thanks to the Game of the Year Award. 

Gamers’ Reactions to This Year’s Winners   

The Game Awards were highly anticipated within the community, with each gamer having their own favorite among nominees. So, what do gamers say about this year’s edition? 

Obviously, those who prefer ‘God of War Ragnarök’ were left a bit disappointed, claiming that GoW has a way better story, worlds and gameplay. But, just the fact that it has won six awards is a clear sign there’s a bright future for this franchise. 

The kid who stole the show
At the very last minutes of a four-hour-long show, when the GOTY was finally announced, a teenage boy went up to the stage with the ‘Elden Ring’ team. He was dressed in black, just like them, and was standing behind them the whole speech. Nobody knew what was going on and, although it seemed weird, nobody on the stage or from the production intervened. After the speech was over, he stepped in front of the microphone and said something that sounded like: “I’d like to dedicate this award to my reformed orthodox rabbi Bill Clinton.” Everyone was stunned and he was quickly removed from the stage. As Geoff Keighley later Tweeted, he has been arrested.

Others who were disappointed with the GOTY commented that ‘Elden Ring’ is overrated, without giving actual reasons why. However, those who tried out both games agree that they are both phenomenal and that ‘two legends can coexist’. 

A journalist by day and a podcaster by night. She's not writing to impress but to be understood.