With UK consumers spending £2.7billion on gaming over the last year, the industry remains resilient through the current downturn. As games continue to increase in popularity, organisers of the Golden Joystick Awards reported a 47% surge in voting, with over 1.2m votes in another record breaking year.
The popular Call of Duty series from Activision Blizzard once again proved it was a fan favourite, scooping a trio of awards in 2009. Call of Duty: World at War won “Multiplayer Game of the Year” and “Nintendo Game of the Year.” The forthcoming Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 looks set to rule Christmas 2009, bagging the “One to Watch” award.
The haul of awards for Activision Blizzard continued with Guitar Hero: World Tour winning “Soundtrack of the Year”, while the gaming giant rounded-off its haul with “Publisher of the Year”.
There was strong showing for UK-developed titles, as “Family Game of the Year” was taken by Guildford-based Media Molecule for LittleBigPlanet on PlayStation 3 - an innovative platform game voiced by Stephen Fry. “Handheld Game of the Year” was won by Rockstar Leeds' Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars for Nintendo DS. The “UK Developer of the Year” category saw Cambridge company Jagex smash all-comers as the makers of Runescape – the biggest free massively multiplayer online role-playing game in the world - outflanked rivals in the category by an overwhelming margin.
The full list of winners in the 2009 Golden Joystick Awards is;
- Family Game of the Year: LittleBigPlanet
- Bliss Handheld Game of the Year: Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars
- Retailer of the Year: GAME
- Mobile Game of the Year: Metal Gear Solid Touch
- Nintendo Game of the Year: Call of Duty: World at War
- MSN Multiplayer Game of the Year: Call Of Duty: World At War
- The Rampage Soundtrack of the Year: Guitar Hero World Tour
- Xbox Game of the Year: Gears of War 2
- PC Game of the Year: Fallout 3
- Amiqus Games UK Developer of the Year: Jagex
- PlayStation Game of the Year: Killzone 2
- Publisher of the Year: Activision Blizzard
- Online Game of the Year: Left4Dead
- ShortList One to Watch: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
- Ultimate Game of the Year: Fallout 3
Rounding off the afternoon in style, the Golden Joystick Awards themselves were officially recognised by Guinness World Records as the “World’s Most Popular Video Game Awards.” The Golden Joysticks polled 1,223,646 votes in its 27th year.
Emma Parkinson is Organiser of the Golden Joystick Awards: “The games industry remains innovative and vibrant despite economic pressures. Many of the winners at the Golden Joystick’s demonstrate that UK talent remains crucial to the success of this industry across the globe and must be nurtured at all cost. I’m delighted by the record number of votes – gamers deserve to have their say about their favourite games, having spent £2.7billion of their hard-earned cash in the toughest year the industry has experienced.”