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2012 Game Developers Choice Awards Finalists Announced

by Rainier on Jan. 5, 2012 @ 6:38 p.m. PST

GDC organizers announced the finalists for the 12th annual Game Developers Choice Awards with Portal 2, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, and Bastion leading the pack (five nominations each), while Batman: Arkham City, Deus Ex: Human Revolution and Dark Souls also receive multiple nods.

Nominations this year are led by three studios and their games, each of which received five Choice Award nods, including Bethesda Game Studios’ long awaited open-world fantasy RPG The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, and Valve’s cunning, charming sci-fi puzzle action title Portal 2.

Also nominated five times was newcomer Supergiant Games and its acclaimed downloadable action RPG Bastion, which saw nominations in four categories, plus one for the studio itself, for Best Debut.

Both Portal 2 and Skyrim were nominated for Game Of The Year as one of their nods. The other Game Of The Year nominees are Rocksteady Studios’s dark superhero game sequel Batman: Arkham City, FromSoftware’s immersive hardcore RPG Dark Souls, and Eidos Montreal’s acclaimed franchise update Deus Ex: Human Revolution, also all multiple award-nominated.

Other titles with multiple nominations include Naughty Dog’s action adventure Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception, and Team Bondi’s detective title L.A.Noire. A diverse set of overall nominees include titles with digital-physical crossover (Toys for Bob’s Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure – for Innovation), free-to-play elements to the fore (NimbleBit’s Tiny Tower – for Best Handheld/Mobile Game), and even no visual display at all (Die Gute Fabrik’s Johann Sebastian Joust – for Innovation).

Overall, the Game Developers Choice Awards are open to any video game, with no restrictions or payment for game submission, with open nominations from a plethora of game professionals helping to choose this year's finalists. Winners will now be selected by the Game Developers Choice Awards-specific International Choice Awards Network (ICAN), which is an invitation-only group comprised of 500 leading game creators from all parts of the video game industry.

The complete list of nominees for the 12th Annual Game Developers Choice Awards are as follows:

Best Game Design

  1. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (Bethesda Game Studios)
  2. The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword (Nintendo)
  3. Portal 2 (Valve)
  4. Batman: Arkham City (Rocksteady Studios)
  5. Dark Souls (FromSoftware)


  1. Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure (Toys For Bob)
  2. Portal 2 (Valve)
  3. Bastion (Supergiant Games)
  4. Johann Sebastian Joust (Die Gute Fabrik)
  5. L.A. Noire (Team Bondi)

Best Technology

  1. Battlefield 3 (DICE)
  2. L.A. Noire (Team Bondi)
  3. Crysis 2 (Crytek Frankfurt/UK)
  4. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (Bethesda Game Studios)
  5. Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception (Naughty Dog)

Best Handheld/Mobile Game

  1. Tiny Tower (NimbleBit)
  2. Super Mario 3D Land (Nintendo)
  3. Jetpack Joyride (Halfbrick)
  4. Infinity Blade II (Chair Entertainment)
  5. Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP (Capy Games/Superbrothers)

Best Audio

  1. Bastion (Supergiant Games)
  2. LittleBigPlanet 2 (Media Molecule)
  3. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (Bethesda Game Studios)
  4. Dead Space 2 (Visceral Games)
  5. Portal 2 (Valve)

Best Downloadable Game

  1. Stacking (Double Fine)
  2. From Dust (Ubisoft Montpellier)
  3. Bastion (Supergiant Games)
  4. Outland (Housemarque)
  5. Frozen Synapse (Mode 7)

Best Narrative

  1. Portal 2 (Valve)
  2. The Witcher 2 (CD Projekt RED)
  3. Bastion (Supergiant Games)
  4. Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception (Naughty Dog)
  5. Saints Row: The Third (Volition)

Best Debut

  1. Supergiant Games (Bastion)
  2. Team Bondi (L.A. Noire)
  3. Re-Logic (Terraria)
  4. BioWare Austin (Star Wars: The Old Republic)
  5. Eidos Montreal (Deus Ex: Human Revolution)

Best Visual Arts

  1. Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception (Naughty Dog)
  2. Rayman Origins (Ubisoft Montpellier)
  3. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (Bethesda Game Studios)
  4. El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron (Ignition Japan)
  5. Battlefield 3 (DICE)

Game of the Year

  1. Batman: Arkham City (Rocksteady Studios)
  2. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (Bethesda Game Studios)
  3. Portal 2 (Valve)
  4. Deus Ex: Human Revolution (Eidos Montreal)
  5. Dark Souls (FromSoftware)

In addition to the awards for individual games, the Game Developers Choice Awards committee will be announcing its Special Award recipients in the near future, including honorees for the Pioneer, Ambassador and Lifetime Achievement Special Awards -- as well as revealing the identity of this year's Game Developers Choice Awards host.

Winners in all major categories will be honored at the Game Developers Choice Awards show, attended by more than 3,000 of the world's leading video game developers, and taking place Wednesday, March 7th at 6:30 pm at the Moscone Convention Center during the 2012 Game Developers Conference in San Francisco.

In 2010, the Game Developers Choice Awards added a sister ceremony, the Game Developers Choice Online Awards which honors online and connected games, held during Austin's GDC Online . Highlights from the 2011 ceremony, which awarded Trion Worlds’ Rift as Best New Online Game and Mojang's Minecraft as Best Live Game, will be shown during the main Choice Awards ceremony in March.

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