SXSW Announces 2018 Gaming Awards Winners, Zelda: Breath of the Wild takes Game of the Year

Austin, TX - March 17, 2018 - SXSW® Gaming has announced the winners for the 2018 SXSW Gaming Awards. The winners in 24 different categories, were revealed during the fifth annual Gaming Awards ceremony, which was hosted by IGN producer and writer Alanah Pearce, and Blizzard’s World of Warcraft and esports broadcaster for H1Z1, Hearthstone and Call of Duty World League, Richard Campbell.

Award winner highlights include Game of the Year winner The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Nintendo); Mobile Game of the Year winner Fire Emblem Heroes (Nintendo, Intelligent Systems); Esports Game of the Year winner PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds (Bluehole Studio Inc.); Tabletop Game of the Year winner Gloomhaven (Cephalofair Games); and Trending Game of the Year winner PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds (Bluehole Studio Inc.).

Submissions for the SXSW Gaming Awards opened in August 2017 through the official Gaming Awards page and closed in December. Finalists for the SXSW Gaming Awards categories were selected and voted on by the SXSW Gaming Advisory Board and select staff, consisting of more than 40 industry experts well-versed in everything gaming and geek culture. Once finalists were revealed, the general public, along with the Advisory Board, were invited to cast their vote on IGN.com to help determine the winners in each category, which were unveiled and honored at tonight’s SXSW Gaming Awards ceremony.

2018 SXSW Gaming Awards Winners:

Excellence in SFX

Super Mario Odyssey

Excellence in Musical Score

NieR: Automata

Excellence in Technical Achievement

NieR: Automata

Excellence in Visual Achievement

Horizon Zero Dawn

Excellence in Animation


Excellence in Art


Excellence in Convergence

Star Wars Battlefront II

Excellence in Multiplayer

PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds

Most Promising New Intellectual Property

Horizon Zero Dawn

Most Fulfilling Community-Funded Game

Night in the Woods

Excellence in Gameplay

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Excellence in Design

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Excellence in Narrative

What Remains of Edith Finch

Matthew Crump Cultural Innovation Award

Doki Doki Literature Club

Gamer’s Voice Award Video Game

Battlesloths 2025: The Great Pizza Wars

Gamer’s Voice Award Mobile Game

Tiny Bubbles

Gamer’s Voice Award Tabletop Game

Sol: Last Days of a Star

Gamer's Voice Award Virtual Reality Game


Trending Game of the Year

PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds

Esports Game of the Year

PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds

Tabletop Game of the Year


Virtual Reality Game of the Year

Resident Evil 7: Biohazard

Mobile Game of the Year

Fire Emblem Heroes

Video Game of the Year

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild


Top Rated Comment

Well done BOTW - another deserved accolade in my opinion. Love that game so much.

Doesn't deserve it, but I am not at all surprised it won. It's won nearly every GOTY award for 2017, it seems.

Sat Mar 17 18 11:03pm
Rating: 4 (Updated 1 time)

Opinions, everyone has one. But the majority made a choice, so yours is kinda unpopular.

Sun Mar 18 18 11:31am
Rating: 1 (Updated 4 times)

I think it's not so much about popular opinions, it is honest opinions that are more valuable. And I've got to say I actually agree with him more or less. I feel BotW happened to be quite a bit overhyped in the end. All these perfect scores, literally unbelievable. Great game, especially the first part, but from there it was lacking quite a bit.. I feel BotW just happened to launch in the right time. People wanted a system seller for Switch, so they praised this game with no end, and didn't spend much time and allow themselves to see where they got it wrong. So an impressive game it was until the mid game had been reached more or less. From there it became an unbalanced experience, lacked story, and other important Z-power (unique dungeons, bosses, and music).

Sun Mar 18 18 01:36pm
Rating: 1 (Updated 1 time)

I can fully admit the faults in BOTW but it’s not like any Zelda game or any game in general is perfect and without fault. If we had a perfect game then we wouldn’t need any subsequent games Smile

For the record I think weapons break too easy. Not being able to use the master sword unless it’s shiny is dumb. The divine beasts I enjoyed but their bosses were repedative. I missed unique items but the runes were a nice compromise and fun to play with.

Those are some of the faults I have with the game but it doesn’t stop me enjoying the game immensely and considering it one of the best games I’ve ever played (in my 30 years of gaming)

None of this is to knock your opinion of the game.

No matter how hard you try, yours and his are opinions.
And that is a fact.

I’m fully aware of that. I was moreso replying to the concept of a “perfect” game.

SInce it has hipster trash like Doki Doki, I guess this is already trash anyways.

... I'm sorry, what?
Define hipster trash and how is doki doki hipster trash anyway.

Yeah I agree, Doki Doki did show depression in a very "close to home" and well done way for me. When *THAT* happens... I was shocked... Because I knew someone that did exactly that. For almost the same reasons (well, without tampering from a certain overbearing character)...
But yeah, I really think the game have some cultural significance.

Out of curiosity, which game do you think is more deserving of being crowned GotY? (For the record, I don't think BotW was the best game of 2017 either.)

Mon Mar 19 18 12:14pm
Rating: 2 (Updated 3 times)

I feel like a lot people would disagree with me, but in my honest opinion: Xenoblade Chronicles 2. Yeah, there are technical flaws like the low resolution in handheld mode, framerate issues, and the blade unlocking system can be a pain, but beyond that no game in 2017 was as fun, expansive, interesting, and just plain enjoyable as XC2. The worlds were huge, varied, and unique, the characters had a ton of depth, even the unique blades you would collect. The soundtrack was easily the best game music of 2017. The combat has a ridiculous amount of depth (in a fun way), but if you stop playing after 10 hours you'll never realize its complexity. And the story was pleasantly long without overstaying its welcome and featured plenty of interesting plot twists. If you wanna know why I believe BOTW didn't achieve its full potential, I can link you to another Gonintendo post of mine.

I feel like a lot people would disagree with me, but in my honest opinion: Xenoblade Chronicles 2.

Interesting choice. Opinions on the game seem to be split, and though it has its fans, I haven't seen anyone putting it forward as one of the best games of the year. Admittedly, that might just be due to how stacked last year's release calendar was, but in any case, it's still nice to see some variety in the annual GotY discussions.

I've seen your post, as well as the posts of others who think the game is overrated. I mostly agree, though I'm a little more down on the game, in that I'm not convinced that the gameplay changes and design decisions it's being praised for were/are for the better. That said, like you and most others, I do think that the inevitable 'BotW 2' has the potential to be something truly spectacular.

Sun Mar 18 18 01:38am
(Updated 1 time)

I cannot believe that Zelda won over Mario...HOW THE HELL CAN ZELDA BEAT MARIO!?!?!?!


Markets, Zelda seems more widely enjoyed amongst certain markets with louder opinions than Mario's.

Well done BOTW - another deserved accolade in my opinion. Love that game so much.

It's 2018 and people's are still salty that Zelda is one of the greatest games of all time

Gotta keep that Nintendoom alive.

But this only reminds me the hype RE got when they shook up the formula with RE4 way back in the day. BotW is refreshing, and an amazing game, but we'd be lying to ourselves if we'd say the formula cannot be greatly improved.

I'm just basking in the quiet of the lacking "OoT is greatest ever!" Mantras since its inception.

Can anyone explain to be what is "Excellence in Convergence" and why Star Wars Battlefront II deserves it or any award for that matter?

So I guess it's like a crossover of media. Games based on tv shows and movies is what I think it's all about. Other contenders were South Park and Star Trek. Not sure what they're looking for exactly in this category.

Mon Mar 19 18 11:42am
Rating: 2

Well deserved. BotW is an amazing game.

No matter what your personal opinion on the game is, I think most can agree that Nintendo put out a high-quality, master-crafted and polished Zelda release.

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