Awards in the Online Gaming Industry

Since the first electronic Game of the Year award went to “Space Invaders” in 1979, thousands of electronic games have been released as the technology behind them has evolved at a lightning pace. A great deal of work (by expert teams with large budgets) and many years go into bringing these games to life. It is therefore only natural that the electronic gaming industry, much like the film industry, likes to reward the efforts of its best and brightest with the appropriate ceremonies and accolades. To date, there have been over 50 different organisations (some of them now defunct) to present awards within the gaming industry over the past four-or-so decades. In particular, the Game of the Year (GotY) award is presented by various organisations, each with its own take on the subject. Many of these organisations are influential publications, perhaps none more influential that Time Magazine.

And an equal amount of credit must to the players who master these increasingly challenging games. Nowadays, instead of heading to the nearest arcade or a friend’s house to compete in our favourite games, we plug in and connect with other players all over the world via the Internet. So the leading electronic games find their primary incarnation online and what used to be an idle pursuit has turned into a lifelong career for the best players.

There are so many awards up for grabs in the online gaming sphere that it would be impossible for us to cover all of them in a single article. We can, however, give you the highlights – those accolades so prestigious that every gamer and game developer dreams of receiving:

SXSW Gaming Awards

Around about March each year, the annual South by Southwest Festival (SXSW) draws thousands of music, film and multimedia buffs to Austin, Texas for a festival that has been going on for 30 years. The SXSW Gaming Awards have been presented since 2014 are part of the SXSW Gaming Expo (part of the SXSW Interactive branch of the festival).

In order to be eligible to win, developers and publishers submit their work to the festival organisers, who review all submissions together with a panel of expert judges. Through this process, the entries are whittled down to the top five before the final winner is put down to the public vote.

In a glittering ceremony toward the end of the SXSW event, celebrity and gaming hosts present the awards in the following categories:

  • Video Game of the Year
  • Mobile Game of the Year
  • Tabletop Game of the Year
  • eSports Game of the Year
  • Trending Game of the Year
  • Fan Creation of the Year
  • Matthew Crump Cultural Innovation Award
  • Excellence in Narrative
  • Excellence in Design
  • Excellence in Gameplay
  • Most Fulfilling Community-Funded Game
  • Most Promising New Intellectual Property
  • Most Memorable Character
  • Excellence in Multiplayer
  • Excellence in Convergence
  • Excellence in Art
  • Excellence in Animation
  • Excellence in Visual Achievement
  • Excellence in Technical Achievement
  • Excellence in Musical Score
  • Excellence in SFX

The International Gaming Awards

The International Gaming Awards (IGAs) are dedicated specifically to games in the casino industry, including online games. They are presented at a glamorous black-tie event in London each year, hosted by Clever Duck Media, which also publishes the IGA newsletter, The iGaming Post, and hosts the annual Women in Gaming conference.

The IGAs celebrate and recognises casino game industry leaders while also raising considerable funds with this charity event. Beyond honouring game developers, the IGAs also pay tribute to casino operators and other role players in the industry. Online game categories covered by the International Gaming Awards include the following:

  • Australia/Asia Focused Technology Supplier of the Year
  • eSports Betting Software of the Year
  • iGaming Software Supplier
  • Innovator of the Year Award – No Boundaries
  • Live Casino of the Year
  • Lottery Product of the Year
  • Mobile Operator of the Year
  • Mobile Product of the Year
  • Online Casino Operator of the Year
  • Online Gaming Operator of the Year
  • Online Poker Operator of the Year
  • Sports Betting Operator of the Year
  • Slots Operator of the Year (Online)
  • Slot Provider of the Year