Main Category Award Nomination Process
Nominations for the Game Developers Choice Awards are made by the International Choice Awards Network (ICAN). It is not necessary to make a nomination for each category. Nominations for the same game in different categories is allowed. ICAN members cannot nominate the same game in the same category more than once or nominate a game that they are personally involved with - any duplicate submissions will be ignored.
Main Category Award Nominee Eligibility
All awards are for the 2021 calendar year.
Any video game which was released, and made publicly available to consumers, during the year 2021, irrespective of platform or delivery medium, is eligible for nomination. Upgrades, expansions and mission packs are not eligible.
Reference the following resources for an overview of 2021 game releases (these resources are provided as reference aids only, and may not be exhaustive):
ICAN Member Eligibility
All professional game developers who are part of the ICAN member list are eligible to provide nominations for the Main Category Awards. International Choice Awards Network (ICAN) is an invitation-only group comprised of leading game creators from all parts of the video game industry. ICAN members are asked to recuse themselves from nominating and/or voting on any games that they are personally involved with.
The Game Developers Choice Awards does not accept submissions for award nominations.
The Game Developers Choice Awards are about peer recognition and rewarding excellence and innovation in games. There are no fees or costs associated with making nominations.
Main Category Award Finalist / Winner Selection Process
Once the ICAN nomination process closes, the editors of Gamasutra will add their votes to the open nominations in order to help select the finalists. The finalists of the Main Category Awards are then voted on by the final voting body, which is made up of the ICANs, and the editors of Game Developer.
Thank you to the ICANs for voting and continually choosing outstanding games as our winners!
Audience Award Winner
The Audience Award winner is selected from the list of finalist games from every Main Category. The Audience Award winner is selected through a public vote.
The game with the most votes in a category receives the given award. Award categories are attributed in the following manner:
- Best Audio: audio director, audio designer
- Best Debut Game: studio head, studio founder
- Best Design: creative director, lead designer
- Best Technology: tech director, lead programmer
- Best Visual Art: art director, lead artist
- Best Narrative: lead writer
- Innovation Award: creative leads
- Social Impact Award: lead designer, executive producer, studio head
- Game of the Year: lead designer, executive producer, studio head
Further, each nominated game will be listed with the development studio and publisher company names. For example: Best Game ActionFest2 (DeveloperX/PublisherY)
The recipients for the Lifetime Achievement, Ambassador and Pioneer awards are determined by the Game Developers Choice Special Awards Jury. These special awards are presented to the individuals being recognized.
Special Award Nomination Process
Nominees for the Special Awards (Lifetime Achievement, Pioneer, Ambassador) are not eligible if they have previously won the equivalent Special Award.
The winners for the Lifetime Achievement, Pioneer and Ambassador Awards are determined by the Special Awards Jury, following recommendations from ICAN members. The Jury will take all ICAN recommendations into account but will vote independently on the winners of each category.