'The Last of Us' Wins Top Honors at Game Developers Choice Awards
March 20, 2014

'The Last of Us' Wins Top Honors at Game Developers Choice Awards

Naughty Dog's The Last of Us was awarded Game of the Year during the 14th annual Game Developers Choice Awards ceremony, which took place during the 2014 Game Developers Conference at the Moscone Center in San Francisco.

The game was also honored with Best Design and Best Narrative Awards during the event, which was emcee'd by industry veteran Abbie Heppe.

Irrational Games' BioShock Infinite netted awards for Best Audio and Best Visual Art.

Lucas Pope's Papers, Please won the Innovation Award and the honor for Best Downloadable Game in recognition of Pope's compelling gameplay design.

Other winners of the night include The Fullbright Company, creators of the deeply involving and emotionally moving interactive narrative adventure Gone Home.

Nintendo was recognized with the Best Handheld award for The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds -- the fourth win for the Zelda franchise since the inception of the Choice Awards in 2000.

The global blockbuster open world title, Grand Theft Auto V, won the award for Best Technology, in recognition for the title's sprawling and vibrant Liberty City environment, massive amount of game content and high visual fidelity. Indie developer Squad scored the inauguralAudience Choice Award for their creative sandbox space flight game, Kerbal Space Program.

The Game Developers Choice Awards, which honor the very best games of the year, was created for and voted on by developers. Winners are selected by the Game Developers Choice Awards-specific International Choice Awards Network (ICAN), which is an invitation-only group, comprised of over 2,200 leading game creators from all parts of the video game industry.

The Ambassador Award, which recognizes those who help video games "advance to a better place" through advocacy or action, went to media critic Anita Sarkeesian, creator of Feminist Frequency, a video series that explores representations of women in game and pop culture narratives. The series, which ushered in through a massively successful Kickstarter campaign, has brought the topic of gender representation in games and ushered a spirited debate on the portrayals of women in video games.

Sarkeesian is the first woman to win the Ambassador Award.

The Game Developers Choice Awards also recognizes developers who have contributed to the art, science and craft of videogames. This year, the Pioneer Award was given to Riot Games' cofounders Brandon Beck and Marc Merrill, who formed the most player-focused company in the world and created League of Legends, a title that hosts more than 27 million players every day and 67 million players every month.

This year, the Lifetime Achievement award was given onstage to the "Father of the PlayStation," Ken Kutaragi, the man whose engineering prowess and technological foresight was directly responsible for the creation of the PlayStation hardware platform. PlayStation 4 lead architect Mark Cerny presented the award to Kutaragi, bringing two of the most important figures in PlayStation history together on stage.

"There were so many amazing and diverse games this year, ranging from the massive world of Grand Theft Auto V, to the heartbreaking and visceral game The Last of Us, to the thought-provoking Papers, Please. All the GDCA winners and nominees took risks that paid off in brilliant gameplay and unforgettable moments," said Meggan Scavio, General Manager of the Game Developers Conference. "It's an amazing time for gaming, and we're proud to recognize titles with mature narratives and innovative gameplay that are truly pushing the medium forward."

The full list of recipients for the 14th Annual Game Developers Choice Awards are:

Game of the Year: The Last of Us from Naughty Dog

Ambassador Award: Anita Sarkeesian

Best Narrative: The Last of Us from Naughty Dog

Best Visual Art: BioShock Infinite from Irrational Games

Best Technology: Grand Theft Auto V from Rockstar Games

Best Game Design: The Last of Us from Naughty Dog

Best Handheld/Mobile Game: The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds from Nintendo EAD

Best Audio: BioShock Infinite from Irrational Games

Pioneer Award: Brandon Beck and Marc Merrill of Riot Games

Best Debut: The Fullbright Company for Gone Home

Innovation Award: Papers, Please by Lucas Pope

Audience Choice Award: Kerbal Space Program by Squad

Lifetime Achievement Award: Ken Kutaragi

Best Downloadable Game: Papers, Please by Lucas Pope

Notably, Lucas Pope's Papers, Please also won the Seumas McNally Grand Prize for Best Independent Game and other awards earlier in the evening at the 16th AnnualIndependent Games Festival.