The Game Awards Predictions!

Ever since 2014, Geoff Keighley’s Game Awards have been seen as the ‘official’ game awards show. An event, accessible to the public, that awards developers, personalities, development, and video games in general to the best of its ability. Of course, with awards comes discussion. While a lot of that discussion is fueled by console war shenanigans that I just don’t care about, there’s also a lot of fun to be had. With that in mind, this is our (as in our website’s) Game Awards predictions! 

Here’s the rules:

  1. We predict who we THINK will win, not who we think SHOULD win. Of course we can talk about who we want to win, and that might crossover with our predictions, but our actual prediction needs to be who we think will get the award in question. This should erase any personal preferences from our end.
  2. We can’t select more than one if we aren’t sure. 
  3. There will be a winner declared after the fact between myself (Zack) and SAG’s second writer Kyle. In the event of a tie (if that’s even possible), the winner will be decided by a 1v1 on Rust (this is a lie).

That covers it! Each section will have a paragraph from myself and one from Kyle in which we briefly go over our thought process regarding the winner. I’ll list all the nominees first, so you can get involved if you want! Don’t forget to let us know your predictions! One final note, we won’t be covering esports categories. This isn’t because we don’t value these awards, it’s more because neither of us have enough knowledge of the scene to professionally comment. 

Best Debut Game

Nominees:

  • Carrion
  • Mortal Shell
  • Raji: An Ancient Epic
  • Roki
  • Phasmaphobia – Zack and Kyle predict

Zack:

Honestly I think this can go every which way. The only game I don’t know a lot about is Roki, which probably doesn’t indicate a win that way (not that I know everything of course). My heart says Raji: An Ancient Epic. It’s an important game culturally, but actually received mixed reviews overall. It’s also not the most mainstream game in the list.

As I’m sure Kyle will mention, he reviewed Carrion and really enjoyed it! But compared to the initial buzz when it was announced it didn’t spark up in popularity like I expected. I think the win goes to Phasmaphobia. In much the same way as Fall Guys and Among Us, Phasmaphobia has taken the streaming world by storm, providing a collaborative horror experience quite unlike anything else. Massive viewership, countless funny moments, and some of the biggest creators around jumping on board to ride that viewer train.

Kyle:

For me, who I want to win and who I think will win are completely different. Who I want is Mortal Shell, I reviewed this and think it’s the best Souls-Like around.

Who I think will actually win it is Phasmaphobia. There is just no denying the insane splash this game made online. At one point every video, from every creator on YouTube or Twitter, only talked about this one game.

It has some inspired mechanics and a genuine atmosphere the whole time. It’s definitely more than deserving of any award! 

Content Creator of the Year

Nominees:

  • Alanah Pierce – Zack and Kyle predict.
  • Jay Ann Lopez
  • Nickmercs
  • Timthetatman
  • Valkyrae

Zack:

I can’t decide between Valkyrae and Alanah Pierce. I’m not an avid viewer of the former, but her growth has been absolutely massive in 2020. She’s the first female gamer to join 100 Thieves and has amassed 100 million views total. Not only that, but she also has a frankly astounding 1.4 million followers on Twitter. Not exactly a small fish in this list, if you will.

On the other hand though, Alanah Pierce has done amazing work for charity all year long. She’s managed to maintain her online presence across professional and casual appearances, across dozens of companies, manage her own content streams through Funhaus, and build up her own YouTube channel to 500,000 subscribers. Basically, she’s a very busy woman.

I should say that anyone on this list could win on the right day. Jay Ann Lopez has worked incredibly hard for POC members of the community, and obviously Timthetatman and Nickmercs have racked up some serious numbers this year.

I’m gonna go with Alanah Pierce. I think her charity contributions, her incredibly diverse portfolio, and the sheer amount of times I hear her on podcasts needs some recognition.

Kyle:

Once again, I find myself agreeing with young Zacky. Mostly because I don’t follow most of these people but also because of how much Alanah has been doing.

Right now, she is easily one of the biggest names in gaming content. The amount of work she has been doing on almost every show, channel, and avenue is frankly insane.

She also gives some of the most honest and insightful opinions on just about everything. She seems genuine, honest, and fun to watch or be around.

It’s a shame she had to leave Funhaus because she had some of the funniest and best chemistry there. I understand it though as she is really about to make some waves! My prediction goes to Alanah.

Best Multiplayer

Nominees:

  • Animal Crossing: New Horizons – Zack predicts
  • Among Us
  • Call of Duty: Warzone
  • Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout
  • Valorant

Zack:

TO be clear, I think Animal Crossing: New Horizons will win this award. There’s Gary Whitta’s “Animal Talking” in-game talk show, Joe Biden’s publicity team created him an island to show off (debuting at Kinda Funny), and more besides, it’s a real phenomenon. However I don’t actually think it deserves the award. The multiplayer functions are limited and actually not great in most circumstances. Personally I’d vote for Warzone or Among Us, but I think Animal Crossing: New Horizons will win it.

Kyle:

This is actually a really hard one. I’ve not been as engrossed in online play for a while now so have few thoughts. That being said I have obviously paid enough attention to get an idea of what is good or not.

If I were to name which game I think deserves the award, it’s easily Fall Guys. It’s just a fantastic Multiplayer-Lite. I think the game that will win it though is Call of Duty: Warzone.

It seems to be, other than Fortnite, probably the most liked and maintained of all battle royales. It has, by many people I’ve seen online, been called the best example of the genre too.

Not to mention CoD is pretty much the best selling game every year. Except this one probably. The only reason I don’t think Animal Crossing wins this one, is because not everyone uses it for the multiplayer aspect.

Best Sports/ Racing

Nominees:

  • Dirt 5
  • F1 2020
  • FIFA 21
  • NBA 2K21
  • Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 – Zack and Kyle predict.

Zack:

Given the type of people who vote in these awards shows, those that are more ingrained in the grander community at large, I don’t think the annual titles will win this. Dirt 5 is in with a fringe shout, but personally my vote is going towards Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2. NBA 2K21 is probably the only annual game that might win, given the jaw dropping visual upgrades on the new consoles, but the Tony Hawk remaster is such a fan favorite that it’s probably a lock in my book.

Kyle:

I have no choice but to be super biased here. Frankly, I hate sports games and I’m awful at racing games. These yearly releasing sports games are, in my opinion, the absolute worst this industry has to offer.

With the racing games, I can at least appreciate what they are trying to do. Even if my monkey brain, physically, cannot handle them. Dirt 5 for example, looks fantastic and like it would be a lot of fun.

The obvious answer though is Pro Skater. I reviewed this remaster when it came out and had an absolute blast with it! I really think it captures what it presented when it was first released. 

The soundtrack is also just so good, even today with some of the songs a little older now. It really is a great time.

Best Sim/ Strategy

Nominees:

  • Crusader Kings III – Zack predicts.
  • Desperados III
  • Gears Tactics
  • Microsoft Flight Simulator – Kyle predicts.
  • XCom: Chimera Squad

Zack:

I actually think Crusader Kings III gets this. It had numerous 9s and 10s, and critics loved the random absurdity of the story paths. It seemed to go down really well amongst critics, and perhaps the only game that matches that is Flight Simulator. Flight Simulator unfortunately requires a PC worth thousands to run effectively, so I can see that getting snubbed for the same reason Half-Life: Alyx didn’t get nominated for GOTY. A high price entry requirement.

Kyle:

Again, this isn’t a genre that I’m particularly into. Other than Fire Emblem: Three Houses, which I do absolutely love! However I’ve not actually played any of these games.

I’d like Gears Tactics to win because I love the Gears series. That’s not the question though! 

I think the winner might be Flight Simulator, there’s just nothing comparable to it right now. Basically having the entire planet as a playable world is just insane.

It also seems like the people that had the system to actually play it, really enjoyed it.

Best Family

Nominees:

  • Animal Crossing: New Horizons – Zack and Kyle predict.
  • Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time
  • Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout
  • Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit
  • Minecraft Dungeons
  • Paper Mario: The Origami King

Zack:

This is a weird set of nominations, as I’m honestly not sure any of these games are good family games. To me, a family game is things like Mario Party, Smash Bros, and other semi-competitive experiences. Of which none of these really are. With that in mind, I think Animal Crossing: New Horizons gets it, just due to popular vote.

Kyle:

I agree with Zack’s point here, I can at least kind of understand some of these choices.

I am also in agreement that Animal Crossing will probably win this award. There are probably a lot of families that play this together. It just seems the most likely winner here.

Best Fighting Game

Nominees:

  • Granblue Fantasy: Versus
  • Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate – Zack predicts.
  • Street Fighter V: Champion Edition – Kyle predicts.
  • One Punch Man: A Hero Nobody Knows
  • Under Night In-Birth Exe: Late(Cl-R)

Zack:

Okay ima be honest, I know nothing about the fighting genre. I DO know that One Punch Man is generally disliked amongst fighting game fans, so that’s a weird nomination. My pick goes to Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate, just because it’s the one I’ve played the most of.

Kyle:

Fighting games fall under the same umbrella as racing games for me. Other than Tekken 2, I’ve never been able to get into any fighting games.

Part of me just really wants to see One Punch Man win it. I mean the first season of the Anime is just so damn good! It won’t win though.

I think my vote goes for Street Fighter V, along with Mortal Kombat it’s just one of the biggest fighting game series around.

Best Role Playing

Nominees:

  • Final Fantasy 7 Remake – Zack and Kyle predict.
  • Genshin Impact
  • Persona 5 Royal
  • Wasteland 3
  • Yakuza: Like a Dragon

Zack:

Final Fantasy 7 Remake gets this all day long. It was received incredibly well almost across the board, and has the power of nostalgia. As I DON’T think it’ll win GOTY, this will be where it makes up ground. I think Persona 5 Royal and Genshin Impact have a good chance also, but my vote goes to FF7 Remake.

Kyle:

I really hate this one. Persona 5 Royal deserves this win in my opinion. There’s no question in my mind that it’s far superior to anything else in this list.

I just think the nostalgia factor is going to edge Final Fantasy 7 to edge the win. I’m not the biggest FF7 fan, original or remake, I actually much prefer FF9, so it’s a shame. It will almost definitely win this award though. 

Best Action Adventure

Nominees:

  • Assassin’s Creed Valhalla
  • Ghost of Tsushima – Zack predicts. 
  • Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales
  • Ori and the Will of the Wisps
  • Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
  • The Last of Us Part 2 – Kyle predicts.

Zack:

Ghost of Tsushima. It’s definitely one of the favorites for GOTY overall, but failing that I think Action Adventure is a lock for Sucker Punch’s title. I would LOVE to see Miles Morales win it, but I think that suffers from it being too recent, and not enough people will have played it. Jedi: Fallen Order is gonna suffer from the exact opposite problem as it was released a full year ago. Obviously The Last of Us Part 2 has a shot, but considering it’s likely to win half a dozen other awards, I’m good taking a slight risk with Ghost.

Kyle:

I don’t mind admitting that I definitely voted for Assassin’s Creed in this one. It’s easily the best of the recent AC games and one of the best of the series. I really genuinely loved it, it was just buggy.

It won’t win though, I’ve not played most of the games on this list. I have a broken PS4 but for my money, I think The Last of Us Part 2 will win it. My thoughts on this, is that The Last of Us Part 2 will win almost every award it’s nominated for honestly.

Best Action

Nominees:

  • Doom Eternal – Kyle predicts.
  • Hades – Zack predicts.
  • Half-Life: Alyx
  • Nioh 2
  • Streets of Rage 4

Zack:

This is a hard one. I don’t think Streets of Rage is even in the running, and the same goes for Nioh 2. Half-Life: Alyx has a super high price requirement for entry, despite how good it is. That leaves Hades and Doom Eternal. Because I genuinely don’t think Eternal is walking away with a win in any category this year, I’m giving it to Hades. Beyond the fact that Hades is actually great, it also masters its moment to moment action.

Kyle:

Aww jeez! I don’t know man. Zack’s right, its definitely between Doom and Hades, realistically.

I don’t know whether Doom will lose all awards but it definitely deserves some, no question. I personally think that maybe Doom Eternal will ever so slightly edge the win. Only because it is widely considered as one of the best FPS action series to ever exist.

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Innovation In Accessibility

Nominees:

  • Assassin’s Creed Valhalla
  • Grounded
  • Hyperdot
  • The Last of Us Part 2 – Zack predicts
  • Watch Dogs Legion

Zack:

The Last of Us Part 2. This is practically set in stone as an easy win for the Naughty Dog title. They did wonderful things for accessibility this year, with a practically unprecedented amount of toggles and options. I’ve literally seen differently abled gamers cry with happiness upon seeing the array of options in this game, and Naughty Dog were HOT on involving relevant people in their accessibility discussions. Don’t see anyone else coming close.

Kyle:

I’ve not got a Scooby with this one honestly. So I’ll go with my default, The Last of Us Part 2 to win.

Best VR/ AR

Nominees:

  • Dreams
  • Half-Life: Alyx – Zack predicts
  • Marvel’s Iron Man VR
  • Star Wars: Squadrons
  • The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners

Zack:

Half-Life: Alyx. If it DOESN’T win, that will be a travesty to be honest. It practically moved the genre up a whole step by itself. That being said, Squadrons and Iron Man VR were both well received across the board, and Dreams is doing amazing things. But I still think Half-Life: Alyx. It’s simply the highest point for the VR genre to date.

Kyle:

Again, no idea. I’m really not a fan of VR games at this point. The only one that I’ve played, enjoyed, and haven’t become motion sick in is Beat Saber.

It’s almost certainly between Half-Life and Star Wars I should think. I’m thinking that Star Wars will win but only because the Star Wars nerds will come out in force!! Heh.

Best Community Support

Nominees:

  • Apex Legends
  • Destiny 2 – Zack predicts.
  • Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout – Kyle predicts.
  • Fortnite
  • No Man’s Sky
  • Valorant

Zack:

If I’m not mistaken, Destiny 2 won this last year and I don’t see why it couldn’t again. They’re very communicative, quick to act on any issues, and release a “This week at Bungie” blog post. The only wrinkle in my theory is that the Fall Guys Twitter account has been legendary this year. I’m gonna pick Destiny 2, but it’s a real toss up.

Kyle:

Some of these categories are just so hard to gauge really. Depending on what criteria each judge uses to grade these, will drastically change the outcome.

I’m keeping it simple, best/most interaction and general support. For that, it’s clearly a win for Fall Guys. The social media presence for this game has been, and I mean this, better than anything that came before. Give that man a raise. Or at least another raise.

Best Mobile Game

Nominees:

  • Among Us
  • Call of Duty Mobile – Zack predicts.
  • Genshin Impact – Kyle predicts.
  • Legends of Runeterra 
  • Pokemon Cafe Mix

Zack:

Call of Duty Mobile for me. It’s one of the most popular games on the planet, and Call of Duty is just a household brand. Among Us has obviously hit massive success this year, so I think it has a shout, but Call of Duty Mobile is consistently massive in every continent. The main hang up is that a lot of people would love to see a low-budget indie like Among Us win an award. This is maybe the category I’m LEAST certain on.

Kyle:

This one easily goes to Genshin Impact. The sheer quality, enjoyment, and appeal of Genshin Impact as a mobile game is just unheard of. The thing is, unless the judges completely ignore the success and “Impact” (also Heh) in China, Genshin Impact had this in the bag.

Best Indie

Nominees:

  • Carrion
  • Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout
  • Hades – Zack and Kyle predict.
  • Spelunky 2
  • Spiritfarer

Zack:

I reckon this goes to Hades. The early access title from Supergiant has flourished into an almost universally loved game that changes an entire genre for the better. That, and it’s still getting a ton of publicity through social media, becoming something of a darling amongst both consumers and critics. It’s generated a lot of momentum over the months, and seems to be more than just a flash in the pan.

Kyle:

Part of me wants to give this one to Fall Guys too but I think Hades is the clear winner. Sex sells and nothing is sexier than the underworld.

I really don’t think that any of the other games even come close to how just absurdly good and beloved Hades has become.

Best Ongoing

Nominees:

  • Apex Legends
  • Destiny 2
  • Call of Duty: Warzone – Kyle predicts.
  • Fortnite – Zack predicts
  • No Man’s Sky

Zack:

I WANT No Man’s Sky to get this, but it’s gonna be Fortnite. The mammoth Battle Royale title only grew to greater heights this year with an absolutely absurd Marvel crossover. Probably an easy get here for Epic and Fortnite.

Kyle:

This is a hard one, Fortnite like Zack says could be the obvious choice. However CoD is a very worthy adversary and Destiny has had a pretty big stride this year.

I think my choice goes to… hmmm… CoD. I think Warzone was such a surprise success, especially after the previous Call of Duty battle royale never fully competed with Fortnite.

Games For Impact

Nominees:

  • If Found
  • Kentucky Route Zero: TV Edition
  • Spiritfarer – Kyle predicts.
  • Tell Me Why – Zack predicts
  • Through the Darkest of Times

Zack:

Tell Me Why. The DontNod game tells a wonderful story that covers family trauma, trans identity and relationships, and how people deal with these things. I don’t think any of the other games can contest with that level of honesty if I’m honest. I’ve still yet to review Tell Me Why, what with the next gen launch, but trust me it’s worth a playthrough.

Kyle:

I’ve got less than nothing for this category. I’ve sadly not played a single game on the list, the most I’ve done is read Zack’s review of Spiritfarer

It sounded like a gem of a game there, so Spiritfarer will be my pick here.

Best Performance

Nominees:

  • Ashley Johnson as Ellie (The Last of Us Part 2)
  • Laura Bailey as Abby (The Last of Us Part 2) – Zack and Kyle predict.
  • Daisuke Tsuji as Jin Sakai (Ghost of Tsushima)
  • Logan Cunningham as Hades (Hades) 
  • Nadji Jeter as Miles Morales (Spider-Man: Miles Morales)

Zack:

Laura Bailey as Abby is what I reckon takes this home, but it could just as easily be Ashley Johnson as Ellie. Both performances are top notch, but Laura Bailey just about edges it for me. If this was a fan vote, I’m not sure either would get it, but as critics get the majority I think one of them is a lock. My pick is Laura Bailey. I do want to say that it’s truly criminal that Sandra Saad wasn’t nominated for her performance as Ms Marvel in Avengers. Especially given that she won the award at the Golden Joysticks. 

Kyle:

Here’s another one where I haven’t got a damn clue! Based on what I’ve seen online I think the winner will probably be from The Last of Us. 

So I’m gonna go with Laura Bailey for this one. 

Best Audio Design

Nominees:

  • Doom Eternal
  • Half-Life: Alyx
  • Ghost of Tsushima
  • Resident Evil 3
  • The Last of Us Part 2 – Zack and Kyle predict.

Zack:

The Last of Us Part 2. This game, much like the Golden Joysticks, WILL sweep awards. The audio design in this game is really magnificent, in pretty much every area. And I mean every area. The only game here that I think comes close is probably Ghost of Tsushima or Half-Life: Alyx, but the former isn’t as well received by critics overall, and the latter has that high entry cost. An easy win here for the Naughty Dog title I reckon.

Kyle:

This will be a pretty easy win for The Last of Us Part 2 quite honestly. As I said before, there is no way it doesn’t just pick up almost every award.

Best Score and Music

Nominees:

  • Doom Eternal – Kyle predicts.
  • Final Fantasy 7 Remake – Zack predicts
  • Hades
  • Ori and the Will of the Wisps
  • The Last of Us Part 2

Zack:

If there’s one thing I constantly hear about FF7 Remake, it’s that the music is stunning. Even our own writer Kyle didn’t much LOVE the game, but admits the music is great. What with the amount of critics who have an attachment to the game anyway, I think FF7 nabs this. Both the Last of Us Part 2 and Doom Eternal are in for an outside shout, but I think FF7 nicks it.

Kyle:

I can only be true to myself with this one and say Doom Eternal. The other games have some fantastic scores and things but man, the metal in the Doom reboots. There is frankly nothing that competes with them in gaming right now. Hellsinger will come close though when it releases.

If none of the judges like metal, or cannot appreciate the pure majesty of it in Doom. That’s the only way it loses, in my mind.

Best Art Direction

Nominees:

  • Final Fantasy 7 Remake
  • Ghost of Tsushima – Zack predicts
  • Hades
  • Ori and the Will of the Wisps – Kyle predicts.
  • The Last of Us Part 2

Zack:

Ori and the Will of the Wisps has been largely snubbed for awards this year, but this is the one area where I think it could and should win. Could, but won’t, as my prediction goes to Ghost of Tsushima. It’s a flawed game in places, but the art direction and sheer style of the visuals is practically second to none.  With it likely losing the GOTY vote I reckon it wins here.

Kyle:

I think, honestly, there is only one deserving winner in this list. Not to say the others are bad or without merit but Ori and the Will of the Wisps is just leagues above anything else. At least in terms of art and style.

In this particular list, I really don’t think any of these games can hold a candle to the drop dead gorgeousness of Ori.

Best Narrative

Nominees:

  • 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim
  • Final Fantasy 7 Remake
  • Ghost of Tsushima
  • Hades
  • The Last of Us Part 2 – Zack and Kyle predict.

Zack:

The Last of Us Part 2, almost guaranteed in my opinion. It resonated so strongly with so many critics, that I can see it being the immediate option BEFORE seeing the rest of the list, let alone after. I admit to having not played 13 Sentinels, but The Last of Us Part 2 moves the needle on video games in storytelling. I think it wins.

Kyle:

I’ve been seeing a lot of chatter about how good the narrative is in 13 Sentinels. Enough that it is squarely on my radar now but this is another default win for The Last of Us Part 2.

Best Game Direction

Nominees:

  • Final Fantasy 7 Remake
  • Ghost of Tsushima
  • Hades
  • Half-Life: Alyx – Zack predicts 
  • The Last of Us Part 2 – Kyle predicts.

Zack:

You know, my immediate thought is The Last of Us Part 2. This is because, historically, the same game wins both this award and GOTY. Not always, but often. But what with Half-Life: Alyx missing out on a GOTY nomination I think it gets the nod for game direction. This is a brave choice on my part, but hey, I’ll take a risk every now and again.

Half-Life: Alyx Review

Kyle:

It’s boring but the default answer it is again! The Last of Us Part 2 will win this for sure. It’s just another example where I don’t think there will be much competition for this title.

Game of the Year

Nominees:

  • Doom Eternal
  • Final Fantasy VII Remake
  • Ghost of Tsushima
  • Hades
  • Animal Crossing: New Horizons
  • The Last of Us Part 2 – Zack and Kyle predict.

Zack:

My own preferences aside, as The Last of Us Part 2 is MY personal GOTY, I do think The Last of Us Part 2 wins this award. It’s a truly excellent set of nominations, with the only odd choice perhaps Doom Eternal, but an excellent list nonetheless. It won it at the Golden Joysticks, which is fan voted, and this is CRITIC voted (mostly). Critics adored The Last of Us Part 2 largely, so I think it nabs it. The only question mark is Animal Crossing, as that really has blown up. Gonna stick with my choice though.

Kyle:

I’m with Zack here, The Last of Us Part 2 is almost completely certain to win GOTY. I’m not happy about it, Persona 5 Royal got completely shafted here. I also think there will be a big old uproar on Twitter when it gets revealed.

Nevertheless, the GOTY winner for 2020 will almost certainly be The Last of Us Part 2.

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