The Game of the Year award at this year’s D.I.C.E. awards was all but decided long before Bethesda Game Studio’s Todd Howard (“The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim”) and last year’s GOTY winner, ThatGameCompany’s Jenova Chen (“Journey”), stepped on stage to announce the winner. The entire audience seemed in agreement, made light by audience laughter at the subtle pun Howard worked into announcing the final award of the night. “And the last award goes to…”
D.I.C.E. has taken on a much more dignified role in the minds of the greater gaming community in recent years, especially when compared to other gaming awards shows such as the VMA-influenced Spike VGX. In comparison, D.I.C.E. is more in line with the film industry’s Academy Awards. Like the Oscars, D.I.C.E. is run by an academy, this one being The Academy of Interactive Arts and Science, which comprises more than 22,000 members total.
This year’s event took place at the tail end of the 2014 D.I.C.E. summit at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas, an annual summit run by the academy that brings together developers and designers to discuss the state of the industry. For the first time, the entire awards show was streamed through the game streaming service Twitch, as well as several panels and presentations from speakers during the summit ranging from Mark Cerny, the architect of Sony’s new PlayStation 4, to composer Austin Wintory, best known for his Grammy-nominated score for “Journey.”
The awards show had two hosts this year: actress Felicia Day and YouTube personality Freddy Wong. Neither host was altogether very memorable, though Wong may have won the night when introducing Gearbox Software founder Randy Pitchford. “His company actually finished ‘Duke Nukem Forever’ and almost finished ‘Aliens: Colonial Marines,’” he said.
Like last year’s awards, where ThatGameCompany’s “Journey” seemed to be winning every award it was nominated for, Naughty Dog’s “The Last of Us” was a force that could not possibly be stopped. By the end of the night, “The Last of Us” had garnered 10 awards total, including Game of the Year.
The next big gaming awards show to watch out for will be next month’s Game Developers Choice Awards on March 19. For the full list of D.I.C.E. winners, visit D.I.C.E.’s website.