Second-Annual SXSW Gaming Awards Announces Finalists in 21 Categories
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Second-Annual SXSW Gaming Awards Announces Finalists in 21 Categories

Actress and comedian Janet Varney and YouTube personality Markiplier to host

AUSTIN, Texas, Jan. 22, 2015 — (PRNewswire) —  South by Southwest (SXSW) Gaming today announced the finalists for its second-annual SXSW Gaming Awards presented by iam8bit, Logitech, Porter Novelli and Wikia – part of SXSW Gaming 2015 – taking place on Saturday, March 14 at 7 p.m. at Austin City Limits Live at The Moody Theater. The Gaming Awards will honor major studio and indie game titles in 21 categories. The SXSW Gaming Awards are free and open to the public of all ages; Interactive, Gold and Platinum Badge holders receive early entry and preferred seating.

The SXSW Gaming Awards complements the 2015 SXSW Gaming Expo, which runs March 13-15, 2015. Located at the Palmer Events Center, the SXSW Gaming Expo is also a free event and open to the public of all ages.

"It's fantastic to see the SXSW Gaming Expo continue to get bigger and better each year and to have the Gaming Awards continue to grow along with it," said Justin Burnham, SXSW Gaming Project Manager. "We've added several new award categories in 2015 and with a diverse list of finalists, from heavy-hitting AAA titles like Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor to indie stand-outs like Shovel Knight, we're excited to see who comes out on top!"

Making the awards ceremony a truly entertaining and celebratory evening, this year's event will be hosted by actress and comedian Janet Varney along with actor and popular YouTube personality Markiplier. Audience Entertainment, Imaginary Forces, 3BlackDot, Thrilling Adventure Hour and Critical Hit will also provide the audience with entertainment throughout the ceremony.

Wikia superfans will also be helping anoint winners of this year's SXSW Gaming Awards. Representing over 85,000 of the most authoritative fan communities on console, pc and mobile games, Wikia fans will have the opportunity to collaborate alongside the industry experts to select the best in up to 20 award categories. Voting kicks off soon on

Chosen from more than 400 submissions, here are the finalists for the second-annual SXSW Gaming Awards:

Game of the Year: Awarded to the indie or mainstream game that exemplifies gaming excellence. 

Mobile Game of the Year: Awarded to the mobile game that exemplifies gaming excellence

Table Top Game of the Year: Awarded to the table top game that exemplifies gaming excellence

Excellence in Gameplay: Awarded to the title that exemplifies excellence in gameplay mechanics

Excellence in Art: Awarded to the title that exemplifies excellence in art and design

Excellence in Animation: Awarded to the title that exemplifies excellence in animation

Excellence in Technical Achievement: Awarded to the title that exemplifies excellence in technical achievement

Excellence in Visual Achievement

Excellence in Narrative: Awarded to the title that exemplifies excellence in game narrative

Excellence in Design and Direction: Awarded to the title that exemplifies excellence design and direction

Excellence in SFX: Awarded to the title that exemplifies excellence game sound effects

Excellence in Musical Score: Awarded to the title that exemplifies artistic excellence in musical score, and how it is used to progress the narrative of a game

Excellence in Multiplayer: Awarded to the title that exemplifies excellence in multiplayer gaming

Excellence in Convergence: Awarded to the title that exemplifies excellence and pure crossover appeal through multiple mediums

Most Valuable Character

Most Valuable Esports Team: Awarded to the Esports team that exemplifies excellence in competitive gaming

Most Valuable Online Channel: Awarded to the online channel that exemplifies excellence in online entertainment

Most Valuable Add-On Content: Awarded to the title that exemplifies excellence in add-on content

Most Anticipated Crowdfunded Game: Awarded to the title that exemplifies excellence as a crowdfunded game

Matthew Crump Cultural Innovation Award: Awarded to the title that most challenges the "norm" of everyday gaming, and offers a culturally innovative view of a game world, character or gameplay

Gamer's Voice Award: Awarded to the favorite game in the Indie Corner as decided exclusively by gamers on the SXSW Gaming Expo floor

The submission process opened in August through the official Gaming Awards page and closed in December. Finalists for the SXSW Gaming Awards categories are selected and voted on by the SXSW Gaming Advisory Board, consisting of more than 40 gaming, comic and geek culture industry experts, and represent the game titles that demonstrate the best and most innovative of the year in each respective category. The game titles receiving the most votes will be honored at the SXSW Gaming Awards.

To be considered for the Gamer's Voice Award games must have had less than $1 million in funding; a working and playable demo; and be released by the end of 2015 or shortly thereafter.

Winners of the 2014 SXSW Gaming Awards included Nidhogg (Gamer's Voice Award), Bioshock Infinite (Excellence in Art), Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons (Excellence in Gameplay) and The Last of Us (Game of the Year).

About SXSW Gaming

SXSW Gaming is an integral part of the SXSW experience. This diverse and widely popular array of events combines well-loved elements of geek culture with the cross-console video game world. And it all happens in Austin, Texas, a true hotbed for the expanding gaming industry. With the Gaming Awards, panels, a free expo, rocking parties and exceptional demos, no event bridges the gap between industry insiders and the general public quite like SXSW Gaming.

About SXSW Interactive

The 22nd annual SXSW Interactive Festival returns to Austin from Friday, March 13 through Tuesday, March 17. An incubator of cutting-edge technologies and digital creativity, the 2015 event features five days of compelling presentations and panels from the brightest minds in emerging technology, scores of exciting networking events hosted by industry leaders and an unbeatable lineup of special programs showcasing the best new websites, video games and startup ideas the community has to offer. From hands-on training to big-picture analysis of the future, SXSW Interactive has become the place to preview the technology of tomorrow today. Join us in March 2015 for the sessions, the networking, the evening events, the 18th Annual SXSW Interactive Innovation Awards, SXSW Accelerator, the SXSW Gaming Expo, the SXSW Trade Show, SXSW Create, the Digital Creative Job Market, cross-industry conversations with attendees from SXSW Film and   SXSW Music, and, most of all, the unforgettable inspirational experiences that only SXSW can deliver.

SXSW Interactive 2015 is sponsored by Miller Lite, Esurance, AT&T, IFC, Mazda, Monster Energy, McDonald's, Philips, Capital One, and The Austin Chronicle.

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South by Southwest