South by Southwest (SXSW) has announced it’ll be hosting its annual gaming awards in March, revealing 43 nominees across 12 different categories. That includes a virtual reality (VR) category with some of the most prominent titles of the last 12 months in the running like Valve’s Half-Life: Alyx and Motive Studios’ Star Wars: Squadrons.
This year’s VR category features five nominees with few surprises. Half-Life: Alyx has been nominated in almost every VR award going whilst cross-platform Star Wars: Squadrons was a big hit towards the end of 2020. Also on the list are The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners one of the best zombie survival videogames in VR, and Down the Rabbit Hole, a little gem of a puzzle title from Cortopia Studios.
Possibly the most controversial on the list is Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond by Respawn Entertainment. The highly anticipated WWII shooter offers a single-player campaign, multiplayer and interviews with veterans, yet suffered from pacing, high specification requirements and other issues.
The 2021 SXSW Gaming Awards has partnered with IGN to produce the event, presented by Discord on Saturday, 20th March at 7:00pm CT, broadcast live on SXSW Online, ign.com, and on Twitch. Public voting is open now across the board with the winners decided by a weighted total between staff, advisory board input and public voting.
“Gaming is a key part of the creative ecosystem that makes up SXSW, and provides our community an opportunity to honour the achievements with the brightest minds in the field,” said Hugh Forrest, Chief Programming Officer for SXSW in a statement.
“We’ve learned so much from our communities on Discord over the last year. The power that games can have in bringing people together no matter where you are in the world inspires us.”said Tesa Aragones, Chief Marketing Officer at Discord. “Creating space for people to come together to share the things they love – music, games, and anything else that interests them – is core to our beliefs and we are proud to support the SXSW Gaming Awards as the presenting sponsor.”
The main SXSW Online event runs from 16th – 20th March 2020 featuring keynotes, conference sessions, Music Festival showcases, Film Festival screening and more. Don’t miss the Virtual Cinema area where you’ll be able to view works including 4 Feet High VR, Finding Pandora X, Namoo, and Paper Birds to name a few. For further updates, keep reading VRFocus.