Skyrim wins IAA Game of the Year

The Elder Scrolls V caps a big night by winning multiple categories, top honors at the Interactive Achievement Awards.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim cast a dragon-size shadow over the 15th annual Interactive Achievement Awards, taking home five awards, including Game of the Year and Outstanding Achievement in Game Direction.

It's the Game of the Year (and not just because it would take you that long to see it all).

It beat out a competitive group in the top category, including Batman: Arkham City, Portal 2, Uncharted 3, and The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. With the exception of Skyward Sword, the above titles all won other awards at the ceremony, with Uncharted picking up a trio of gongs for various visual categories.

Not all of the award recipients were revealed at the event. The organizing Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences announced that Asteroids and Centipede designer Ed Logg would be receiving the annual Pioneer Award, while Epic Games cofounder Tim Sweeney would be inducted into the AIAS Hall of Fame.

The IAA show is a highlight of the D.I.C.E. Summit (Design, Innovate, Communicate, Entertain), a yearly conference dedicated to exploring approaches to the creative process and artistic expression as they uniquely apply to the development of interactive entertainment. For complete video of the ceremony, as well as every D.I.C.E. panel and presentation, keep an eye on GameSpot's official coverage page.

A full list of nominees follows below. Winners have been italicized.

Game of the Year
Batman: Arkham City--Rocksteady Studios
Portal 2--Valve
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim--Bethesda Game Studios
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword--Nintendo
Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception--Naughty Dog

Outstanding Achievement in Original Music Composition
L.A. Noire--Team Bondi
Little Big Planet 2--Media Molecule
Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception--Naughty Dog
InFamous 2--Sucker Punch
Portal 2--Valve

Outstanding Achievement in Sound Design
Battlefield 3--DICE
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3--Infinity Ward/Sledgehammer Games
L.A. Noire--Team Bondi
Need for Speed: The Run--EA Black Box
Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception--Naughty Dog

Outstanding Achievement in Story
Bastion--Supergiant Games
L.A. Noire--Team Bondi
Portal 2--Valve
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim--Bethesda Game Studios
Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception--Naughty Dog

Outstanding Character Performance
Deus Ex: Human Revolution (Adam Jensen)--Eidos Montreal
L.A. Noire (Cole Phelps)--Team Bondi
Portal 2 (Wheatley)--Valve
Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception (Nathan Drake)--Naughty Dog
Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception (Victor Sullivan)--Naughty Dog

Downloadable Game of the Year
Bastion--Supergiant Games
Drawn: Trail of Shadows--Big Fish Games
Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet--Fuel Cell
Ms. Splosion Man--Twisted Pixel Games
Orcs Must Die!--Robot Entertainment

Casual Game of the Year
Fruit Ninja Kinect--Halfbrick Studios
Tiny Wings--Andreas Illiger
Jetpack Joyride--Halfbrick Studios
Monsters Ate My Condo--Adult Swim/PikPok
Where's My Water?--Creature Feep

Social Networking Game of the Year
Army Attack--Digital Chocolate
CastleVille--Zynga
Gardens of Time--Playdom
The Sims Social--Playfish
Triple Town--Spry Fox

Role-Playing/Massively Multiplayer Game of the Year
Dark Souls--From Software
Deus Ex: Human Revolution--Eidos Montreal
Star Wars: The Old Republic--BioWare Austin
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim--Bethesda Game Studios
The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings--CD Projekt

Outstanding Innovation in Gaming
Bastion--Supergiant Games
L.A. Noire--Team Bondi
Portal 2--Valve
Skylanders Spyro's Adventure--Toys for Bob
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim--Bethesda Game Studios

Sports Game of the Year
FIFA 12--EA Canada
Madden NFL 12--Tiburon
MLB 11: The Show--SCE San Diego
NBA 2K12--Visual Concepts
NBA Jam: On Fire Edition--Firemint

Racing Game of the Year
Forza Motorsport 4--Turn 10 Studios
Mario Kart 7--Nintendo
Real Racing 2 HD--Firemint

Fighting Game of the Year
Fight Night Champion--EA Canada
King of Fighters XIII--SNK Playmore
Mortal Kombat--NetherRealm Studios
Super Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition--Capcom
Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3--Capcom

Strategy/Simulation Game of the Year
Iron Brigade--Double Fine
Orcs Must Die!--Robot Entertainment
Total War: Shogun 2--The Creative Assembly
Toy Soldiers: Cold War--Signal Studios
Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II - Retribution--Relic Entertainment

Family Game of the Year
Dance Central 2--Harmonix
Just Dance 3--Ubisoft Paris
Kinect Disneyland Adventure--Frontier Developments
Little Big Planet 2--Media Molecule
Skylanders Spyro's Adventure--Toys for Bob

Mobile Game of the Year
Contre Jour--Chillingo
Dead Space--EA Mobile
Infinity Blade II--Chair Entertainment
Tentacles--Press Play
The Dark Meadow--Phosphor Games Studio

Handheld Game of the Year
Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective--Capcom
Kirby Mass Attack--Hal Laboratory
Mario Kart 7--Nintendo
Professor Layton and the Last Specter--Level 5
Super Mario 3D Land--Nintendo

Adventure Game of the Year
Batman: Arkham City--Rocksteady Studios
L.A. Noire--Team Bondi
Portal 2--Valve
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword--Nintendo
Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception--Naughty Dog

Outstanding Achievement in Online Game Play
Battlefield 3--DICE
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3--Infinity Ward/Sledgehammer Games
Gears of War 3--Epic Games
Little Big Planet 2--Media Molecule
Star Wars: The Old Republic--BioWare Austin

Outstanding Achievement in Connectivity
Battlefield 3--DICE
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3--Infinity Ward/Sledgehammer Games
Dragon Age II--BioWare Edmonton
Portal 2--Valve
Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception--Naughty Dog

Action Game of the Year
Battlefield 3--DICE
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3--Infinity Ward/Sledgehammer Games
Dead Space 2--Visceral Games
Gears of War 3--Epic Games
Saints Row: The Third--Volition

Outstanding Achievement in Animation
Assassin's Creed: Revelations--Ubisoft Montreal
Batman: Arkham City--Rocksteady Studios
L.A. Noire--Team Bondi
Rayman Origins--UbiArt Montpellier
Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception--Naughty Dog

Outstanding Achievement in Art Direction
Batman: Arkham City--Rocksteady Studios
Battlefield 3--DICE
Portal 2--Valve
Rayman Origins--UbiArt Montpellier
Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception--Naughty Dog

Outstanding Achievement in Visual Engineering
Batman: Arkham City--Rocksteady Studios
Crysis 2--Crytek GmbH
L.A. Noire--Team Bondi
Rage--id Software
Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception--Naughty Dog

Outstanding Achievement in Game Play Engineering
Batman: Arkham City--Rocksteady Studios
Portal 2--Valve
Skylanders Spyro's Adventure--Toys for Bob
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim--Bethesda Game Studios
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword--Nintendo

Outstanding Achievement in Game Direction
Batman: Arkham City--Rocksteady Studios
L.A. Noire--Team Bondi
Portal 2--Valve
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim--Bethesda Game Studios
Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception--Naughty Dog

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Discussion

245 comments
bmart970
bmart970

I like Skyrim, but there are far better games out there.

Vojtass
Vojtass

@sammoth It's basically the same thing in game industry. Sorry, you're wrong. :)

monco59
monco59

@ sammoth: Oh I know what a "typo" is, but when said typo transforms your post into illegible gibberish, I think some kind of explanation is necessary. And for someone who does not care what I have to say, you spend an awful lot of time responding to each and every comment I make. I hope you are not going to turn into a stalker or something.

sammoth
sammoth

@monco59 Ok Ville, whatever you say. I don't care what you have to say. If I have to explain what a Typo is then it's not worth my time. Troll On.

sammoth
sammoth

@Vojtass Again your not reading. It's not art design it's an Art Direction award. Even though Skyrim didn't win the award for Art or Graphics. It won it for direction and GOTY.

nedrith
nedrith

Everytime I played skyrim, I've fond a rather bland large world that seems rather empty. None of the dungeons are really that interesting. Sure it has a nice outer shell, the world looks absolutely fantastic, but the rest of the game, the core of the game is rather empty. Was kind of laughing when I saw it won the outstanding award in story. Sure overall the quests are well designed, but the story itself, far far from being deep enough for me to really care what happens.

Vojtass
Vojtass

@sammoth I know what art design is, but thanks for url anyway.

sammoth
sammoth

@Vojtass I didn’t say it wasn't superior in the graphic department. We had a difference of opinion about ART. By far both games had both good art directions. As I said I will say it again. There is a difference between art and graphics. I understood you very clearly you just don’t know how to explain yourself is all. Don't blame me for not being able to read your mind. Art direction award is about how the game is presented. Learn to understand what the award means. It’s not about graphics. http://performingarts.about.com/od/Costumes/f/What-Is-Art-Direction.htm

supertom221
supertom221

@DethAngel22 Awesome. Now you think your playing with me. Do tell me, if I am really dragging this out, why did you respond in the first place? You could've just moved on. I'm not 12, your words hardly piss me off or do anything to me, i'm just bored and I have 5 new responses on my inbox I am going though one by one. I still have 2 more to go, so if you'll excuse me.

Vojtass
Vojtass

@sammoth If you didn't understand, I will elaborate specially for you: 1080p was an example. If you can run The Witcher 2 in higher resolution with ultra settings - it's even better. If you did so, you just know TW2 is superior in graphic department than almost every game in previous year - BOTH technical and art design. Even Skyrim fans can admit that without any problem. Fans, not fanboys.

amg503
amg503

My game was going to win Game of the Year... ...then I took an arrow to the knee.

DethAngel22
DethAngel22

@supertom221 At this point, I'm just messin with ya ;D Frankly I don't give a flying f**k. Also, it takes 2 to tango, saying that I have dragged this out, after you continually respond is laughable. :) Anyway didn't mean to piss you off! Just take a chill pill ;)

supertom221
supertom221

@DethAngel22 Okay, first, i'm not a child, drop that psuedo-mature'ish act. Second, I knew you were exaggerating, i'm no fool. I just found that exaggeration to be somewhat out of place for a game. You really dragged this on way more than you should. I simply didn't agree with that view. And I never said opinions need to be the same. That is one of my biggest nightmares. What I meant is people use "it's my opinion" as a getaway from an argument when they seem to have nothing else to say. Opinions aren't an unbreakable wall, they can be changed.

Kevlar101
Kevlar101

AC Revelations deserved more than Best Animation. I mean yeah, it wasn't as good as past AC games but come on! The music was great! It should have been given best music.

DethAngel22
DethAngel22

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

DethAngel22
DethAngel22

@supertom221 ...oh, so you actually thought... oh no no no you see, child, when I say things like "I would sell my vital organs for this game" I don't really mean I'd lay down and let a quack doctor cut me open. It's called exaggerating.

supertom221
supertom221

@DethAngel22 Opinions, Opinions, Opinions, everyone has their opinions nowadays. Someone says "it's my opinion" BAM! You are not allowed to argue with that. I find that to be rather aggravating. Not at it's aimed specifically at you or anything, I just had to put it out there. Oh, I understood PERFECTLY what you meant to say. And I replied in a negative response. I hardly believe dark times would fall on the world if Skyrim didn't win. I just found your approach towards the matter to be rather... Say, out of proportions.

DethAngel22
DethAngel22

@supertom221 I feel bad for you because you can't appreciate Skyrim. I'm not saying you should. It's just opinion, not to imply that everyone has to love it. I'm not aiming to impess you. Please don't flatter yourself. I'm wasting time as it since you can't seem to understand the simple fact I'm trying to convey: it's not the actual game i'm refering to, it's the hype surrounding it. Whether you like it or not is irrelevant. People would get pissed off if Skyrim didn't win.

supertom221
supertom221

@DethAngel22 Most anticipated game? I'm not sure about that. It was one of the most, but your forgetting other major titles released this year.... And you can say what you will, frankly, your not impressing me at all. And why would you feel bad for me because I didn't enjoy Skyrim as much as you did? That's stupid and arrogant, to say the least. Have you even played previous entries in the franchise? Specifically Morrowind?? 10x times the quality.

JMcN76
JMcN76

Skyrim for PC is one of the greatest games I've ever played.

DethAngel22
DethAngel22

@supertom221 That's why it was the most anticipated game of 2011, right? lol You can think what you will, frankly, your opinion doesn't impact me at all lol If you can't appreciate the game, I just feel bad for you...

supertom221
supertom221

@DethAngel22 NO. I just don't think people are that obsessed with Skyrim. Christ, it's not even that good....

DethAngel22
DethAngel22

@supertom221 does that mean you agree or disgree? O.o

monco59
monco59

@ sammoth: What ever happened to "having a nice day"? And what exactly do you want me to eat? Not you, I hope. Or is it just the bad grammar again?

DethAngel22
DethAngel22

Everyone knew it was going to win. And it won. But could you imagine the state of the world if it didn't? It would be dark times indeed...The entire gaming industry would be assassinated one by one...and a copy of Skyrim would be placed next to each body.

Jovias-86
Jovias-86

Dark Souls Deserved more... Truly the best game I have ever played

strayfies
strayfies

Not a bad year, and frankly Skyrim deserves it. I was on the verge of canceling my preorder after fearing it was just a graphical reboot of Oblivion. Man did they show up with a surprise.

sheikweight
sheikweight

If its Fun, then you got your moneys worth. REGARDLESS OF SCORE.

sammoth
sammoth

@monco59 Grow up Troll. While your ate Go F yourself too.

edmond_villamor
edmond_villamor

Heck yeah! Skyrim is an interactive work of art. Congrats again! not that this game needs anymore awards hehe.

monco59
monco59

@ sammoth: Your reading comprehension could use some work, but I'm glad to see you have enough sense to stop beating your head against a wall. Kudos for that, atleast

Earth_Krish
Earth_Krish

Orcs must die .. in strategy and simulation. A 5 year could master that game in 10 minutes. Who ARE these people? yeah i've got to say a bit more, I can just about understand skyrim winning in some overall contest, but it does not deserve to beat many of those nominees in those individual categories, not at all, you all know it.

bjohnson003
bjohnson003

Gah seriously? But then again being data capped, long games are starting to look pretty good no matter what they are..

sammoth
sammoth

@monco59 Again you’re trying to twist things. I think I made my self clear with you. Obviously you’re biased and have nothing better to do but, throw insults out. Maybe you’re misunderstanding me. I don’t know but, at this point don’t I care anymore. I am not going to sit here and argue with someone who can’t respect the opinions of others. Troll on. You’re clearly having nothing better to say or anything worth my time reading anymore with out throwing an insult out. That says a lot about your character as a person and proves my point about being an immature little kid. I am done with you. Have A nice Day

monco59
monco59

@ sammoth: First you try to alter your previous statement and now you say I`m putting words in your mouth. Which is it going to be? And neither did I claim you said Skyrim was perfect. But you did belittle the problems it has had and simply stated that modders will eventually fix any nagging issues, which I find baffling for someone who claims to be a gamer and a consumer. Try to stay on topic or just give it a rest. I`m not even going to dignify your first post with an answer. Try reading my previous post for the re-skin vs. engine debate. Though like I said earlier, with your reading comprehension I doubt you`d make heads or tails of it...

wyan_
wyan_

Never Stop Playing!

Nic345
Nic345

Skyrim winning a game of the year award? Never saw that coming!

sammoth
sammoth

@monco59 Stop putting words in my mouth. What I did say is that the Modder’s do help fix some issues but, I also said the last patch fixed a lot of performance issues esp. on the PC. I never did once say Skyrim is perfect but, it does deserve the credit it does for what it has tried to achieve.

sammoth
sammoth

Ah I love the insults keep up the good work BTW just shows your maturity at its best. Funny how I can respect your opinion but, you can’t mine. As far as Gaming I prolly have been gaming much longer than you kid. I have been gaming since the early days of Pong. So please spare me your immature comments that you can't back up with facts. You are totally missing the point. You are voicing your opinion and I respect that but, your not voicing facts. Saying it's just a Re-skin is not a fact it's an opinion. You don't think GT4 is a re-skin of it previous title? Do sit here and talk about my Reading comprehension when you clearly don’t know the difference between fact and opinion. Point I was making and it’s a FACT that it’s not just a re-skin it uses a new Engine. Let me define Re-skin. Re-skin is the same wireframe that is used in games that is retextured just to look different from the original that was there. Usually a texture pallet is modified to change the appearance. You can not Re-skin something on a New Engine. Now as far as your OPINION on it just being a Re-skin of Morrowind / Oblivion then, you’re entitled to that view. Most of us don’t see it that way. No there haven’t been tons of innovations as far as game play with Skyrim and I never said that it was.

Shawn45
Shawn45

Why wasn't Bastion nominated in 'Outstanding Achievement in Original Music Composition'? That game has hands down the best soundtrack I've ever heard in a game. Also the only category Skyrim would win for me is, 'Full-priced purchase I insanely regret', with Dragon Age 2 landing in a close second.

buying1999
buying1999

Great job Bethesda.This is an epic game. Currently my favorite. Smooth framerates, great shadows, great anti-aliasing, great high res textures, and no M A N D A T O R Y install like the over priced internet ready blu ray player, well at least on the SUPERIOR Xbox 360.Talking consoles here. Lensoftruth shows clearly that if you are playing this on console the SUPERIOR Xbox 360 release is definately the way to go, as is about 90% of multi-console releases. Great job Bethesda creating this game and great job Microsoft for developing a dedicated SUPERIOR gaming console. If you have a gaming rig that can handle this awesome game then you probably should play it on that. But if you can only play on one console then, as on lensoftruth, you should get the release for the SUPERIOR Xbox 360. "Xbox 360 is the BEST console EVER made." --John Carmack

monco59
monco59

@ sammoth: And finally, as for giving GTA4 a high rating, you may notice I gave it a much lower score then most professional gaming sites and I would also like you to actually read it, and not simply look at the score. Then again, with your reading comprehension, I doubt it would do any good. And yes, if someone asked me which deserves an award for innovation, Skyrim or GTA4, it would have to be GTA hands down. See, it doesn't mean GTA4 is better then Skyrim, it simply means GTA innovates more then Skyrim. And anyone who's been to Liberty City can attest to that. GTA4 is not simply GTA3 with better graphics.

monco59
monco59

@ sammoth: Reading comprehension FTW! Here is a direct quote from you: "Having some minor flaws is not a problem on the PC version anyway. Mods will fix/bring out more in that." Anyone can go back and read your comment, so there is no point in trying to alter it after the fact. And yes, in your post you clearly state that bugs and glitches aren't that bad since modders fix them. And no one is saying that bugs shouldn't exist. But what I do think is that we as gamers should demand better of our developers, and make them fix those bugs, no matter how minor they may be and not simply trust that some scrappy modder will do it for them, free of charge might I add.. As for Skyrim being a reskin, please don't be so daft as to take it literally, seriously. Anyone with even one working eye can see that Skyrim uses a new, improved engine. But apparently you haven't been gaming long if you think that Skyrim is new and fresh compared to Morrowind. Bethesda has added a new coat of paint and a UI facelift for each new iteration of the Elder Scrolls, but the basic gameplay design has changed little, if at all.

rav3nite
rav3nite

@chechak7 nope, there is not any, but the category says "roleplaying game / mmo rpg" so I believe its those two categories, not just both at once... anyway, G-F-J for Skyrim, reward well earned for the hard work. GZ to Bastion for being amazing breath-taking game and GZ to Uncharted for 3 out of 4 visual achievement awards... big respect to all of you. oh hey, sports awards full of EA games? oh please....