Colossus casts shadow over GDC Awards

Acclaimed Japanese actioner beats out God of War for IGDA's top prize; Psychonauts, Nintendogs, and Guitar Hero also honored.

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SAN JOSE, Calif.--Last month at the annual D.I.C.E. (Design, Innovate, Create, Entertain) convention, Sony Computer Entertainment America's God of War was named Overall Game of the Year at the annual Interactive Achievement Awards. Many industry-watchers dismissed its win, because the even more acclaimed Resident Evil 4 wasn't nominated due to a technicality. When Capcom's game was also not nominated for the top prize at the 2006 Game Developers Choice Awards, many present at the March 22 awards ceremony assumed God of War would once again rule the day.

However, as the evening progressed, it became clearer and clearer to the audience inside the San Jose Civic Auditorium that the game deities were not showing favor to God of War. The game was shut out of every category it was nominated in by a surprising rival--Shadow of the Colossus. The Japanese-developed action game, which was also published by SCEA, beat out its American rival in the Visual Arts, Game Design, and Character Design categories. It also was victorious at the end of the evening, taking home the Best Game of 2005 prize as well.

While Colossus was the big winner, the crowd showed the most enthusiasm for several other winners. Rock-concert-level cheers erupted when Harmonix's Guitar Hero was awarded for having the Best Audio, and howls of approval greeted the announcement that Nintendogs had won the Best Technology and Innovation awards.

However, the most emotion greeted a dual win by industry veteran Tim Schafer. First, his newly formed shop, Double Fine Productions, was named Best New Studio. That honor was followed by the award of Best Writing going to the studio's first game, the critically acclaimed Psychonauts.

Best Game

Animal Crossing: Wild World (Nintendo EAD/Nintendo)
- Katsuya Eguchi, Hisashi Nogami, Takashi Tezuka, Kazumi Totaka

God of War (Sony Computer Entertainment America)
- David Jaffe, Shannon Studstill

Guitar Hero (Harmonix Music Systems/RedOctane)
- Rob Kay, Greg LoPiccolo, Alex Rigopulos

Shadow of the Colossus (Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.)
- Kenji Kaido, Yasuhide Kobayashi, Fumito Ueda

The Movies (Lionhead Studios/Activision)
- Gary Carr, Peter Molyneux, Mark Webley


Best Audio

Call of Duty 2 (Infinity Ward/Activision)
- Mark Ganus

Electroplankton (Nintendo)
- Toshio Iwai, Koichi Kyuma, Yuichi Ozaki

God of War (Sony Computer Entertainment America)
- Dave Murrant

Guitar Hero (Harmonix Music Systems/RedOctane)
- Eric Brosius, Kasson Crooker

Project Gotham Racing 3 (Bizarre Creations/Microsoft Game Studios)
- Nick Bygrave, Guy Whitmore, Nick Wiswell


Character Design

City of Villains (Cryptic Studios/NCsoft Corporation)
- Ocala Bellows Kulig, Ryan Butts, Jay Doherty, Jeremy Mattson

God of War (Sony Computer Entertainment America)
- David Jaffe, Terry Smith, Charlie Wen

Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath (Oddworld Inhabitants/Electronic Arts)
- Lorne Lanning, Rich McKain, Iain Morton, Raymond Swanland

Psychonauts (Double Fine Productions/Majesco Entertainment Company)
- Scott Campbell

Shadow of the Colossus (Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.)
- Atsuko Fukuyama, Hitoshi Niwa, Shunpei Suzuki, Fumito Ueda


Game Design

Animal Crossing: Wild World (Nintendo EAD/Nintendo)
- Katsuya Eguchi, Hisashi Nogami, Takashi Tezuka, Kazumi Totaka

God of War (Sony Computer Entertainment America)
- David Jaffe

Nintendogs (Nintendo EAD/Nintendo)
- Tsutomu Kaneshige, Hideki Konno, Shigeru Miyamoto, Kiyoshi Mizuki

Psychonauts (Double Fine Productions/Majesco Entertainment Company)
- Erik Robson, Tim Schafer

Shadow of the Colossus (Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.)
- Junichi Hosono, Fumito Ueda


Best Technology

Battlefield 2: Modern Combat (Digital Illusions/Electronic Arts)
- Fred Gill, Måns Vestin

Guitar Hero (Harmonix Music Systems/RedOctane)
- Eran Egozy, Eric Malafeew, Phil Winston

Nintendogs (Nintendo EAD/Nintendo)
- Tsutomu Kaneshige

Project Gotham Racing 3 (Bizarre Creations/Microsoft Game Studios)
- Edmund Clay, Roger Perkins, Phil Teschner, Ian Wilson

Shadow of the Colossus (Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.)
- Jinji Horagai, Takuya Seki, Hajime Sugiyama, Masanobu Tanaka


Best Visual Arts

God of War (Sony Computer Entertainment America)
- Steve Caterson, Terry Smith, Charlie Wen

Project Gotham Racing 3 (Bizarre Creations/Microsoft Game Studios)
- Gren Atherton, Julie McGurren, Peter Roe, Kiki Wolfkill

Resident Evil 4 (Capcom Production Studio 4/Capcom Entertainment)
- Yusuke Hashimoto, Yoshiaki Hirabayashi, Yusuke Kan, Masaki Yamanaka

Shadow of the Colossus (Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.)
- Koji Hasegawa, Hironobu Nakano, Masanori Kajita, Fumito Ueda

We Love Katamari (Namco Limited/Namco Hometek)
- Keita Takahashi, Takeshi Ugajin


Best Writing

Freedom Force vs. The 3rd Reich (Irrational Games/Vivendi Universal Games)
- Ken Levine

God of War (Sony Computer Entertainment America)
- David Jaffe, Marianne Krawcyzk, Alex Stein

Indigo Prophecy (Quantic Dream/Atari)
- David Cage

Jade Empire (BioWare Corp./Microsoft Game Studios)
- Drew Karpyshyn, Brian Kindregan, Luke Kristjanson, Mike Laidlaw, Peter Thomas, Mac Walters

Psychonauts (Double Fine Productions/Majesco Entertainment Company)
- Tim Schafer, Erik Wolpaw


Best New Studio

ArenaNet (Guild Wars)
- Mike O'Brien, Jeff Strain, Patrick Wyatt

Double Fine Productions (Psychonauts)
- Caroline Esmurdoc, Tim Schafer

New Crayon Games (Bonnie's Bookstore)
- Phil Steinmeyer

TellTale Games (Bone: Out From Boneville)
- David Bogan, Kevin Bruner, Dan Connors, Troy Molander

Wideload Games (Stubbs the Zombie in Rebel Without a Pulse)
- Alexander Seropian


Innovation Award

Nintendogs (Nintendo EAD/Nintendo)
- Tsutomu Kaneshige

Guitar Hero (Harmonix Music Systems/RedOctane)
- Eric Brosius, Kasson Crooker

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