The Game Awards 2023: Baldur's Gate 3 and Alan Wake 2 top nominations

A mythical female warrior from Baldur's Gate 3 with green skin and pointy ears. She looks stern, her red eyes focused on something in the distance. We can see her braided hair spilling down her back and the silver shoulder guard of her ornate armour. In the background, a large, black dragon flies into the shot through a thick yellowish-brown cloud.
Baldur's Gate 3 was already a big winner at the UK's Golden Joystick awards

The contenders for this year's Game Awards have been announced, with Baldur's Gate 3 and Alan Wake 2 picking up the most nominations.

Dubbed the "Oscars of gaming" by some and the "industry's longest commercial" by others, the show is a major event.

In a year stuffed with critically acclaimed releases, competition for the top awards is likely to be fierce at the ceremony on 7 December.

Both frontrunners got eight nominations each, including Game of the Year.

Survival horror Alan Wake 2 and fantasy RPG Baldur's Gate 3 will also face off in the Best Game Direction, Best Narrative, Best Music and Best Performance categories.

They're joined in the Game of the Year race by PS5 exclusive Spider-Man 2, Resident Evil 4 Remake, Super Mario Bros Wonder and The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom.

Xbox exclusive Starfield was notably absent from most of the main categories but did get a nomination in the Best RPG category.

In Best Performance, British actor Ben Starr's turn in Final Fantasy XVI is up against Idris Elba's appearance in Cyberpunk 2077 expansion Phantom Liberty.

As for independent games, puzzle adventure Cocoon and fishing-meets-HP Lovecraft adventure Dredge are both nominated for best debut and best indie overall.

About 40 members of an orchestra holding a variety of instruments line up on stage at the Game Awards. The backdrop is the event logo - an abstract set of diagonal lines forming a V shape - and The Game Awards in large, silver capital letters. The backdrop is a blue-hued, swirling pattern that resembles the rocky interior of a cavern. The stage is so large that the orchestra appears quite small by comparison even though there are three-dozen members.
The Game Awards is held in front of a live audience but also streamed worldwide

Set up by journalist Geoff Keighley in 2014, The Game Awards have grown into a major event and organisers estimate that 103 million livestream viewers tuned in worldwide last year.

The ceremony is a mixture of awards show and preview event, with many fans watching for new trailers and announcements of forthcoming titles.

A common criticism of the show is that it spends more time showing trailers and ads than it does on handing out prizes, but there are usually major announcements.

Last year's reveals included new glimpses of the Super Mario Bros Movie and Hideo Kojima's Death Stranding sequel, plus release dates for Final Fantasy XVI and Diablo IV.

But there are still 31 awards in total across a wide range of categories including audio design, best independent game and accessibility and innovation.

Winners are decided by a panel of industry experts and a fan vote which counts for 10% of the final score.

A tall African American man wearing a sparkly gold jacket embraces a shorter, Italian American man in a joyful scene. The man in the gold jacket holds a silver award in one hand, his other is draped around the shoulder of the other man, who has his arms wrapped around the award winner. Behind them a backdrop of a shiny, red fabric pattern graphic is visible.
Say hello to my little friend: God of War voice actor Christopher Judge received his 2022 best performance award from Al Pacino

Last year God of War Ragnarök won the night and took home six awards, including Best Performance for Kratos voice actor Christopher Judge.

His whopping eight-minute acceptance speech was one of the most memorable moments of the night, second only to "flute guy" - the orchestra member who stole the show with his energetic performance.

A full list of 2023's nominees can be found on The Game Awards website.

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