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'Inscryption' Wins Game of the Year at GDCA 2022

Daniel Mullins Games' Inscryption transcended expectations once again to win Game of the Year at the Game Developers Choice Awards on Wednesday—making it the first game to ever win top prize at both the IGF Awards and GDCA. 

Inscryption’s unique blend of deckbuilding roguelike, escape-room style puzzles, and psychological horror won top honors at GDCA—part of GDC 2022, which returned in-person to the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco. It's the first game to be honored with Game of the Year at the Game Developers Choice Awards and the Seumas McNally Grand Prize at the Independent Games Festival Awards, the sister awards show held immediately before GDCA on the same stage.

Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart, the dimension-hopping latest adventure of the famous duo in the long-running series developed by Insomniac Games, won the Best Visual Art and Best Technology awards.

Witch Beam's Unpacking, the zen puzzle game about the familiar experience of pulling possessions out of boxes and fitting them into a new home, received the awards for Best Audio and the Innovation Award.

Iron Gate Studio won Best Debut for its work on Valheim, an exploration and survival game set in a mysterious procedurally-generated world inspired by Norse mythology. Valheim also won the Audience Award, which was selected through a public vote. 

The other big winners of the night include the quirky and cerebral platform game Psychonauts 2, developed by Double Fine Productions, which won the Best Narrative award. Hazelight Studios’ It Takes Two, the heartfelt cooperative action-adventure about a couple going through a divorce forced to work together, won the Best Design award. The debut Social Impact Award, which recognizes a game that advances equality, justice, intersectionality, and/or sustainability, and works to positively impact lives in a meaningful way, went to the dungeon crawler-dating sim Boyfriend Dungeon by Kitfox Games.

“It’s always wonderful to be able to honor these individuals, who have created some of the most innovative and entertaining games from the past year, but it’s been extra special to be able hold the awards ceremony in person again tonight,” said Katie Stern, who oversees GDC as VP of Entertainment Media at Informa Tech. “The return of the Game Developers Choice Awards and GDC to the Moscone made this a memorable evening that we were delighted to share with such talented people.”

In addition to the best games of the last year, the GDCAs also honor the dedicated individuals who have helped further the art, science and craft of video games with special awards. The Ambassador Award, which is presented to someone who has helped video games advance to a better place through advocacy and action, was given to Steven Spohn. Spohn is a driving force for accessibility in games and Senior Director of Development of the AbleGamers charity. The Lifetime Achievement Award recipient was Yuji Horii, the creator of the legendary Dragon Quest series. Horii’s groundbreaking work has influenced and inspired role-playing game design since the release of Dragon Quest in 1986.

Here is a video highlighting the winners of the 2022 GDCA ceremony. We've also provided the full list below.

Best Debut

Iron Gate Studio for Valheim

Best Visual Art

Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart (Insomniac Games / Sony Interactive Entertainment)

Best Audio

Unpacking (Witch Beam / Humble Games)

Best Narrative

Psychonauts 2 (Double Fine Productions / Xbox Game Studios)

Social Impact Award

Boyfriend Dungeon (Kitfox Games) 

Innovation Award

Unpacking (Witch Beam / Humble Games)

Best Technology

Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart (Insomniac Games / Sony Interactive Entertainment)

Best Design

It Takes Two (Hazelight Studios / Electronic Arts)

Audience Award 

Valheim (Iron Gate Studio / Coffee Stain Publishing)

Game of the Year

Inscryption (Daniel Mullins Games / Devolver Digital)

Ambassador Award

Steven Spohn

Lifetime Achievement Award

Yuji Horii

Winners were selected by the Game Developers Choice Awards-specific International Choice Awards Network (ICAN), which is an invitation-only organization, composed of leading game creators from all parts of the industry.

GDC is happening now in San Francisco, March 21-25! For more information on GDC 2022, including our virtual options, be sure to visit our website and follow the #GDC22 hashtag on social media.

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