The annual DICE (Design, Innovate, Communicate, Entertain) Summit, an annual gathering of video game executives and home to the Entertainment Software Association’s Interactive Achievement Awards, happened in Las Vegas earlier this month. The event opened with multiple tournaments in which attendees could participate, while the remaining days were full of talks held by industry professionals. At the end of the final night, the winners of this year’s DICE awards were revealed.
Unlike other gaming award shows, the DICE awards focus on innovation and trends in the industry and how individual developers have impacted the market. Voting is limited to developers so, much like with the Oscars, DICE is an award ceremony to honor the best picked by the best.
Naughty Dog’s “The Last of Us,” received the most awards with a total of 11. The only other games to receive multiple awards were Irrational Games’ “Bioshock Infinite” for Best Action Game and Outstanding Achievement in Original Music Composition, and Popcap’s “Plants vs Zombies 2,” receiving both the Mobile Game of the Year and Casual Game of the Year awards.
“The Last of Us” was nominated for 12 awards including Adventure Game of the Year and many Outstanding Achievement awards. The Last of Us received every award it was nominated for, excluding Online Game of the Year, which went to Wargaming.net’s “World of Tanks.”
Competing with “The Last of Us” for Game of the Year were Ubisoft’s “Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag,” “Bioshock Infinite,” Rockstar’s “Grand Theft Auto V” and Nintendo’s “The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds.”
Other winners this year were “Link Between Worlds” with Best Handheld Game, Nintendo’s “Super Mario 3D World” with Best Family Game and Starbreeze Studios’ “Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons” with Downloadable Game of the Year.
“Injustice: Gods Among US” by Netherrealm Studios took home Fighting Game of the Year, with Turn 10 Studios’ “Forza 5” receiving Racing Game of the Year. Finally, Firaxis Games’ “XCOM: Enemy Within” won Strategy/Simulation Game of the Year and Blizzard Entertainment’s “Diablo 3” won Role-playing/Massively-Multiplayer Game of the Year.
President and Vice President of Rockstar Games, Sam and Dan Houser, as well as Grand Theft Auto Lead Developer, Leslie Menzies, were inducted into the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences Hall of Fame, joining the likes of Valve’s Gabe Newell, Nintendo’s Shigeru Miyamoto and Blizzard’s Michael Morhaime.
The DICE summit marks one of the final award ceremonies for the games of 2013, a year that saw some of the most blockbuster releases and indie cult hits of this decade. With two new consoles and the Steam series of consoles soon to be released, one can only hope that this year’s line-up proves to be as impressive.
By Noah Young and Alyse Stanley