As the Oscars are to film and the Emmys are to television, so too are The Game Awards to the video game industry.
The annual event occurred earlier this week, and we saw a ton of major announcements and new trailers bursting onto the scene.
But the heart of the event has and will always be the actual awards themselves, and this year was no different. While there were many winners on that night, one title stood head and shoulders above them all, taking home a massive seven victories.
This didn’t come as a shock to anyone. The Last of Us: Part 2 was a huge success for Sony and Naughty Dog, and it’s the kind of artsy deep game that award shows eat up. So, everyone was expecting big things from the PlayStation exclusive title and those expectations more than lived up to reality.
One of the seven awards netted by the zombie horror sequel was the coveted Game of the Year award. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic rampaging through the world in 2020, there were a huge number of massive games that made competition for this award fierce.
You had Hades, Animal Crossing: New Horizons, Doom Eternal, Ghost of Tsushima, and Final Fantasy VII: Remake all vying for the top slot.
Both Ghost of Tsushima and Final Fantasy VII: Remake are also PlayStation exclusives, so there was a good chance that this would prove a big night for Sony.
— The Game Awards (@thegameawards) December 11, 2020
Naughty Dog’s new co-president, Neil Druckmann, who served as director of The Last of Us: Part 2, accepted the award virtually.
“Everyone at Naughty Dog, I can’t wait to hug and high five and get drunk with each one of you,” he said. “That’s gonna have to wait until next year. I wanna just thank every person who worked on this game within Naughty Dog and outside. We’d like to thank our friends and family that stood by us and supported us throughout us making this game. You inspire us not only to make better, more meaningful games, but to improve how we make games. On behalf of everyone at Naughty Dog, thank you.”
Some of the other awards that The Last of Us: Part 2 took home included Best Action/Adventure, Best Audio Design, Innovation in Accessibility, Best Game Direction, Best Narrative, and Best Performance for Laura Bailey, who played newcomer Abby.
Bailey’s win was something of a major victory in the face of fan reactions to the title. Both her character and the actress personally became targets of fanboy rage, which included death threats.
Abby’s actions in the game, one in particular, set off the fires of fan rage, and many took that rage out on Bailey.
“I was such a fan of he original The Last of Us,” Bailey said in her acceptance speech. “I fell in love with Joel and Ellie. So it’s not surprise to me that Abby’s role within this story has been met with such passionate responses. But to have been able to play a fantastically challenging character who, through her story, enables to find forgiveness and empathy is something that I’ll be eternally grateful for.”