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story.lead_photo.caption "Untitled Goose Game" (Panic/House House)

The video games industry heralded "Untitled Goose Game," made by a small Australian studio, as the finest game of 2019. House House, the game developer, was among indie outfits that won big Feb. 6 at the 2020 DICE Awards, hosted by the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences in Las Vegas.

Besides Game of the Year, the goose also won Outstanding Achievement in Character and Outstanding Achievement for an Independent Game.

House House wasn't in town to accept its triump over award-winning big-budget titles such as "Death Stranding" and "Control." Instead, they sent their pal and fellow Melbourne developer Trent Kusters, co-founder of game development collective League of Geeks.

"It was the hip thing to be into indie games, but now indie games are so accessible and ubiquitous, they're now just games that cater to different types of people," Kusters said, beaming with pride for his friends and peers. "Just like 'Disco Elysium' caters to different people than 'Sekiro' does."

"Disco Elysium," by developer ZA/UM, won Outstanding Achievement in Story.

Other big indie wins: "Baba Is You" by Hempuli Oy won Outstanding Achievement in Game Design, beating out "Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice" by From Software, the Japanese studio behind the "Dark Souls" series.

Immersive Reality Game of the Year went to "Pistol Whip," a VR game made by Cloudhead Games, which beat out Sony's "Blood and Truth" (which won the award for Immersive Reality Technical Achievement). Cloudhead Games, based in Vancouver, has a staff of 20 people.

Big budget titles won big awards at DICE, including Remedy's "Control" for Outstanding Achievement in Game Direction, EA's "Apex Legends" for Outstanding Achievement in Online Gameplay; Nintendo won the Strategy/Simulation Game of the Year for "Fire Emblem: Three Houses"

Kusters said he believes award categories for smaller games — think "Best Indie Game" versus "Best Game" — are still necessary, but he welcomed the celebration of small budget works.

"Maybe it's unfair to put a micro game up against 'Sekiro' or 'Overwatch' for game of the year, so it's good to have your own categories," Kusters said. "But when it comes to actual game of the year? Let it take down 'Sekiro,' or if 'Sekiro' is better, let it take the win. Doesn't matter if it's made by three dudes in Slovakia or some girl in Estonia Skyping in most days."

Here is the full list of winners:

Game of the Year: Untitled Goose Game

Publisher: Panic

Developer: House House

Outstanding Achievement in Game Direction: Control

Publisher: 505 Games

Developer: Remedy Entertainment

Outstanding Achievement in Game Design: Baba Is You

Publisher: Hempuli Oy

Developer: Hempuli Oy

Portable Game of the Year: Sayonara Wild Hearts

Publisher: Annapurna Interactive

Developer: Simogo

Outstanding Achievement for an Independent Game: Untitled Goose Game

Publisher: Panic

Developer: House House

Immersive Reality Game of the Year: Pistol Whip

Publisher: Cloudhead Games

Developer: Cloudhead Games

Immersive Reality Technical Achievement: Blood & Truth

Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment

Developer: SIE London Studio

Outstanding Achievement in Online Gameplay: Apex Legends

Publisher: Electronic Arts

Developer: Respawn Entertainment

Strategy/Simulation Game of the Year: Fire Emblem: Three Houses

Publisher: Nintendo Co., Ltd.

Developer: Nintendo Co., Ltd., Intelligent Systems Co., Ltd. and Koei Tecmo Games Co., Ltd.

Sports Game of the Year: FIFA 2020

Publisher: EA Sports

Developer: EA Vancouver

Role-Playing Game of the Year: The Outer Worlds

Publisher: Private Division

Developer: Obsidian Entertainment

Racing Game of the Year: Mario Kart Tour

Publisher: Nintendo Co., Ltd.

Developer: Nintendo Co., Ltd.

Fighting Game of the Year: Mortal Kombat 11

Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment

Developer: NetherRealm Studios

Family Game of the Year Super: Mario Maker 2

Publisher: Nintendo Co., Ltd.

Developer: Nintendo Co., Ltd.

Adventure Game of the Year: Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order

Publisher: Electronic Arts

Developer: Respawn Entertainment

Action Game of the Year: Control

Publisher: 505 Games

Developer: Remedy Entertainment

Outstanding Technical Achievement: Death Stranding

Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment

Developer: Kojima Productions Co., Ltd.

Outstanding Achievement in Story: Disco Elysium

Publisher: ZA/UM

Developer: ZA/UM

Outstanding Achievement in Audio Design: Death Stranding

Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment

Developer: Kojima Productions Co., Ltd.

Outstanding Achievement in Original Music Composition: Control

Publisher: 505 Games

Developer: Remedy Entertainment

Outstanding Achievement in Character: Untitled Goose Game

Publisher: Panic

Developer: House House

Outstanding Achievement in Art Direction: Control

Publisher: 505 Games

Developer: Remedy Entertainment

Outstanding Achievement in Animation: Luigi's Mansion 3

Publisher: Nintendo Co., Ltd.

Developer: Next Level Games

videogames-awards

ActiveStyle on 02/24/2020

Print Headline: Indie games score big at 2020 DICE Awards

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