The Game Awards

6 biggest snubs and surprises from The Game Awards 2022 nominees

Not everyone is celebrating.

rose-engine

Kevin Winter/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

The Game Awards 2022 released its list of nominees this week, ushering in celebration for the games selected, and heaps of controversy over who got left out.

Shutterstock

While the nature of the show means some people are going to be disappointed, this year seemed to stir up players more than usual thanks to some shocking omissions — and questionable inclusions.

6. Best Performance

The Best Performance category was packed, so it’s no surprise some incredible actors were overlooked. In replies to The Game Awards’ tweet asking who got snubbed, Danielle Bisutti as God of War Ragnarok’s Freya appears more than almost any other reply.

Santa Monica Studio

Like Ragnarok, Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is full of great performances, but not a single one was nominated this year.

Monolith Soft

5. Best Score and Music

This year had more great game soundtracks than could fit in one category, but a few exclusions are downright baffling. For all its flaws, Sonic Frontiers’ score is maybe the best in the series, with intense, anime-as-hell boss themes and some surprising orchestral pieces as well.

Sonic Team

Ubisoft

Then there’s Mario and Rabbids: Sparks of Hope, which features a frankly ridiculous lineup of legendary composers: Yoko Shimomura (Kingdom Hearts), Grant Kirkhope (Banjo-Kazooie), and Gareth Coker (Ori and the Blind Forest).

4. Art Direction

The Best Art Direction category rewards graphical fidelity above all else. Every nominated game does look great, but almost every one aims for realism over all other concerns.

FromSoftware

Santa Ragione

This year saw plenty of games with style: Neon White, Rollerdrome, Return to Monkey Island, Saturnalia, Tunic — the list goes on, but tech specs still won out over inventive art.

3. Most Anticipated Game

Given the absolutely massive success of Final Fantasy VII Remake, it’s shocking that its sequel, Rebirth, was nowhere to be seen. But the Most Anticipated Game category had a much bigger problem this year...

Square Enix

Maybe it’s not surprising, but it’s certainly disappointing. Despite its source material’s racist and antisemitic tropes, J.K. Rowling’s years of bigoted comments, and trans people begging you not to play it, some people are still on board for Hogwarts Legacy.

Avalanche Software

2. The Stray Sweep

A game that lets you play as a cat was destined to get a lot of attention, but Stray’s five Game Awards nominations were a big surprise. It’s by far the smallest game with a GOTY nomination, but it’s also in indie categories alongside solo-developed games.

BlueTwelve Studio

Stray’s multi-nomination status illustrates the lack of clarity around what an indie game even is. The recipient of a major marketing push from Sony, it’s too big to really be called an indie, but it’s the closest to one we’re likely to see up for GOTY.

BlueTwelve Studio

1. Indies

However nebulous their definition, this year was absolutely bursting with fantastic indie games. While true tiny-team masterpieces like Sephonie and The Curse of the Golden Idol never stood a chance, others like Signalis broke through enough to make their exclusion puzzling.

Analgesic Productions

Jump Over the Age

Indie games were shoved off to their own category, where they fought it out with big names like Sifu, or they stayed relegated to the murky Games for Impact category.

However imprecise the term “indie” is, their second-class status at the Game Awards does a disservice to some of the most interesting, impactful games being made today.

rose-engine