Fan favourite Monster Hunter: World won the Japanese videogame industry’s top award at the 2018 Tokyo Game Show, with wordless puzzle story Gorogoa clinching Best Design.
Monster Hunter: World, released on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One at the beginning of the year, can add the Japan Game Awards’ Grand Award to its list of accomplishments.
Expanding on a well-established series formula while becoming more accessible for newcomers, it became first the franchise’s best-selling entry and then the publisher’s biggest hit over a 40-year history.
As well as the Grand Award, Monster Hunter: World was one of 11 titles to receive the Award for Excellence.
Among them were fellow double award winners Dragon Quest Xi: Echoes of An Elusive Age,” which collected Best Sales Award, and Call of Duty: WWII, the Global Award Foreign Product winner.
Global Award winner eligibility operated on a different timespan to the rest of the JGA field; most categories were intended for games released in Japan between April 2017 and March 2018, though the Global Award was for the January to December 2017 calendar year.
That’s how 2017’s Grand Award winner and Nintendo Switch launch title, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild was able to win the Global Award Japanese Product at the 2018 JGAs.
The inclusion of 2015’s Japanese iOS and Android release Fate/Grand Order among Award for Excellence recipients is a little less straightforward to decipher; a significant four-part update called Epic of Remnant was rolled out throughout 2017, Episode I arriving outside the eligibility period in February, with the remainder rolled out in June, October and November.
The night’s other Award for Excellence winners were worldwide multiplatform hit Fortnite and its Battle Royale forerunner PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, indie hit Undertale, and a quartet of Nintendo exclusives in Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, Splatoon 2, Super Mario Odyssey, and Xenoblade Chronicles 2.
Tile-moving narrative puzzle Gorogoa was named Game Designers Award winner, with Masahiro Sakurai – famed creator of the Kirby and Super Smash Bros franchises – praising “the splendid art, the unexpected solution, the mysterious story progression and presentation without the use of text”.
It’s a win not only for developer Jason Roberts but also recently launched publisher Annapurna Interactive, the videogames division of film company Annapurna Pictures, which has been building a reputation for artistically inclined, critically acclaimed experiences. – AFP Relaxnews