The Canadian Videogame Awards were handed out in Toronto on Friday (November 21) for 2013 and 2014.
(I was a member of the jury for both years, it should be noted.)
Montreal’s Ubisoft was the big winner, taking home the awards for Game of the Year in both years, for Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag in 2013 and Watch_Dogs in 2014. (The full list of winners is below.)
The only Lower Mainland studio taking home an award was Next Level for Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon. Electronic Arts, which has a sizeable campus in Burnaby, was shut out, despite producing popular games like FIFA and NHL.
On the phone from EA Canada, Colin Macrae said he was “disappointed”.
“We submitted games under a number of different categories,” explained Macrae, the senior director of communications for the studio.
“It’s up the game community to nominate themselves,” said Victor Lucas, a co-producer of the CVAs. In a phone interview he said that he was disappointed that judges weren’t able to consider Dragon Age: Inquisition or Far Cry 4 for the 2014 awards because the publishers weren’t able to provide the jury with copies of the games in time.
Producers moved the CVAs from the spring to the fall to accommodate publishers who wanted to capitalize on the promotional bang that can come from an award-show win during the holiday buying season. Handing out awards for both 2013 and 2014 in the same event was a way to reconcile the schedule.
Lucas said that going forward he’d like to hold the CVAs in the last week of November, to give developers a couple of extra weeks to submit materials.
If games aren’t ready to be played by jury members by early November, reasoned Lucas, they won’t be ready to release to the public in time for the holiday buying season. “Or the games will be broken,” he added.
Macrae said that EA is looking forward to next year’s CVAs, when he expects Dragon Age: Inquisition to be in competition. “It just came out and is globally in the conversation,” he said, adding that it’s been nominated for Best Role Playing Game and Game of the Year in the Game Awards, which debut in Las Vegas next month.
Actor Mark Meer hosted last week’s awards show, and presenters included other actors with experience working on video game productions, including Kate Drummond, Jennifer Hale, Roger Craig Smith, and Eliax Toufexis, as well as on-air personalities from EP Media.
The CVAs were streamed on Twitch and EPN.tv, and will be broadcast on G4 Canada on November 29 (6 p.m., 9 p.m., and midnight local time) and November 30 (2 p.m., 7 p.m., and 11 p.m. local time).
2014 Canadian Videogame Awards winners
Game of the Year Watch_Dogs
Fans’ Choice Award Dragons: Rise of Berk
Best Console Game Watch_Dogs
Best Downloadable Game Child of Light
Best Game on the Go Skylanders Trap Team
Best iOS Game Hitman GO
Best Social/Casual Game i saw her across the world
Best Animation Child of Light
Best Audio Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag Freedom Cry
Best Game Design Hitman GO
Best Game Innovation Super Time Force
Best Indie Game Always Sometimes Monsters
Best New Character Child of Light (Aurora)
Best Original Music Child of Light: "Aurora’s Theme"
Best Technology Watch_Dogs
Best Visual Arts Child of Light
Best Writing Always Sometimes Monsters
Winners of the 2013 Canadian Videogame Awards
Game of the Year Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag
Fans’ Choice Award Outlast
Best Console Game Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag
Best Downloadable Game Guacamelee!
Best Game on the Go Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon
Best iOS Game Baldur’s Gate II: Enhanced Edition
Best Social/Casual Game UNO & Friends
Best Animation Batman: Arkham Origins
Best Audio Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon
Best Game Design Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag
Best Game Innovation Contrast
Best Indie Game Guacamelee!
Best New Character Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag (Edward Kenway)
Best Original Music Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon ("Power Core" by Power Glove)
Best Technology Dead Rising 3
Best Visual Arts Batman: Arkham Origins
Best Writing Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag