The Looties: PC Gamer's random selection of other 2017 GOTY awards

Our Actual 2017 GOTY Awards

Not all awards are ironic. Here are our proper 2017 Game of the Year awards, as well as our new hardware awards.

It took our Bitcoin mining rig two weeks to spit out the solution to 'what is the hardest GOTY award to be mad about,' but our unscrupulous power consumption was worth it. Divinity: Original Sin 2 is the first uncontroversial Game of the Year award we've given in years. We finally did it!

Of course it couldn't last, though. After just a few days of basking in positive reinforcement, we also published awards for PUBG and Destiny 2, prompting questions such as: 'Are you drunk?' The answer is: probably. But we must press on. The end of the year is for awarding awards, and no number of incredulous reaction gifs and all caps emails can stop us. So before calling it quits, we grabbed a handful of rejected award ideas from our award box (after paying our office manager $1.99 for the key) to bring you the 2017 Looties, our other GOTY awards.

Best Mass Effect Game

Winner: Mass Effect: Andromeda

However you feel about Mass Effect: Andromeda, you have to admit that it's the best Mass Effect game that released this year, and at least the fourth best Mass Effect game of all time. Not too shabby! —Tyler Wilde

Most Effective Word of Mouth Marketing Campaign 

Winner: EA for Star Wars Battlefront 2

Wow! EA pulled off quite the marketing stunt for Battlefront 2: even politicians are talking about it. To make this word-of-mouth magic happen, the marketing savants at EA constructed a business model that it would be impossible to look at, even on paper, without saying: 'Excellent! Everyone is going to be very mad about this! In fact, even Disney will be mad. We'll definitely make Belgium's Justice Minister mad.' And like clockwork, that's what happened—literally anyone could have predicted it, which goes to show just how airtight the plan was. Nice one, EA! —Tyler Wilde

Most Unexpected Death

Winner: Dishonored 2: Death of the Outsider

It was a closely guarded secret all through the production of Dishonored 2: Death of the Outsider: The Outsider would die. The efforts taken to hide the death of the Outsider were extreme, with several fake endings to Death of the Outsider, in which the Outsider did not die, being fully produced and animated. The Outsider's voice actor spent days recording dozens of lines of dialogue intended to throw off any suspicions in case of a pre-launch leak, lines like "I am glad I did not die!" and "I, the Outsider, continue to live" and "There sure are a lot of deaths but thankfully none of them are of me, the Outsider." These efforts were completely worth it, because we were completely stunned when we got to the part of Death of the Outsider where we experienced the death of the Outsider. In fact, we feel a little bad not including a spoiler warning before this award, because now you know the Outsider, in Death of the Outsider, dies. —Chris Livingston

Most normal house

Winner: What Remains of Edith Finch

As evocative as the Finch's family home is, it's the realistic slice-of-life details that make it so compelling. For instance, there's the subtle inclusion of secret tunnels that only small people can fit through. We all know where ours are! (Though we must never find out what's behind them.) And rooms with entirely different colour schemes that perfectly show, down to the smallest detail, who lives there? These are the details I expect when I walk into a family home, not the unrealistic detritus you see in most so-called 'true to life' portrayals: mouldy pizza boxes stuffed down the side of a bed, embarrassing Star Trek tie-in novels in people's book collections, dad's copy of Band of Brothers on Blu-ray. As if we're not going to notice that the family dome is missing from that picture? Props to Edith Finch for getting it right. —Samuel Roberts

Wait, a Survival Game Left Early Access? 

Winner: The Long Ark

Wait, what? A survival game left Early Access this year? Wait, again! And what, again? Two of them? Ark: Survival Evolved and The Long Dark both left Early Access? Holy crap. I didn't know that was a thing that could happen. I thought maybe Steam forgot to make a 'Leave Early Access' button for survival game developers to click on, or maybe that they had to cut down a real tree using an axe made from a stick, a stone, and 'plant fiber' before they were allowed to leave Early Access and no one could actually do it. Well, good for Ark 'n Dark! May your stomach meters be full and your supply of firewood be plentiful. —Chris Livingston

Saddest Child

Winner: Little Nightmares

It's never been a better and worse time to be a sad child in a game, what with Inside and Rime showing that kids have it tough in service of entertaining players. Little Nightmares, though, offers the saddest child of 2017, as grotesque people regularly attempt to eat your character on a horror show of a boat while your character slowly starves to death. If it's not that, you have to avoid giant toy men who want to mess you up real bad. Will 2018 be another banner year for sad videogame children? I would expect so. This sub-genre is flourishing right now. —Samuel Roberts

Saddest Robots

Winner: Nier Automata

Have you met the member of the resistance group who reprograms a Yorha android because he's desperate to start a family? And then did you read the email afterwards that explains in cold detail how he and his new robot relations were killed? Nier features some deeply sad robots, all trying to figure themselves out in a box-y world where people no longer reside, but human feelings live on in their creations. Everyone's having a bad time. Except the robots having an orgy—they're loving it. —Samuel Roberts

Corporate Good Guy of the Year

Winner: Yosuke Matsuda, Square-Enix

It's rare to see major publishers behave with magnanimity when the big bucks are involved, so I was moved if not to tears, at least to substantial surprise when Square-Enix decided not to be jerks about the whole not wanting to make more Hitman games thing, and instead let IO Interactive walk away with the rights to their slap-headed, murderous creation. Credit for that has to go to big boss Yosuke Matsuda, who explained: "I believe it wouldn't be Hitman unless it was Hitman made by IO… I love the game, and I believe the fans of Hitman think it's only Hitman if it's made by IO. So I thought that was the best way for the game to continue, and that's why we were supportive of the MBO and of course didn't mind if they continued to use the IP." Imagine, Bobby Kotick at Activision saying something like that. You can't. Because he's buried under that pile of loot boxes. Shhh, Bobby. Let the darkness come. You're safe now. —Tim Clark

Corporate Bad Guy of the Year

Winner: Also Yosuke Matsuda, Square-Enix

Goddamnit. No sooner had I hung the garland on Matsuda-san than I realised he was also responsible for this year's greatest single moment of villainy: Ignoring the noble and righteous campaign led by our own Wesley Fenlon to have Final Fantasy Tactics finally ported to PC. I mean, I can't be sure this is entirely Matsuda's fault, but I also can't be certain he isn't to blame. So here we are. I mean, c'mon Square. You've jammed every other Fantasy onto Steam except that one about the hot boys riding around chasing chocobo tail in a black cadillac, why the hell can't we have Tactics? It's literally one of the best turn-based strategy games ever made, and would be an absolute delight to play with mouse and keyboard. To be honest, if it was between this and letting the Hitman devs families' starve… —Tim Clark

Also, you can literally fight him in Nier: Automata, which makes him a true (but extremely cool, dammit) bad guy. —Wes Fenlon