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The Steam Winter Sale is live

(Image credit: Valve)

The 2020 Steam Winter Sale has begun! In the finest tradition of the season, this year's event feature discounts on thousands of games, plus festive new items in the Steam Points Shop and the beginning of voting on the 2020 Steam Awards.

Steam Awards nominations attracted a whopping 5.3 million votes during the recent Autumn Sale, and more than 1.6 million new user reviews were added by Steam users looking to upgrade the badge earned for nominating a game. When the noms closed and the numbers were tallied, this is what we got: 

Game of the Year

  • Red Dead Redemption 2
  • Hades
  • Doom Eternal
  • Fall Guys
  • Death Stranding

VR Game of the Year

  • Half-Life: Alyx
  • Phasmophobia
  • The Room VR: A Dark Matter
  • Thief Simulator VR
  • Star Wars Squadrons

Labor of Love

  • Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
  • Among Us
  • Terraria
  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
  • No Man's Sky

Better With Friends

  • Fall Guys
  • Sea of Thieves
  • Borderlands 3
  • Deep Rock Galactic
  • Risk of Rain 2

Most Innovative Gameplay

  • Fall Guys
  • Sea of Thieves
  • Borderlands 3
  • Deep Rock Galactic
  • Risk of Rain 2

Outstanding Story-Rich Game

  • Red Dead Redemption 2
  • Detroit: Become Human
  • Mafia Definitive Edition
  • Metro Exodus
  • Horizon Zero Dawn

Best Game You Suck At

  • Red Dead Redemption 2
  • Detroit: Become Human
  • Mafia Definitive Edition
  • Metro Exodus
  • Horizon Zero Dawn

Outstanding Visual Style

  • Ori and the Will of the Wisps
  • Battlefield 5
  • There Is No Game
  • Marvel's Avengers
  • Black Mesa
  • (Cloudpunk was for some reason not included among the nominees, so I'm inserting it here. You can't actually vote for it, but I'm declaring it the winner anyway.)

Best Soundtrack

  • Doom Eternal
  • Halo: The Master Chief Collection
  • Helltaker
  • Need for Speed: Heat
  • Persona 4 Golden

Sit Back and Relax Award

  • The Sims 4
  • Microsoft Flight Simulator
  • Satisfactory
  • Untitled Goose Game
  • Factorio

Voting for the 2020 Steam Awards will be open until 9 am PT on January 3, and along with helping to elevate your chosen champion to the top of the heap, casting your ballot will also get you some Steam trading cards.

If you'd like to add some holiday flair to your digital life, the Steam Points Shop, which debuted as a permanent storefront fixture in this year's Steam Summer Sale, is also offering a number of new seasonal items for purchase, including animated stickers, avatars, community awards, and a "Seasonal Profile." 

(For those who haven't yet taken the tour, Steam users earn 100 points for every $1 they spend on Steam, which can be redeemed in the Points Shop for avatars, frames, backgrounds, badges, and other digital items, some game-related and others tied to specific events. As Wes noted shortly after it went live, it's also a sometimes-shocking reminder of just how much money you spend on Steam.)

As for those sweet Yuletide deals, which is what we're really here for, we're making a list of games and prices that we think you might like, and we'll have it up for your shortly. (Have to check it twice, you know—and also wait for Steam to bounce back from the inevitable crush of eager bargain-hunters.) The Steam Winter Sale 2020 runs until January 5.

Andy covers the day-to-day happenings in the big, wide world of PC gaming—the stuff we call "news." In his off hours, he wishes he had time to play the 80-hour RPGs and immersive sims he used to love so much.