Elden Ring clinches Steam's GOTY award in results with only one weird surprise

Elden Ring official artwork
(Image credit: From Software)
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The people have spoken, and they've said… pretty much what you expect. The Steam Awards results (opens in new tab) are in, and the final tally of December's voting process hasn't produced many surprises. Elden Ring nabbed the main Game of the Year trophy (hey, good choice (opens in new tab)), and the other ten awards went to a thoroughly unshocking set of games, with one possible exception. Here are those results in full:

  • Game of the Year: Elden Ring
  • VR Game of the Year: Hitman 3
  • Labour of Love: Cyberpunk 2077
  • Better with Friends: Raft
  • Outstanding Visual Style: Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales
  • Most Innovative Gameplay: Stray
  • Best Game You Suck At: Elden Ring
  • Best Soundtrack: Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade
  • Outstanding Story-Rich Game: God of War
  • Sit Back and Relax: Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga
  • Best Game on the Go: Death Stranding Director's Cut

Those are certainly some good games with big budgets and lots of name recognition. It's difficult to pick fault with them, almost every single one slots into its category like a foot in a well-worn shoe. Hitman 3 is a great VR game (opens in new tab), YouTuber-favourite Raft is a fun time with friends, and Stray turns you into a cat, which I've never been before, ergo it's innovative. QED. It is interesting to see Cyberpunk 2077 picking up the Labour of Love award, though, which suggests players are at least happy with how CDPR has handled the game since its botched 2020 launch.

Although I'm incensed that Final Fantasy took home the soundtrack prize instead of Persona 5, the only actually weird result is Death Stranding. Kojima's post-apocalyptic mailman sim reportedly runs well on the Steam Deck (opens in new tab), but it'll chew through your battery on high-ish settings and doesn't really seem like the kind of game I'd whip out while waiting in a departures lounge. I would've thought Vampire Survivors would be a more apt choice for on-the-go gaming, but I suppose I lack the wisdom of Steam's voting masses. Death Stranding is pretty great (opens in new tab) regardless of where you play it, after all.

Giving people incentives to vote—in the form of Steam trading cards worth valuable pennies—even if they're not really invested in the result seems to have mostly produced a list of 'Games People Have Heard Of', which is a mite disappointing. I'd like to propose a new system for the next awards: Game of the Year—Sortition (opens in new tab) Edition, in which the winner of each category is chosen by Gabe Newell flinging one of his many knives at a dartboard filled with Steam game names. That's proper democracy.

Joshua Wolens
News Writer

One of Josh's first memories is of playing Quake 2 on the family computer when he was much too young to be doing that, and he's been irreparably game-brained ever since. His writing has been featured in Vice, Fanbyte, and the Financial Times. He'll play pretty much anything, and has written far too much on everything from visual novels to Assassin's Creed. His most profound loves are for CRPGs, immersive sims, and any game whose ambition outstrips its budget. He thinks you're all far too mean about Deus Ex: Invisible War.