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Steam Winter Sale start date confirmed, Steam Award nominees announced

Valve has announced the final list of nominees for the 2018 Steam Awards, and has also confirmed that the Steam Winter Sale, as rumored yesterday, will begin on December 20.   

First things first: The shortlist! The categories for 2018 are somewhat more grounded than they have been in previous years—no trying to figure out what the hell "Mom's Spaghetti" means, for instance. 

Game of the Year:

  • Playerunknown's Battlegrounds
  • Monster Hunter: World
  • Kingdom Come: Deliverance
  • Hitman 2
  • Assassin's Creed Odyssey

VR Game of the Year:

  • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim VR
  • VRChat
  • Beat Saber
  • Fallout 4 VR
  • Superhot VR

Labor of Love:

  • Dota 2
  • Grand Theft Auto V
  • No Man's Sky
  • Path of Exile
  • Stardew Valley

Best Environment:

  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
  • Subnautica
  • Shadow of the Tomb Raider
  • Far Cry 5
  • Dark Souls 3

Better with Friends:

  • Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
  • Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege
  • Payday 2
  • Dead by Daylight
  • Overcooked! 2

Best Alternate History:

  • Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus
  • Assassin's Creed Odyssey
  • Hearts of Iron 4
  • Sid Meier's Civilization 6
  • Fallout 4

Most Fun with a Machine:

  • Euro Truck Simulator 2
  • Rocket League
  • NieR: Automata
  • Factorio
  • Space Engineers

Best Developer:

  • CD Projekt Red
  • Ubisoft
  • Bethesda
  • Rockstar Games
  • Digital Extremes Ltd.
  • Square Enix
  • Capcom
  • Paradox Interactive
  • Bandai Namco Entertainment
  • Klei

You will notice that the "Best Developer" category has ten nominees—twice as many as all the others. This, Valve explained, is because it was a "highly-contested category" during the nominations, and so it expanded the category (and excluded itself from it) to give all the contenders a proper shot.   

Valve said that voting for the 2018 Steam Awards will begin on December 20, "along with the launch of the 12th Annual Winter Sale," so there's that nailed down as well. Voting will be open until January 3, with Steam trading cards going to everyone who takes part. The winners are expected to be announced in February.

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.