Open main menu

The SXSW Gaming Awards are awards given to video games during the annual South by Southwest Festival (SXSW), held in Austin, Texas typically in March of that year. The Awards are part of the SXSW Gaming Expo which is part of the SXSW Interactive branch of the festival.

SXSW Gaming Awards
2019 SXSW Gaming Awards
Sxsw gaming awards trophy.png
Awarded forOutstanding achievements in the video game industry
CountryUnited States
First awardedMarch 7, 2014; 5 years ago (2014-03-07)


Video games had been part of the SXSW within the SXSW Interactive branch; in 2006, the festival launched "Screenburn" as a special portion of the Interactive branch for video games, and later renamed this to SXSW Gaming in 2013.[1]

Matthew Crump, a veteran game developer, joined SXSW in 2012 and spearheaded the efforts to create the SXSW Gaming Awards to premiere during the 2014 festival.[2] The new awards in fifteen different categories were announced in September 2013 to be awarded during the 2014 festival.[3] However, Crump died from a heart attack just before the festival.[2] The event organizers opted to rename the "Cultural Innovation in Gaming" to the "Matthew Crump Cultural Innovation Award" to honor Crump's contributions to the festival.[4] Future years added additional award categories.


Developers and publishers must submit their games for consideration to the festival organizers prior to a deadline; these games generally must have had public release in the preceding calendar year to the festival (for example, for the inaugural 2014 awards, games had to be released in 2013).[3] The festival's organizers along with a panel of industry experts review all submissions and select the top five for each of the game categories. These are then opened to public voting for the final winner for each award to be chosen.[5]

The Gamer's Voice awards are exceptional to these: they are limited only to indie games released in the previous calendar year or the current year, and which any member of the public may nominate. The festival organizers select multiple games (typically more than five) after playing through each as nominees for the award. These games are featured in playable form at the SXSW festival to allow attendees to try them before they vote for their favorite.[5]

The awards ceremony is held near the end of the SXSW event, with celebrity and gaming hosts presenting the awards.

Show historyEdit

Year Event Number Date Location Hosts
2014 1st March 7, 2014 Long Center for the Performing Arts, Austin, TX Justine "iJustine" Ezarik and Smosh[3]
2015 2nd March 14, 2015 Austin City Limits Live at The Moody Theater, Austin, TX Janet Varney and Mark Edward "Markiplier" Fischbach[6]
2016 3rd March 19, 2016 Hilton Austin Downtown, Austin, TX Séan "Jacksepticeye" William McLoughlin and Rachel "Seltzer" Quirico[7]
2017 4th March 18, 2017 Hilton Austin Downtown, Austin, TX OMGitsfirefoxx and Xavier Woods[8]
2018 5th March 17, 2018 Hilton Austin Downtown, Austin, TX Alanah Pearce and Rich Campbell[9]
2019 6th March 16, 2019 Hilton Austin Downtown, Austin, TX Lindsay Jones and Alex Corea[10]


Video Game of the YearEdit

This award was named "Game of the Year" in 2014, but was renamed when the Mobile and Tabletop awards were added.

Mobile Game of the YearEdit

Tabletop Game of the YearEdit

VR Game of the YearEdit

Excellence in GameplayEdit

Excellence in ArtEdit

Excellence in AnimationEdit

Excellence in Visual AchievementEdit

Excellence in Technical AchievementEdit

Excellence in NarrativeEdit

Excellence in Design and DirectionEdit

Excellence in Gaming MarketingEdit

Excellence in SFXEdit

Excellence in Musical ScoreEdit

Excellence in MultiplayerEdit

Formally "Best Multiplayer Game" until 2016

Excellence in ConvergenceEdit

Awarded for a game that exemplifies crossover medium appeal. Formally the "Convergence Award" until 2016

Texas Arts AchievementEdit

Awarded to a Texas-based studio or game

Matthew Crump Cultural Innovation AwardEdit

Awarded for a game that challenges the normal idea of video gaming, offering a culturally innovative view of the world

Most Valuable CharacterEdit

Most Promising New Esports GameEdit

Formerly "Esports Game of the Year" until 2019.

Most Valuable eSports TeamEdit

Most Valuable Online ChannelEdit

Most Entertaining Online PersonalityEdit

Most Valuable Add-On ContentEdit

Most Anticipated Crowdfunded GameEdit

Most Fulfilling Community-Funded GameEdit

Formerly "Most Fulfilling Crowdfunded Game" until 2018.

Most Promising New Intellectual PropertyEdit

Most Evolved GameEdit

Trending Game of the YearEdit

Fan Creation of the YearEdit

  • 2017 - Brutal Doom 64, Sergeant_Mark_IV[13]

Gamer's Voice AwardEdit

Award to an indie game voted by the public; split into Single and Multi-player categories in 2016.

Single PlayerEdit



  • 2019 - Intruders: Hide & Seek, Tessera Studios[15]


  1. ^ SXSW Interactive: A Growing Outlet For Video Games, Matt Clark, iQU', March 14, 2012 Archived May 24, 2013, at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ a b Sarkar, Samit (March 3, 2014). "SXSW Gaming Expo coordinator, developer Matthew Crump dies". Polygon. Retrieved March 5, 2017.
  3. ^ a b c Tact, Dave (September 12, 2013). "SXSW Gaming Expo adding Gaming Awards in 2014". Polygon. Retrieved March 5, 2017.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p Renovich, James (March 8, 2014). "SXSW Gaming Awards Winners". Austin Chronicle. Retrieved March 5, 2017.
  5. ^ a b "SXSW Gaming Awards". SXSW. Retrieved March 5, 2017.
  6. ^ "Second Annual SXSW Gaming Awards Announces Top Winners in 21 Categories" (PDF). South by Southwest. March 14, 2015. Retrieved March 12, 2017.
  7. ^ Whatley, Tucker (January 26, 2016). "SXSW Gaming Awards Finalists Announced". Austin Chronicle. Retrieved March 12, 2017.
  8. ^ Krajewski, Brandon (February 6, 2017). "SXSW Gaming Awards Voting Ends Soon". IGN. Retrieved March 12, 2017.
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u "2018 SXSW Gaming Awards Winners Revealed". IGN. March 18, 2018. Retrieved March 18, 2018.
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u Trent, Logan (March 17, 2019). "2019 SXSW Gaming Awards Winners Announced". SXSW. Retrieved March 17, 2019.
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u Karmali, Luke (March 16, 2015). "Dragon Age: Inquisition Wins SXSW Game of the Year". IGN. Retrieved March 5, 2017.
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v Dornbrush, Jonathan (March 21, 2016). "SXSW Gaming Awards 2016 winners". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved March 5, 2017.
  13. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w Makuch, Eddie (March 19, 2017). "Uncharted 4 Wins Game Of The Year At SXSW Awards". GameSpot. Retrieved March 19, 2017.
  14. ^ Khan, Zarmena (March 17, 2019). "God of War Takes Home 'Game of the Year' at SXSW 2019 Gaming Awards". PlayStation LifeStyle. Retrieved March 17, 2019.
  15. ^ Cite error: The named reference 2019 win was invoked but never defined (see the help page).

External linksEdit