#1 Posted by I_smell (3925 posts) -
#2 Edited by I_smell (3925 posts) -

On the Day 4 episode they talked about getting rid of "Best Downloadable", because the idea that Walking Dead and Journey can never compete with Far Cry 3 and XCOM is an outdated one. About half of the best games this year were under $20 releases.
 
Personally I was surprised they still had this category! Cut it THIS year, not next year! 
What's with the baby-steps? The site's called "Giant Bomb", not "Medium-Sized Carefully Maintain The Status Quo Bomb"!
 I think this is the year they should've made the statement and carved out a "Best Publisher-Funded Game" or something instead, to flip the script and acknowledge that small developers like FTL and Hotline Miami, Fez and Mark of the Ninja have earned their mark in the videogame zeitgeist.

#3 Edited by Hobbes2 (31 posts) -

Yeah, I feel like the actual GOTY discussions are going to be much less interesting now that they've gone over like half of what will likely make up their top ten. The Walking Dead vs X-Com is just about the last big discussion for them to have. Fingers crossed for Walking Dead.

#4 Posted by Giantstalker (1532 posts) -

As someone who has been using Steam for years, "Best Downloadable Game" always seemed a bit laughable to me. A "Best Independently-Developed" category might make more sense.

#5 Posted by JasonR86 (9608 posts) -

If you ask me it should have happened when Braid came out.

#6 Posted by cthomer5000 (743 posts) -

I think this is the year they should have dropped it. They may end up with 5 or 6 'downloadables' in their top 10. It no longer makes sense, and it is going to take a lot of the surprise out of the final discussion, as they almost have to logically back Walking Dead over any other downloadable game... right?

#7 Posted by pweidman (2297 posts) -

I'm in the minority I guess, but I'd prefer the distinction to still be made. And seperate awards still make more sense to me.

But that said, if the guys do feel a downloadable game is the best overall game for GoTY, then by all means name it so.

#8 Posted by ajamafalous (11848 posts) -
@pweidman said:

I'm in the minority I guess, but I'd prefer the distinction to still be made. And seperate awards still make more sense to me.

But that said, if the guys do feel a downloadable game is the best overall game for GoTY, then by all means name it so.

#9 Edited by Sumbog (481 posts) -

Every single game I bought this year was "downloadable" besides Assassins Creed III, I think they should redo the category for the games "downloadable" is supposed to represent, those lower budget games. But I would not be angry if they removed the category totally, because now a days games like The Walking Dead can compete with the Far Cry's of the world, but I still see the need to help recognize the smaller games which may be excluded in favor of the big AAA games.

Also Crusader Kings II is the downloadable game of the year, as well, if it is not he strategy game of the year, angry letters will be written and not sent.

#10 Posted by ManMadeGod (1552 posts) -

@Giantstalker said:

As someone who has been using Steam for years, "Best Downloadable Game" always seemed a bit laughable to me. A "Best Independently-Developed" category might make more sense.

The category always implied that the game was download only. Obviously you can download full retail games on steam/XBL/PSN.

#11 Posted by FancySoapsMan (5806 posts) -

uhhh, I don't really see a problem with singling out download only games.

#12 Posted by Hunter5024 (5541 posts) -

I think they need some kind of award that highlights the lower budget titles that might have trouble competing with giant Triple A games. And honestly I feel like the distinction in this category made sense for just about everything other than The Walking Dead, because that's like a 12 hour game, that cost about 10 dollars more than most of the others, and shipped on a disc. The scope just wasn't really the same as the others. Maybe they should just think of a name that makes more sense.

@Giantstalker said:

As someone who has been using Steam for years, "Best Downloadable Game" always seemed a bit laughable to me. A "Best Independently-Developed" category might make more sense.

That distinction doesn't really work either. Most studios are independent. Naughty Dog isn't owned by anyone (unless Sony finally bought them and I just didn't hear), and they develop their games on their own. Uncharted wouldn't exactly be in the spirit of the award.

#13 Posted by Giantstalker (1532 posts) -

@Hunter5024: I meant to write Independently Published, that was a mistake on my part. But I understand what you're saying.

#14 Posted by Doomed (194 posts) -

I hope that when the eliminate "best downloadable game" they expand the GOTY list to top 15. Why?

  • $15 and even $3 games can compete with $60 games for "GOTY"
  • The amount of $60 games released every year is about the same
  • The amount of $15 or less games released every year is increasing
  • Therefore there are more games to evaluate and praise

@Hunter5024 said:

I think they need some kind of award that highlights the lower budget titles that might have trouble competing with giant Triple A games. And honestly I feel like the distinction in this category made sense for just about everything other than The Walking Dead, because that's like a 12 hour game, that cost about 10 dollars more than most of the others, and shipped on a disc. The scope just wasn't really the same as the others. Maybe they should just think of a name that makes more sense.

@Giantstalker said:

As someone who has been using Steam for years, "Best Downloadable Game" always seemed a bit laughable to me. A "Best Independently-Developed" category might make more sense.

That distinction doesn't really work either. Most studios are independent. Naughty Dog isn't owned by anyone (unless Sony finally bought them and I just didn't hear), and they develop their games on their own. Uncharted wouldn't exactly be in the spirit of the award.

He/she meant "independently-funded," I think. So Dust: An Elysian Tail wouldn't work because MS published and funded that game while Cook Serve Delicious was independently-funded.

#15 Posted by Bocam (3670 posts) -

Also the Walking Dead isn't a "download-only" game

#16 Posted by Hunter5024 (5541 posts) -

@Giantstalker: Oh I see, that makes more sense. That would exclude a lot of cool games like Journey and Dust, but I suppose it would at least let them highlight a few of the smaller ios and steam games.

#17 Posted by Napalm (9020 posts) -

I'm fine with The Walking Dead winning, as long as it doesn't take the top spot on the Game Of The Year list.

Seriously, it's gotten enough props in almost every category that it's been nominated in. Let's celebrate some of the other games.

#18 Posted by EVO (3864 posts) -

@Bocam said:

Also the Walking Dead isn't a "download-only" game

Nor is Journey. Just about every game is downloadable.

#19 Posted by Bocam (3670 posts) -

@EVO said:

@Bocam said:

Also the Walking Dead isn't a "download-only" game

Nor is Journey. Just about every game is downloadable.

That makes this category even stupider.

#20 Posted by Animasta (14648 posts) -

best game under 15 bucks/equivalent Euros, DONE

#21 Posted by Mento (2438 posts) -

The thing with "downloadable games" (which is already a difficult term to pin down, considering you can get almost everything on Steam or XBLA or eShop or what have you) is that it implies a much smaller game. Not in ideas or ambition, perhaps, just length and the amount of development time/people behind it. I'd be okay with a distinction for the time being.

Though, perhaps conversely to a lot of gamers, I'd be happy if the big development studios were to start heading towards that Indie game model. Not just Match-3 and shit, but fully-featured games like Journey or The Walking Dead or Bastion. I can't imagine there are many of you who either: A) Still have enough free time to play through all the huge games with 30-50 hour playthroughs you wanted to and B) Aren't willing to buy a whole bunch more of these things every year if they were cheaper and smaller. I'd be down if the entire industry did a Double Fine double take after seeing the acclaim all these smaller games got in 2012 and decided to move in that direction, focusing more on producing multiple shorter games in the same span as one major retail release. I guess I also got a little tired of games like ACIII and Darksiders II wearing out their welcome and then some this year, and if a game still has a particularly lengthy story it wants to tell I don't see why they can't go episodic with it like The Walking Dead. It works for adventure games and RPGs both (remember character imports? Good times).

But hey, I'm just a crazy ramblin' kind of guy. Some way to praise that type of game in a way that doesn't diminish what they are is fine, but I'm with you and the GB guys in that it seems less and less necessary.

Moderator
#22 Posted by Marokai (2805 posts) -

The category that needs to be changed more than anything else is the "Best Graphics/Best Looking Game" nonsense. Patrick's arguments against Far Cry essentially prevent any technically impressive game from ever winning that award, and at that point you may as well just change it back to "Best Art Style" and have another for "Most Technically Impressive."

#23 Posted by Animasta (14648 posts) -

@Marokai said:

The category that needs to be changed more than anything else is the "Best Graphics/Best Looking Game" nonsense. Patrick's arguments against Far Cry essentially prevent any technically impressive game from ever winning that award, and at that point you may as well just change it back to "Best Art Style" and have another for "Most Technically Impressive."

well that IS really a best art style catagory; witcher 2 didnt win last year because of the impressiveness of the graphics, but rather the art style.

#24 Posted by HerbieBug (4212 posts) -

@Animasta said:

best game under 15 bucks/equivalent Euros, DONE

Yep. I don't think it's even necessary to make a specific number part of the category. Best Small Budget Game or something is fine.

I disagree with the idea of having an indie category, mostly because there are a lot of non-independent developers putting out games at this price point that deserve consideration.

#25 Posted by jakob187 (21642 posts) -

@Bocam said:

Also the Walking Dead isn't a "download-only" game

Technically, based on its distribution method over the course of time that matters for these awards, it is a download-only game. If we want to make the distinction you are making of the game coming out on disc afterwards, Journey would also be disqualified.

Back on topic, there's one thing people need to consider: the category is not "Best Downloadable Game". The category is specifically for the downloadable game that has made them decide to get rid of the best downloadable game category as a whole. The Walking Dead fits that wholeheartedly. If it was just "Best Downloadable Game", I think I honestly would've been a bit miffed if Walking Dead had actually REMAINED on the list, as Mark of the Ninja/Fez/Journey is kind of the trifecta of downloadables games from this past year. Many may disagree with that, but those three games really went above and beyond presenting what can be accomplished in a downloadable space from small teams. Those games CAN compete against big-budget titles, and it's honestly kind of stupid to have a downloadable game category at this point in the game.

The entire release structure as a whole has seen a major movement over the last year. We went from last year having only one or two games (Bastion being a big noticeable one, possibly Iron Brigade being the other) to this year seeing Top 10 lists where half the games are downloadables.

Hotline Miami, Walking Dead, Mark of the Ninja, Fez, Journey, Spelunky, FTL...and the list goes on and on and on and on. It's seriously astonishing to see how much the downloadable market has drastically matured to the point of being competitive on the same level of a game that has a $100m+ budget.

Yes, arguments can still be made that they cannot compete in the same way. That is true in some ways, but only if you are considering that a game HAS to last for a specific amount of time in single player mode and HAS to have a multiplayer mode and HAS to have this and that. If anything, downloadable games have offered a re-focus on the gaming industry as a whole, to teach people that you do not need excess in order to create a fascinating product...that dedication, love, structure, and focus are the things that matter. Many big studios and publishers can learn a massive lesson from the downloadable market.

In the end, if you are going to say "Game of the Year" and "Downloadable Game of the Year", it is like saying "Whites Only" and "Blacks Only". It's a segregation that does not need to exist because it's all games.

#26 Posted by Viking_Funeral (1733 posts) -

I still think we need to come up with a new term for $10-20 games.

What that will be, I have no clue. "Budget titles" sounds like a Wal*Mart bin. "Smaller games" seems vaguely insulting. "Best Independently-Developed" is a mouth full, and not all of these games are developed by indie devs. I've mostly been using "XBLA-type games," but that has it's obvious shortcomings as well.

#27 Posted by Fredchuckdave (5338 posts) -

It's semantics; come up with a different title though the next 2-3 years are probably going to suck on the retail front like the vast majority of console early years so indy/small dev team games will probably be the best bet for awards again; however assuming retail games ever recover then eventually they'll have to have something which is in the same vein as what "downloadable game" means now.

#28 Posted by HerbieBug (4212 posts) -

@Viking_Funeral: How about Best Fun Sized Games?

#29 Posted by DarthOrange (3851 posts) -

Rename it to "Shout out to all the little games out there that are not outstanding but still pretty good."

#30 Edited by Irvandus (2822 posts) -

I think it needs to go because it is so difficult to specify what a downloadable game is when they become closer and closer to mirroring full retail products. (If people go for the monetary value than I would find it acceptable if the title was changed to "Best Low Cost Game" not downloadable.)

#31 Posted by Leptok (942 posts) -

I think they got rid of it because of stupid arguments, the kind that started immediately itt.

#32 Posted by Cold_Wolven (2211 posts) -

I'd much prefer that Giant Bomb have a 'Best Indie Title' as games like The Walking Dead really shouldn't be competing with the smaller budget games.

#33 Posted by Humanity (8809 posts) -

By downloadable game I always assumed they meant smaller games. Technically you could have been downloading full retail games off XBOX LIVE and PSN for years now. I still don't think the Walking Dead qualifies as a downloadable title in the same category as titles such as Fez or Journey, but as most by now have figured out, it's their call.

#34 Posted by Cerevisiae (75 posts) -

A game is a game. Split it up according to genre or platform. But according to pricing or whether it's retail or downloadable? Nah. My Game of the Year for the past two years have been cheap downloadable games (2011: Binding of Isaac, 2012: Mark of the Ninja). That's not some consolation prize, attempt at being a hipster, or some bitter bias against AAA coming through. I play AAA games. I like most of the ones I play. But a lot of these smaller games are just absolutely brilliant. They can go after a single idea or a couple ideas and fucking nail it.

The days of indie games or downloadable games being equated to dime-a-dozen puzzle-platformers (though those are still around in spades) are over. They're trying new things and are incredible in their execution. Let them in the same arena as the "big boys". They deserve to win now, and not as any underdog consolation, but because they are just that good.

#35 Posted by Ares42 (2573 posts) -

If they wanna make a category that support smaller games they should make a "Best bang for your buck" category.

#36 Posted by DeF (4799 posts) -

@Giantstalker said:

As someone who has been using Steam for years, "Best Downloadable Game" always seemed a bit laughable to me. A "Best Independently-Developed" category might make more sense.

Yes, a specific category for smaller games that don't necessarily wow you with their Sony-powered production values like Journey or super high-quality hand-drawn 2D art like Mark of the NInja should still exist. There needs to be a place that ignores production values. Getting rid of the download-only category because some of those games can stand against the big budget titles is all well and good but what about the fantastic games that will still lose in every argument simply because of their scale and production values? Fez or Journey or Mark of the Ninja will still never win against Skyrim, SR3, XCOM/Far Cry3 and those "epic" games that end up taking the #1 spot usually. Change the name of the category but don't drop the category itself. All that removing it does is give those games fewer places to stand out.

#37 Posted by Ravenlight (8040 posts) -

@Animasta said:

best game under 15 bucks/equivalent Euros, DONE

You mean every game on Steam, eventually?

#38 Posted by GnaTSoL (791 posts) -

it'll be a travesty if Walking Dead wins. You're gonna see a push from devolopers trying to drop big sentimental shock moments just to catch that TWD lightning.

TWD ain't much of a game either and I feel its driving point, the story, has been done before

#39 Posted by MonkeyKing1969 (2563 posts) -

I don't mind them waiting a year...after all most of the games media has stopped looking at downloadable and $15-$25 games as a ghetto, so that is REALLY the most important shift. My guess is next year we won't have a year of Mark of the Ninjas, Fez, Journey, Walking Dead, etc; yetm there will still be some stand outs that are looked at shoulder to shoulder with bigger, more expensive, and technically more complex experiences.

Why is that good for the switch over?

I think small studio games have earned their way out of "under dog" and "nice try but" status this year. This was a year where small studios showed how game creation was DONE. This was a shake-up year where big triple-a effort game stumbled and small studios didn't catch-up because of the stumbles but because they were running perfect races. Next year I think small studios will struggle more they won't be running 'their best' race, yet whatever they do will have more meaning because it won't see as effortless.

#40 Posted by ShadowConqueror (3050 posts) -

They don't have Xbox, PS3, or PC categories anymore, so I don't see a reason for a Downloadable category.

#41 Posted by Unmada (68 posts) -

I would have preferred they didn't have the category this year. It made little sense to me to try and force this "download" distinction, even for the purpose of calling it out as not mattering much anymore.

#42 Posted by videogamesarenotart (121 posts) -

they should have said 15$ and under and made a clear distinction

dont get me started on how ignorant they were in saying all digital media retail products will simply cease to exist and "digital is the future"

#43 Posted by JCGamer (659 posts) -
@Hunter5024 and most people consider Journey an "independent" game although it was published and paid for by Sony.
#44 Posted by Dethfish (3626 posts) -

I would be hesitant to get rid of it just because I don't know what would happen to small games like FTL in the future. I don't think an amazing $15 game will ever compete toe to toe with an amazing $60 game. There could be rare exceptions like The Walking Dead, but I don't think that will be the norm. Basically I just want those types of games to still have their own category so they can get some recognition instead of being #4 or lower on an overall top 10 list every year.