Rules & Regulations

Below are the rules and regulations for the Game Developers Choice Awards. For questions or more information, please contact us.


Special Award Nominee Eligibility

Nominees for the Special Awards (Lifetime Achievement, Pioneer, Ambassador) are not eligible if they have previously won the equivalent Special Award.


Regular Award Nominee Eligibility

All awards are for the 2016 calendar year.

Any video game which was released, and made publicly available to consumers, during the year 2016, irrespective of platform or delivery medium, is eligible for nomination. Upgrades, expansions and mission packs are not eligible.

Reference the following resources for an overview of 2016 game releases (these resources are provided as reference aids only, and may not be exhaustive):


Award Nominator Eligibility

All professional game developers who are part of the ICAN member list are eligible to provide nominations, both for the Special and Regular Awards. International Choice Awards Network (ICAN) is an invitation-only group comprised of leading game creators from all parts of the video game industry. The Game Developers Choice Awards does not accept submissions for award nominations.


Nomination Costs

The Game Developers Choice Awards are about peer recognition and rewarding excellence and innovation in games. There are no fees or costs associated with making nominations.


Special / Regular Award Nomination Process

It is not necessary to make a nomination for each category. Nominations for the same game or person in different categories is allowed. ICAN members cannot nominate the same game in the same category more than once or nominate a game that they are personally involved with - any duplicate submissions will be ignored.


Regular Award Finalist Selection Process

Once the nomination process closes, the Choice Awards Advisory Committee and the editors of Gamasutra will add their votes to the open nominations in order to help select the finalists. The winners of the Regular Awards are then voted by the final voting body, which is the ICANs and the Advisory Committee.

The winners for the Lifetime Achievement, Pioneer and Ambassador Awards are also determined by the Advisory Committee, following nominations from the public. In this case, the Committee will take all nominations into account, but will vote independently on the winners of each category.


Voting Process

In 2009 we changed our voting process. Winners are now selected by the Game Developers Choice Awards-specific International Choice Awards Network (ICAN), which is an invitation-only group comprised of leading game creators from all parts of the video game industry.

Thank you to the ICANs for voting and continually choosing outstanding games as our winners.

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Award Recipients/Attributions

The game with the most votes in a category receives the given award. Award categories are attributed in the following manner:

  • Best Audio: audio director, audio designer
  • Best Debut Game: studio head, studio founder
  • Best Handheld/Mobile Game: lead designer, executive producer, studio head
  • Best Design: creative director, lead designer
  • Best Technology: tech director, lead programmer
  • Best Visual Art: art director, lead artist
  • Best Narrative: lead writer
  • Innovation Award: creative leads
  • Game of the Year: lead designer, executive producer, studio head
  • Best VR/AR Game: creative leads


Further, each nominated game will be listed with the development studio and publisher company names. For example: Best Game ActionFest2 (DeveloperX/PublisherY)

The recipients for the Lifetime Achievement, Ambassador and Pioneer awards are determined by the Choice Awards Advisory Committee. These special awards are presented to the individuals being recognized.