The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild won the Golden Joystick award for “Ultimate Game of the Year” today, and while the development team apparently wasn’t able to accept the award in person — the ceremony was held in London; Nintendo is headquartered in Kyoto, Japan — their video acceptance speech was refreshingly honest and humble.
Veteran Zelda series producer Eiji Aonuma was joined by Breath of the Wild art director Satoru Takizawa, technical director Takuhiro Dohta and sound director Hajime Waikai, and the four talked about their goals and challenges in developing the open-world adventure game. Aonuma thanked fans for voting for Breath of the Wild and the 300-plus Nintendo employees who worked on the game.
He also thanked Super Mario Odyssey for ... not being out for very long.
Aonuma’s quip about winning the award in part because many Switch owners probably hadn’t had enough time to play or digest Super Mario Odyssey is refreshing. And it addresses something a lot of Nintendo fans will have to contend with this year when choosing their favorite game of 2017. But on the flip side, Breath of the Wild’s win is a testament to how much the game has resonated with players; the game has been out for about eight months, and it’s not uncommon for games, movies and books released earlier in the year to take a backseat to the latest greatest thing.
Still, it’s something that Nintendo (and Nintendo fans) will probably see a lot more of this year, as Nintendo is in a race against itself for end-of-year accolades in a number of categories. (Zelda and Mario are both nominated for Game of the Year for The Game Awards 2017, for example.)
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild managed to top a strong list of games in the Golden Joystick’s Ultimate Game of the Year category. The other nominees on the list were Assassin’s Creed Origins, Destiny 2, Dishonored 2, Horizon Zero Dawn, Monument Valley 2, Persona 5, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, Resident Evil 7 biohazard and Super Mario Odyssey.
This year’s Golden Joystick Awards was the ceremony’s 35th incarnation. The awards are voted on by the public and this year tallied millions of votes from hundreds of thousands of people.