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No Man’s Sky wins GDC Award, but no one was around to accept it

Plus the rest of the GDC and IGF award winners

No Man’s Sky
Hello Games
Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

No Man’s Sky developer Hello Games won the award for innovation at this year’s Game Developers Choice Awards, but it clearly wasn’t expecting to. As a result, the indie team wasn’t there in person to accept its award from host Tim Schafer.

Why? They were otherwise preoccupied — Hello Games team members who made the trip to San Francisco for GDC were eating dinner at the time — and said they didn’t expect to win anyway.

When Schafer announced that No Man’s Sky had won the Innovation Award at tonight’s festivities, he called out, “Going once... going twice...” after it appeared that no one was en route to the stage to accept the neon green robot trophy. Once it was clear no one from Hello Games was on hand to receive the award, Schafer accepted it on the developer’s behalf.

Shortly after that awkward event transpired, Hello Games code lead Innes McKendrick explained what happened on Twitter:

The Hello Games GDC crew eventually did make its way over to the awards, but they were a little too late to make up for the no-show earlier in the evening.

McKendrick later said the developer’s absence during its award win was “quite embarrassing” — but after Hello Games’ drubbing from consumers and critics over No Man’s Sky’s final product, the presumption from the studio that it wouldn’t win an award is understandable.

Hello Games’ Sean Murray said on Twitter he believed that if No Man’s Sky was going to win anything tonight, the organizers probably would have told them ahead of time. (Apparently they didn’t.)

As for the rest of the winners — most of whom were present to receive their awards and give acceptance speeches — here they are:

GDC Award Winners

Best Debut
Firewatch - Campo Santo

Best Audio
Inside - Playdead

Innovation Award
No Man’s Sky - Hello Games

Best Technology
Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End - Naughty Dog

Best VR/AR
Job Simulator - Owlchemy Labs

Best Visual Art
Inside - Playdead

Best Narrative
Firewatch - Camp Santo

Best Design
Overwatch - Blizzard Entertainment

Best Mobile/Handheld Game
Pokémon Go - Niantic

Audience Award
Battlefield 1 - EA/DICE

Game of the Year
Overwatch - Blizzard Entertainment

IGF Award Winners

Best Student Game
Un Pas Fragile

Excellence in Visual Art
Hyper Light Drifter

Excellence in Audio

Alt.Ctrl.GDC Award
Fear Sphere

Nuovo Award
Oikospiel Book I

Excellence in Design
Quadrilateral Cowboy

Excellence in Narrative
Ladykiller in a Bind

Audience Award
Hyper Light Drifter

Seumas McNally Grand Prize
Quadrilateral Cowboy

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