Steam's Game of the Year is exactly what you'd expect, while Starfield wins Innovation award

Baldur's Gate 3 won Game of the Year at the 2023 Steam Awards. But, Starfield and Red Dead Redemption II winning for innovation and content is confusing.

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The 2023 Steam Awards winners have been announced, with the outcome across all 11 categories determined by community votes. And it's no surprise that the Game of the Year Award has been handed to Baldur's Gate 3, beating out finalists Resident Evil 4, Lethal Company, EA Sports FC 24, and Hogwarts Legacy. It's one of the most played, celebrated, talked about, and groundbreaking RPG releases in years - it's a well-deserved nod.

As expected, Baldur's Gate 3 won Game of the Year. Unexpectedly, Starfield won Most Innovative Gameplay.

As expected, Baldur's Gate 3 won Game of the Year. Unexpectedly, Starfield won Most Innovative Gameplay.

It was somewhat predictable as Alan Wake II was exclusive to the Epic Games Store, while the critically acclaimed The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom and Super Mario Bros. Wonder are, you know, Nintendo games. However, a couple of the other award winners are a little surprising.

Starfield, currently sitting on a 'Mixed' community review rating on Steam, with recent reviews being 'Mostly Negative,' won the Most Innovative Gameplay Award. Starfield has been a divisive release from Bethesda Game Studios and the team behind Skyrim and Fallout 4 - the main criticisms levied at the game center around its archaic and lackluster design when it comes to exploration, travel, and having to sit through half a dozen loading screens just to get anywhere.

"The designers of this game are at the front lines of creative experimentation, bringing a fresh perspective and brain-breaking surprises," the description for the Most Innovative Gameplay Award reads. "This game delighted, inspired, and entertained with newness never played before."

Red Dead Redemption II hasn't been updated in years, so its Labor of Love win is confusing.

Red Dead Redemption II hasn't been updated in years, so its Labor of Love win is confusing.

Another surprise win must be Rockstar's Red Dead Redemption II snagging the Labor of Love Award - awarded to titles "still getting new content" long after release. Red Dead Redemption II's last update was in 2020, while Red Dead Online has been recycling seasonal events and modes for a while. The fact that this award, like all others, was voted for by the community - is confusing.

Here are all the 2023 Steam Awards winners.

  • Game of the Year: Baldur's Gate 3
  • VR Game of the Year: Labyrinthine
  • Labor of Love: Red Dead Redemption 2
  • Best Game on Steam Deck: Hogwarts Legacy
  • Better With Friends: Lethal Company
  • Outstanding Visual Style: Atomic Heart
  • Most Innovative Gameplay: Starfield
  • Best Game You Suck At: Sifu
  • Best Soundtrack: The Last of Us Part I
  • Outstanding Story-Rich Game: Baldur's Gate 3
  • Sit Back and Relax: DAVE THE DIVER
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Kosta is a veteran gaming journalist that cut his teeth on well-respected Aussie publications like PC PowerPlay and HYPER back when articles were printed on paper. A lifelong gamer since the 8-bit Nintendo era, it was the CD-ROM-powered 90s that cemented his love for all things games and technology. From point-and-click adventure games to RTS games with full-motion video cut-scenes and FPS titles referred to as Doom clones. Genres he still loves to this day. Kosta is also a musician, releasing dreamy electronic jams under the name Kbit.

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