The list of nominations for the 2016 DICE Awards have been revealed, and there are a few interesting facts that video game retailers and wholesalers can take away from this list.
It becomes clear that the MMO industry hasn’t done so well when none of its entries made it to the 2016 list for the Role-playing/Massively Multiplayer Game of the Year. Bloodborne, Undertale, Fallout 4, Pillars of Eternity, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – mostly single-player games dominated this category, along with a few games with limited multiplayer capability. Some have been cynically predicting the death of MMOs for many years now, but the absence of any true MMO in this category is a rather disturbing sign of the niche’s state.
One look at The Witcher 3 with its graphics set to ultra, and it’ll be easy to understand how it can compete on the Outstanding Technical Achievement award. Yet the presence of Undertale along with The Witcher 3 in the Role-playing/Massively Multiplayer Game of the Year and Outstanding Achievement in Game Direction categories shows how a good game doesn’t necessarily have to possess the best graphics to compete with the big boys. Game traders are thus encouraged to look beyond the titles that look pretty in order to find out what titles actually click with the gaming crowd.
FIFA, Madden, MLB, NBA are usual suspects when it comes in the Sports Game of the Year category. The presence of Rocket League, however, shows how some new games can reinvigorate a genre. Who knew that mixing soccer (or football, depending on where you live) with bouncing cars and explosive goals would have gotten this far? Traders thus need to keep a sharp eye out on similar games with the potential to disrupt their respective genres.
Just because The Order 1886 managed to secure a spot in four categories of the DICE awards does not mean it was a great or successful game. The Order was able to sell quite well during its initial release, but those sales quickly tapered off when gamers realized that it was more a tech demo of what the PlayStation 4 could do than a fully-fleshed out game. The Order left everyone who played it sorely disappointed with its content. Should The Order win in its nominated categories, this will not automatically translate into more players flocking to retailers and snapping up copies. Admittedly though Order 1886 sold quite well at its release, but not after.
Outstanding Achievement in Game Direction
Adventure Game of the Year
Action Game of the Year
Mobile Game of the Year
Outstanding Achievement in Animation
Outstanding Achievement in Art Direction
Outstanding Achievement in Character
Fighting Game of the Year
Outstanding Achievement in Original Music Composition
Handheld Game of the Year
Outstanding Achievement in Sound Design
Outstanding Achievement in Story
Outstanding technical Achievement
Family Game of the Year
Racing Game of the Year
Role-Playing/Massively Multiplayer Game of the Year
Sports Game of the Year
Strategy/Simulation Game of the Year
Outstanding Achievement on Online Gameplay
Outstanding Achievement in Game Design