Elden Ring official artwork for the Souls action-RPG

[Update]: Steam's sizable Summer Sale 2023 has now arrived and will stick around all the way until July 13th.

After tallying all of the votes cast during the recent Steam Winter Sale, Valve has now unveiled all eleven winners of the Steam Awards 2022. Unfortunately, as is often the case with popularity-driven contests, the winners are quite uninspired as it's mostly just a bunch of super-popular games rather than ones that might better represent their category.

First things first, allow me to share with you a quick rundown of the eleven categories and their winners so you'll have a better idea of what I'm yammering about:

• Game Of The Year: Elden Ring
• VR Game Of The Year: Hitman 3
• Labor Of Love: Cyberpunk 2077
• Better With Friends: Raft
• Outstanding Visual Style: Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales
• Most Innovative Gameplay: Stray
• Best Game You Suck At: Elden Ring
• Best Soundtrack: Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade
 Outstanding Story-Rich Game: God of War
• Sit Back And Relax: Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga
• Best Game On The Go: Death Stranding Director's Cut

The one that rubs me the wrong way the most is the Labor Of Love category. While I'm happy that Cyberpunk 2077 is looking better than it did at launch, the amount of work CDPR has put into its post-launch updates pales in comparison to the amount of struggles the No Man's Sky team went through to fix their game, or the amount of love and care the Project Zomboid and Deep Rock Galactic crews put into each and every one of their additions.

Now don't get me wrong, I don't actually hate any of the winners. They're all well made games and I've had a ton of fun with a good chunk of them, but seeing most of the rewards go to massive AAA titles purely because they're massive AAA titles is a bit disappointing, doubly so when a fair few of them didn't even originally launch in 2022.

However, while the Steam Awards 2022 may have ended up being unfortunately lopsided, I'm extremely happy to say that a wide variety of unique and interesting games, both indie and AAA, ended up finding a great deal of success throughout 2022. The most surprising of these is the Among Us inspired Goose Goose Duck as its player count has managed to eclipse even the vast majority of the aforementioned AAA juggernauts. So while they might not be winning any online popularity contests, it's good to see that indie games are still doing quite well these days!

Whatever your thoughts on the whole thing may be, you can check out all of the Steam Awards 2022 categories and their rather interesting runner-ups over at the official website. Enjoy!