Official artwork and logo for PUBG

The Steam Awards are essentially a community-driven effort to celebrate the best games and developers out there. With absolutely no rewards and the entire thing being primarily a popularity contest, the Steam Awards aren't exactly a serious ceremony, but so far I didn't really have much of a reason to dislike them as they always encompassed a nice variety of games, both AAA and indie.

The newly announced Steam Awards 2018 winners, however, leave a lot to be desired. You can find the full list (including runner-ups) over at Steam, but if you're just interested in the short version, I'll include the winners right below, as well as explain why I have such an issue with them. Have a gander:


VR Game of the Year: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim VR

Labor of Love: Grand Theft Auto V

Best Developer: CD PROJEKT RED

Best Environment: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Better with Friends: Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege

Best Alternate History: Assassin's Creed Odyssey

Most Fun with a Machine: Rocket League

While I'm aware that the Steam Awards are mostly a popularity contest, this year's winners just rub me the wrong way. Not only are the vast majority of them not even from 2018, but they're pretty much all AAA staples of Steam's "most played" list, with the only indie game being the runaway hit Rocket League. Maybe it's just me, but having such a selection just feels like it goes against the original idea behind the Steam Awards - the idea of celebrating innovation and interesting ideas over mere numbers.

Unfortunately, I don't really see a way to ensure this sort of scenario doesn't happen in the future, because outside of electing a jury to decide the winners (which defeats the point), there isn't anything you can do about the most popular games winning every category they're nominated in. That said, I do hope Valve will limit next year's voting to games that are actually released in 2019, so we can at least see some new names appear in the list.

Whether you agree with me or not, you can read more about the winners, as well as check out the ones from previous years, over at the official website.