SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Adine Deford, Cynthia Dunlop, Harry Trott, Xenia von Wedel, Peter Silva

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Journey Leads The 16th D.I.C.E. Awards With 11 Nominations; Chris Hardwick Tapped To Host Video Game Award Show

Nerdist Founder, Talking Dead Host, and Video Gamer Joins as New Host of Preeminent Annual Event

CALABASAS, Calif., Jan. 14, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences (AIAS) is pleased to announce nominations for the 16th Annual D.I.C.E. Awards (#DICEAwards), the industry's premier peer-based awards show.  The Academy also revealed self-proclaimed nerd and video game enthusiast Chris Hardwick, founder of Nerdist.com and host of his own Comedy Central stand-up special, AMC's Talking Dead, and newly announced BBC America's The Nerdist, will serve as this year's host. 

Showcasing the breadth and depth of an incredible year of games, 63 games representing console to web-based to mobile, received D.I.C.E. Award nominations. Leading the nominations is Journey with 11 nominations, including Game of the Year.  Rounding out the Game of the Year nominations are: Borderlands 2, Far Cry 3, The Walking Dead, and XCOM: Enemy Unknown.  Several titles earned multiple nods, including The Walking Dead with eight nominations, Far Cry 3 with seven, Halo 4 with six, and Borderlands 2 and Dishonored both receiving five each. 

The awards ceremony will take place on Thursday, February 7th at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Las Vegas during the 2013 D.I.C.E. (Design, Innovate, Communicate, Entertain) Summit (#DICE2013). The AIAS, in collaboration with media partner Variety, will live stream the Awards on Machinima in its entirety at 7:30pm PT / 10:30pm ET

"The D.I.C.E. Awards are VERY important to me," said Hardwick.  "I have been playing video games since there were video games. I hope there is some type of Dovahkiin Shout that will make sure I don't mess this up. I will find one! If not, I'll just look like a psychotic, screaming a**hole leading up to the Awards."

"We are thrilled to welcome Chris to the D.I.C.E. Awards. He is the ultimate representation of our industry: a nerd at heart with a wicked sense of humor and a deep appreciation for the immense talent and creativity that keeps our industry thriving," said Martin Rae, president, Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences. "As I look at the list of the 2012 finalist games, there is no doubt in my mind that every single nominated title strongly reflects the D.I.C.E. Awards moniker – Design, Innovate, Communicate, Entertain.  Across all platforms and through deeply immersive experiences, our industry continues to outdo itself year over year, finding new and interesting ways to evolve and engage audiences."

Following is a partial list of nominees; the complete list of Awards categories, finalists, and game maker credits is available at: http://www.interactive.org/images/awards/16th-Annual-D.I.C.E.-Finalists-For-Web.pdf

Game of the Year
Borderlands 2   

  • Publisher: 2k Games      
  • Developer: Gearbox Software

Far Cry 3              

  • Publisher: Ubisoft           
  • Developer: Ubisoft

Journey               

  • Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment America, LLC 
  • Developer: thatgamecompany

The Walking Dead           

  • Publisher: Telltale Games            
  • Developer: Telltale Games

XCOM: Enemy Unknown             

  • Publisher: 2k Games      
  • Developer: Firaxis Games

Outstanding Achievement in Game Direction
Journey               

  • Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment America, LLC 
  • Developer: thatgamecompany

Dishonored       

  • Publisher: Bethesda Softworks 
  • Developer: Arkane Studios

Far Cry 3              

  • Publisher: Ubisoft           
  • Developer: Ubisoft

The Unfinished Swan    

  • Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment America, LLC 
  • Developer: Giant Sparrow

The Walking Dead           

  • Publisher: Telltale Games            
  • Developer: Telltale Games

Outstanding Innovation in Gaming
Journey

  • Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment America, LLC 
  • Developer: thatgamecompany

Nintendo Land 

  • Publisher: Nintendo of America Inc.       
  • Developer: Nintendo

Sound Shapes  

  • Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment America, LLC 
  • Developer: Queasy Games

The Unfinished Swan    

  • Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment America, LLC 
  • Developer: Giant Sparrow

The Walking Dead           

  • Publisher: Telltale Games            
  • Developer: Telltale Games

Action Game of the Year
Borderlands 2   

  • Publisher: 2k Games      
  • Developer: Gearbox Software

Far Cry 3              

  • Publisher: Ubisoft
  • Developer: Ubisoft

Halo 4   

  • Publisher: Microsoft Studios      
  • Developer: 343 Industries

Hitman: Absolution        

  • Publisher: Square Enix, Inc.        
  • Developer: IO Interactive A/S

Sleeping Dogs   

  • Publisher: Square Enix, Inc.        
  • Developer: United Front Games

Adventure Game of the Year
Assassin's Creed III         

  • Publisher: Ubisoft           
  • Developer: Ubisoft

Darksiders II      

  • Publisher: THQ 
  • Developer: Vigil Games

Dishonored       

  • Publisher: Bethesda Softworks 
  • Developer: Arkane Studios

New Super Mario Bros. Wii U    

  • Publisher: Nintendo of America Inc.       
  • Developer: Nintendo

The Walking Dead           

  • Publisher: Telltale Games            
  • Developer: Telltale Games

Mobile Game of the Year
Fairway Solitaire              

  • Publisher: Big Fish           
  • Developer: Big Fish

Hero Academy 

  • Publisher: Robot Entertainment               
  • Developer: Robot Entertainment

Horn     

  • Publisher: Zynga              
  • Developer: Phosphor Games Studio

Rayman Jungle Run        

  • Publisher: Ubisoft
  • Developer: Pastagames, Ubisoft Montpellier

Titles were played and evaluated by members of the Academy's Peer Panels to determine final nominees. These panels, one for each award category, are comprised of the game industry's most experienced and talented men and women who are experts in their chosen fields. All Academy members are eligible to vote for the winners in every category.

Chris Hardwick is also a writer for Wired Magazine and the face of AMC's first live after-show Talking Dead, which airs as a platform to discuss the network's highly rated show The Walking Dead. In 2008, Chris founded Nerdist, a website and podcast devoted to all things nerd-related. Their online presence includes a website at Nerdist.com, a premium YouTube channel (youtube.com/nerdist), the Nerdist News daily e-newsletters, 1.7 million Twitter fans, and a podcast network including the flagship Nerdist Podcast which is also produced as a TV show on BBC America.  Chris recently starred in a one-hour stand-up special "Chris Hardwick: Mandroid" on Comedy Central in November 2012.

To attend the 16th Annual D.I.C.E. Awards, please visit www.dicesummit.org to purchase tickets. 

About the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences:

The Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences (AIAS) was founded in 1996 as a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to promote, advance and recognize the outstanding achievements in the interactive entertainment industry worldwide. The Academy conducts its annual awards show, the D.I.C.E. Awards, to celebrate and honor creative accomplishments in the field. To further enhance awareness of the Academy's vision, the organization created the D.I.C.E. (Design, Innovate, Communicate, Entertain) Summit in 2002, a once yearly conference dedicated to exploring approaches to the creative process and artistic expression as they uniquely apply to the development of interactive entertainment.  With more than 22,000 members, including Electronic Arts, Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo, Google, Bethesda Game Studios, Ubisoft, Epic Games, Double Fine, Gearbox Software, Nexon and Insomniac Games, among others. More information can be found at http://www.interactive.org and http://www.dicesummit.org.  Follow the Academy on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or Google+ with #DICE2013 and #DICEAwards.

SOURCE Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences

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