A celebration of interactive entertainment

Danial Norjidi

The winners of the 2021 Canadian Game Awards (CGA) were recently announced, with accolades presented across a total of 23 different categories.

A press statement noted that the awards, which took place on April 9, aimed to celebrate the Canadian video game industry, “From the studios that develop rich and detailed worlds, to the professionals that make the industry a better place to work in; from the big budget AAA titles to the humble yet no less impactful indies. The awards also highlight great Canadian esports players and the events that enable them to showcase their prowess.”

Founded and produced by Northern Arena Productions, the CGA also celebrates Canada’s place on the global stage in interactive entertainment as the third largest developer of video games in the world. Emerging as the biggest winner of this year’s event was Ubisoft Montreal’s open-world action adventure game Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, which won a total of five awards, including Game of the Year.

Assassin’s Creed Valhalla sees the player become a Viking raider named Eivor and embark on a quest for glory, exploring England’s Dark Ages, raiding enemies, growing a settlement, and building political power.

Speaking upon winning Game of the Year, Producer of Assassin’s Creed Valhalla Julien Laferriere thanked the selection committee and the event organisers.

Star Wars: Squadrons. PHOTO: MOTIVE STUDIOS

Highlighting the work by his teams, he added, “2020 was a crazy year, but we all managed to pull together and ship a great game. Thank you so much for your passion in this wonderful project.”

Assassin’s Creed Valhalla’s awards haul also included the Best Performance Award for Cecilie Stenspil’s role as Eivor in the game, as well as the awards for Best Narrative, Best Console Game and Best PC Game.

Meanwhile, Spiritfarer by indie developer Thunder Lotus Games garnered three awards, winning Best Art Direction, Best Score/Soundtrack and Best Indie Game.

Spiritfarer is a management game where the player takes on the role of Stella, a ferry-master to the deceased, who must “build a boat to explore the world, then befriend and care for spirits before finally releasing them into the afterlife”.

Two awards – Best Game Design and the Fans Choice Award – went to Hardspace: Shipbreaker.

Developed by Blackbird Interactive, Hardspace: Shipbreaker is a simulation game in which the player gets to “live out the daily life of a spaceship salvager in space, set within an immersive, realistic science-fiction universe”.

Another to win two awards was Star Wars: Squadrons, a game developed by Motive Studios which sees players jump into the cockpit of a starfighter to engage in multi-player space combat as well as a single-player story set in the Star Wars universe. The title won the awards for Best Audio Design and Best VR/AR Game.

The award for Best Debut Indie Game went to Typhoon Studios’ adventure title Journey to the Savage Planet, in which players are tasked with exploring and determining whether a planet called Ary-26 is fit for humans.

Best Mobile Game was won by A Fold Apart. Developed by Lightning Rod Games, A Fold Apart is a puzzle game set in a world of folding paper that explores the emotional rollercoaster of a long-distance relationship.

Winning the award for Studio of the Year was Certain Affinity, while Linus Sebastian (Linus Tech Tips) won Best Content Creator/Show, Michael ‘Shroud’ Grzesiek won Best Streamer and Imane ‘Pokimane’ Anys won Best Personality.

The event saw five awards presented across various categories pertaining to esports, with Camille ‘Camco’ Salazar-Hadaway winning Best Esports Host, while Indervir ‘iLLeY’ Dhaliwal won Best Esports Player, Luminosity Gaming won Best Esports Organisation and Six Invitational 2020 won Best Esports Event.