If you were paying close attention to The Game Awards 2016, you would’ve noticed that something was missing. On Thursday all the winners were announced except for one category. With all the drama surrounding one particular award, it was unsurprising to see that ‘Best Fan Creation’ had seemingly been overlooked.
At the beginning, four games/mods were up for consideration: Pokemon Uranium, AM2R (Another Metroid 2 Remake), Brutal Doom 64, and Enderal-a Skyrim mod. A few weeks before the event, Nintendo’s lawyers made The Game Show remove the first two nominees to protect their brands. The race was then down to the other two titles but they were MIA for the actual awards show.
It was revealed just yesterday that there was indeed a winner and it was the impressive Enderal that took the category. The mod team (SureAI) were gracious for the win but frustrated with how the ‘Best Fan Creation’ was handled in the end: “While the way The Game Awards handled things was more than insulting, we’re still so happy that so many of you went out of your way to vote for us!”
It’s hard not to understand this sentiment as the quiet announcement of an award usually warrants little fanfare (pun intended). Originally the category was left open on The Game Awards’ official site and was only updated to show all the winners Friday evening. There’s also no mention on TGA’s Twitter or Facebook of the win. The same can be said for organizer Geoff Keighly’s social media feeds.
With those unfamiliar with the Skyrim mod itself, Enderal is a complete conversion of the entire game which adds new quests, classes, items, and more. The tale is said to be ‘unconventional’ with ‘with psychological and philosophical undercurrents’. It is also the sequel to another mod Nehrim – At Fate’s Edge which was also a nominee for the ‘Best Upcoming Mod 2012‘ from Moddb.com.
It’s unfortunate to see such an important category get almost completely ignored this year. Modders are already invisible enough and their hard work deserves for attention and praise than it receives.
I recently got back into trying out expansions and maps for FPS games from the 90s. Other than the usual computer woes (Why is it so hard to get anything running properly!? This is why I prefer consoles), it’s been a blast revisiting Doom and Duke Nukem 3D. Hell, I even tried out Brutal Doom 64 and it’s held up nicely.
Hopefully The Awards Show learns from this year’s mistakes and obstacles and approaches the ‘Best Fan Creation’ category differently next year. It can’t be easy with the threat of litigation and the randomness of take down notices, but there must be some way to highlight some of these projects without threat of your entire event being blocked.