The main awards season for the gaming industry might be over, but major publications are still presenting their own take on the top games of 2018, and Steam is no exception. A while back, the first round of user-voted nominees for the Steam Awards opened during the height of awards fever. However, given the two-step process for the unique, gamer-oriented awards program, it’s only recently that the final round of nominees was revealed in conjunction with the announcement of this year’s Steam Winter Sales.
The Steam Awards this year has eight distinct categories, with a mix of standard ones as well as more unique and humorous options. Like other major awards, the Steam one has its own version of Game of the Year, but with a departure from most of the lists out there on account of it being limited to Steam games only. Stark absences of games like God of War and Red Dead Redemption 2 can be seen, replaced by titles such as Kingdom Come: Deliverance and Hitman 2.
In more unorthodox categories, nominees include Wolfenstein II and Assassin’s Creed Odyssey for the Best Alternate History section and Nier: Automata for Most Fun with a Machine, the latter being a more tongue-in-cheek interpretation of the category. Interestingly, for the Best Developer category, Valve stated that the competition was close enough to warrant them expanding the nominee list to 10. The company has also decided to withdraw its own ballot from the final round in order to promote other developers.
Voting for the Steam Awards begins December 20, the same day as the start of the Winter Sale. Gamers will have approximately two weeks to vote, with the process ending January 3, 2019 and the final winners announced sometime in early February 2019. Steam users that vote in each of the eight categories will net this year’s set of trading cards as a commemorative prize.