The action-adventure game genre combines two popular game genres: Complex worlds, fixed storylines, and puzzles, which are all typical components of adventure games, meet action game elements that demand skills such as running, jumping, and fighting. The gamescom award jury will determine the best action-adventure game of the year.
Every year, amazing new games are presented at gamescom. In terms of craftsmanship, creativity and innovation, the game developers deserve recognition for their achievements – that's why we honor the best new games presented at gamescom as well as other highlights of the show with the gamescom award in 24 categories.
A jury of gaming experts will choose the winners of the award. But it's also the community's call: In two categories of the "Consumer Awards", gamescom fans will vote for the first prize winners.
In 2021, the popular gaming award will be presented at the gamescom: Opening Night Live event once again. Join us to experience the best computer, console, and online games, the most epic announcements and reveals, the most entertaining streams and the most innovative new releases – get ready for the gamescom award 2021!
About the Award
Every year, the gamescom award ceremony is organized by the Digital Gaming Culture Foundation as part of gamescom. The gaming award honors the best new games presented at gamescom.
The award categories in the "Genre" group are based on the video game genres to which the submitted games belong. The gaming platform doesn't matter when it comes to categorizing. The gamescom award jury is responsible for nominating as well as awarding of the winners.
The action game genre includes jump 'n' run games, racing games, shooter games, and beat 'em up games, which primarily require skill and reaction speed. Most action games challenge the player to navigate a character through the game world safe and sound. Usually, players can use firearms or fighting techniques to fend off enemies.
With the gamescom award Best Family Game, the jury will pay credit to video games that invite children and their parents to have fun. First, the three best family games will be selected out of all the entries before the best family-friendly game will be honored at gamescom.
Like last year, gamescom 2021 offers the special "Awesome Indies" program for independent game developers. There will also be an indie game award presented at gamescom: Independent developers get the chance to submit their games to be assessed by the jury in the category Best Indie Game.
The goal of a racing game is to cross the finish line of a set track with a vehicle as quickly as possible. Usually, an entire race takes several laps around the track. Like other game genres, racing games have a couple of subcategories, e.g., primarily unrealistic fun racers or racing simulations aiming to achieve the most realistic gaming experience possible with realistic vehicles and tracks.
The Best Remaster category honors remakes of older games. Remakes of that sort often adapt the idea of the game to modern technologies and game mechanics.
In this category, the gamescom award jury will select the best role-playing game of the year. The concept of this genre allows players to take on the role of a character and navigate him or her through a complex fictional world. Most of the time, role-playing games make use of narrative elements. Players can live through different storylines and develop their character throughout the game. We are excited to find out which game presented at gamescom 2021 will be crowned the best role-playing game of the year!
In simulation games, real-world processes are recreated virtually – for example, planning a city, building an amusement park, running a business, or even living a human life. Simulation games come in all shapes and forms. Which simulation will convince the gamescom award expert jury to be the best of the best?
In sports games, it's all about defeating opponents in a sporting competition – whether it's on the soccer field, in the boxing ring, or at the racecourse. Find out which game will win the award for best sports game of 2021 in the gamescom live shows!
In the Best Strategy Game category, the gamescom award jury will honor this year's best strategy game, regardless of the gaming platform. As the title suggests, strategy games require strategic decision-making. When playing in multiplayer mode, the player competes against others or otherwise against the computer.
In this category, the jury will award the best multiplayer game of the year. The genre includes games for several players to enjoy at the same time. Multiplayer games are either played online or offline, with or against each other.
The Best Ongoing Game Award recognizes the best game expansion (add-on, games-as-a-service, DLC). In contrast to all the other categories, the jury will also consider games that have been submitted for the gamescom award before. One requirement is developing additional content offering new possibilities for players (in terms of features, action, levels, etc.).
The Most Original Game category focuses on outstanding innovation in gameplay, art direction, and game experience.
Some award categories are based on the platform the games were developed for: Microsoft Xbox, Nintendo Switch, PC and Sony PlayStation. The gamescom award jury is responsible for nominating as well as awarding of the winners.
The best games for the Xbox can be submitted in the category Best Microsoft Xbox Game. At gamescom, the jury will select the best Xbox game of the year out of three nominees.
This year, some promising titles for the Nintendo Switch will be presented at gamescom. The best Switch game out of three nominees will receive the award.
In this category, the jury will be looking at the best computer games that will be presented at gamescom 2021. We are incredibly excited about this year's new releases – whether from well-known companies or smaller, independent game developers. The game that will receive the title of "best PC game" will be announced in the gamescom live shows.
In this category, new titles for the Sony PlayStation presented at gamescom can be submitted. The console model is irrelevant. Which game will impress the jury the most to win the title as the best PlayStation game of the year?
"Consumer Awards" Group
The Consumer Awards allow the gamescom community to vote for their favorites in two categories. Direct submissions are not possible.
All gamescom partner streamers are eligible candidates in this category and get the chance to win the popular Best Streamer Award.
All nominees from the category groups "Genre" and "Platform" are automatically nominated for the gamescom "Most Wanted" Consumer Award. Therefore, a direct submission is not possible.
"gamescom global Awards" Group
gamescom global Awards are all about the gamescom highlights – which shows, games, partners, and releases were the most noteworthy? Direct submissions are not possible in this category group.
Every year, gamescom sets the stage for our partner companies to present, announce or reveal new games. The jury will select the most spectacular announcements, premieres, or reveals for the Best Announcement Award.
In the Best Lineup category, the jury will pick a winner out of all gamescom partner companies.
All winners of a genre or platform category will automatically enter for the "Best of gamescom" award, which the jury will present. Winners from the Consumer Awards and gamescom global Awards category groups are not eligible for this award.
In the Best Trailer category, all game trailers presented at gamescom now can win the prize.
Each and every gamescom highlight is eligible for this extraordinary award: not only games, add-ons, and technologies, but also people, institutions, companies, concepts, or terms.
Procedure and Deadlines
- From 19.07.2021 to 03.08.2021, game developers can submit their games for the different categories of the gamescom award. Click here for the conditions of participation.
- The jury will nominate three favorites in each category. The evaluation is based on a points system.
- The nominees will be announced on 16.08.2021 in a press release and here on the gamescom award page.
- The winners of the category groups Genre, Platform and gamescom global Awards will be selected by the jury. The audience will vote for the winners of the Consumer Awards.
- The winners will be announced at the gamescom: Opening Night Live on 25.08.2021 and at the end of gamescom in the gamescom studio.
The games submitted for the gamescom award will be assessed by an independent and internationally staffed jury of around 30 experts from the gaming industry.
Among others, the jury includes representatives of German and international media and social media companies, industry representatives, representatives of gaming communities, testers from the German Entertainment Software Self-Regulation Body (USK), and journalists.
The jury will assess the submitted games based on gameplays following 7 fixed criteria. Each assessment criterion will be assigned with a score on a scale from 1 to 10. The assessment sheet will be used for both the nomination and the selection of the winners.
- Graphics: The jury will evaluate the graphic style, the atmosphere of the game world, the character design, and the game's color scheme in terms of aesthetics.
- Gameplay: Game mechanics are crucial for the gaming experience and will therefore be closely scrutinized. Creativity, sophisticated controls, and appropriate difficulty levels will positively affect the rating.
- Sound: A good soundtrack adds to every gaming experience and allows players to fully immerse themselves in the game world. Games with fitting, atmospheric and undistorted music and soundscape will receive positive reviews.
- Innovation: This category rewards innovative concepts, game elements, and technologies.
- Entertainment: When it comes to assessing the quality of games, it's obviously very important that gamers get their money's worth. Among other things, the jury will look at the fun factor, the richness in variety, and how long the game entertains the players.
- Technological progress: If the game uses the latest technologies, it will score points in this category.
- Sales prospects: Is this game already hyped, has it been recommended, or are there other reasons to expect a big success in sales? In this case, the jury can award points in this category.
Who can enter?
All official gamescom partners who are represented at the shows at gamescom now are eligible to enter.
What can be submitted?
- Depending on the category, games can be submitted as full versions or expansions to the gamescom award. Here you can read the exact requirements in the regulations (.pdf) .
- Only games that have never been entered in the gamescom award may be submitted. The only exception is the category "Best Ongoing Game" – as this is about expansions, it is permissible that the main game and other expansions have been submitted in the past.
- Only games with a release date between the start of gamescom 2021 (at the earliest on the day of Opening Night Live) and gamescom 2022 in Germany or the company's domestic market may be submitted. If a game is published as a closed or open alpha or beta version (including Early Access), that does not count as a release.
What's the procedure for entering?
- To submit a game to the gamescom award, please fill out the entry form.
- It is mandatory to provide a gameplay video of approximately 10 minutes to demonstrate game mechanics, sounds, camera angles, and graphics representative of the game. The video can be submitted as a link to a public video platform, official website, or download service (e.g., WeTransfer).
- There is also the option to submit:
- Voice-over commentary (preferably in English)
- Presenting technical achievements
- Presenting gameplay innovations or features
- Aspects of community involvement, fan services, etc.
- Link to the trailer and/or an official website
What are the participation fees?
|Number of categories||Price|
|1 category||360 EUR|
|2 - 3 categories||600 EUR|
|Each additional category||200 EUR per additional category|
|Submission Best Indie only||50 EUR|
The gamescom audience will have the power to choose the award winners in two categories: With the "Best Streamer" award, the community will honor the best streamer, and with the gamescom "Most Wanted" award, their absolute favorite game of this year's gamescom.
The gamescom award is presented by:
Do you have any questions about entering in the gamescom award, or do you need a press kit for your coverage? You can find all the information here.