Best Game

Horizon: Forbidden West - Guerrilla Games

Jury: “It makes our Dutch hearts swell with pride that this console-selling masterpiece was created right in the middle of Amsterdam. Horizon: Forbidden West is a world class title where nothing has been overlooked or neglected. This game puts the Netherlands on the map for the worldwide game industry, and even the broader media press.

Best Art

Horizon: Forbidden West - Guerrilla Games

Jury: “The jury was simply in awe of the consistency in production value that this game presents. The world truly comes alive through the rustling of leaves, the design in the costumes of the various tribes and the explosion of colour on your screen. Not the slightest detail feels out of place. The art in this game is world class and truly establishes an immersive experience.

Best Audio

Horizon: Forbidden West - Guerrilla Games
Jury: “From the beautiful soundtrack that sweeps you off your feet to realistic audio design in the tiniest detail; Not a single sound feels out of place. The supporting game music features a lot of layers and after hours of playing nothing feels repetitive. The voice acting performance carries a lot of nuance and truly enhances the interaction with the NPC’s. Horizon: Forbidden West features audio design at the highest level in the game industry worldwide.”

Best Innovation

Stacklands - Sokpop Collective
Jury: “Playing Stacklands feels way more satisfying than the simple looks may suggest. The jury was very impressed by the clever implementation of the progression system and non-linear storybuilding. This is the type of game that you want to play for 10 minutes, but you end up playing it for 3 hours. The true innovation here is how a simple mechanic is used to create satisfying and ever-challenging puzzles that leave you wanting more. Expect games “inspired” by Stacklands very soon.”

Best Technology (powered by i3D)

Horizon: Forbidden West - Guerrilla Games

Jury: “The technological advancement in this game is the foundation of the believability of this fictional world. The uncanny valley just disappears by the next-gen application of motion capture, the amazing level of detail in hair physics, facial expressions, and yes, even the peach fuzz on Aloy’s face.
Horizon: Forbidden West sets a new benchmark in AAA technology.”

Best Game Design

We Were Here Forever - Total Mayhem Games

Jury: “The jury really enjoyed the clever puzzle design. Even though the timed puzzles can be really frustrating, it is well balanced by the rewarding feeling of victory when the solution is achieved. True collaboration is key in the core of this game design. It teaches you to clearly describe what you see and to listen well. Even when you play this game with a complete stranger, it still creates a bond and there is this spark of joy when you are reunited with your fellow adventurer.”

Best Applied Game

Hackshield in de Klas - HackShield Future Cyber Heroes
Jury: “Hackshield deals with relevant and current challenges in our society. The game offers a rich world with many themes and quests. The game is well implemented in the educational setting and shows a high production value.”

Best Debut Game

Cat Cafe Manager - Roost Games
Jury: “An all-round cohesive game that features plenty of longevity. The cuteness and characters actually build upon the game design and mechanics. Having those in balance creates a cat-tastic and compelling game experience. The dialogue is well written and the character design is solid. And of course cats are always a good choice when you try to appeal to a wide audience.”

Best Student Game

All Hands on Deck - Studio Mantasaur - HKU
Jury: “What a fresh take on local co-op gameplay! The jury never felt rushed by the game mechanics and enjoyed the straightforward and relaxing puzzles. The game comes with a good sense of humor and very polished gameplay. This game felt like one made by developers, skilled way beyond their young age. High five!”

Studio Award (powered by Splashtop)


For this year’s award we focused on what a studio is like to work at. Studio owners Peter and Maurice have gone above and beyond to keep their staff safe and healthy during COVID, trying to keep them connected and motivated. To quote their staff:
“Working at Codeglue feels like you’re with family. Peter and Maurice always try to find ways to make it even more enjoyable to work at Codeglue. They not only want employees to succeed at our studio, they want employees to succeed in every area of their life and be happy and healthy overall.”

Inclusion Award

Emily Jacometti

Emily and her co-founders have been leading Flavour for over 14 years where they try to make a positive impact on the world through gamification. In recent years Emily has really helped Flavour to lead by example when it comes to their inclusivity and hiring policy. 
Next to this, Emily is involved in several initiatives like FemIT from the HvA, Women in Tech, and as advisor to the HKU. As a board member to the DGA she’s been putting her best foot forward to develop a Code of Conduct for the Dutch game industry. Wherever Emily sees an opportunity to open up the industry for more diversity and break the mould, she’s on it.

Career Achievement Award

Alessandra van Otterlo

This award is a recognition of EVERYTHING she’s done for the games industry…so far! Next to keeping us all informed online through Control Online and and managing countless live events like Control Conference, the European Game Showcase and in the past the Holland Pavilion and Festival of Games, she also handles countless volunteer jobs. 

She’s an advisor to several conferences, has mentored and helped multiple people to kick off their game careers, managed the Student GDC grant, the Amsterdam Game Borrel, etc. She connects you with relevant people in the game industry (whether you ask for it or not ;). Always ready to be the voice of the minority and a true fighter for diversity.

Alessandra, rock on!

Awesome Achievement Award

Sokpop Collective

Sokpop has its own take on how the game business works. Their business structure is a collective rather than a studio, where the success of one game flows back into supporting new creative work. Their business model of “one game per month subscription” is highly unusual. The community support they receive through their Patron subscriptions serve as proof that this community driven path is a success. We look forward to many more months of Sokpop games.

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