Last week we reported that Magic Leap, Oculus, and Insomniac Games were set to talk at the 2017 edition of the D.I.C.E. Summit in Las Vegas. We also took issue with the event’s annual awards ceremony.
Namely, we lamented the lack of a category for VR and AR games at the 2017 iteration of the show, and the small number of these games listed in general. It appears we spoke too soon, though; the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences (AIAS) that runs the ceremony today announced two new categories for it, both of which recognize the best in VR gaming over the past 12 months.
D.I.C.E. has dubbed these nominees as ‘Immersive Reality’ games, likely to allow for entries of titles on other platforms like the mixed reality Magic Leap in the years to come.
First up, we have the ‘Immersive Reality Game of the Year’, which is described as an experience that “best utilizes the attributes of the platform to entertain users.” Included in the list is Ubisoft’s soothing flying title, Eagle Flight [Review: 7.5/10], Schell Games’ mind-bending puzzler, I Expect You To Die [Review: 7.5/10], Owlchemy Labs’ super successful Job Simulator [Review: 8/10], Valve’s VR compilation, The Lab [Review: 9/10], and the manic SUPERHOT VR [Review: 9/10].
That’s a pretty good selection of VR games, and its refreshing to see a ceremony honor titles that didn’t just appear on PlayStation VR, which we criticized last year’s The Game Awards for doing.
The ‘Immersive Reality Technical Achievement’, which celebrates games with the “highest level of technical achievement within an immersive reality experience”, is a very similar category. Eagle Flight, Job Simulator, I Expect You To Die, and SUPERHOT VR are all listed. Joining them is Google’s popular creativity app, Tilt Brush, which is now available on the Vive.
As we mentioned before, other VR and AR games have been recognized in other categories; Driveclub VR is up for ‘Racing Game of the Year’, and Pokemon GO and Thumper both have several nominations. Suddenly these awards are looking like a much better representation of the year VR has had.
The awards take place just under a month from now on February 23rd at The Mandalay Bay Convention Center.