December 1 saw the awards ceremony for 2016’s The Game Awards. Formerly the Spike Video Game Awards, the Geoff Keighley-produced event has come a long way. This year, it filled up the 7,100 seat Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles with an event whose tone fell somewhere between the Academy Awards and the VMAs.
The night included a performance by Run the Jewels, Rae Sremmurd, and live selections from the Doom soundtrack. Major game publishers showed off videos from upcoming titles, as has become customary. Mass Effect: Andromeda, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and even smaller “mega-indie” titles like Shovel Knight made an appearance.
Of course, all of the flash was in support of the awards themselves. The Game Awards are the gaming industry’s only major awards ceremony, with most other honors being given by individual websites or magazines.
The Game Awards
The awards cover 18 categories, as well as 6 “Fan’s Choice” awards selected by the public. The 18 main award winners are selected by a jury of gaming industry professionals, and recognize a wide range of skills and arts.
Of course, our main interest is in voice acting. There’s only one category at The Game Awards that applies to voice actors. “Best Performance” is a catch-all for any and all “talent” in games, including motion and facial capture as well as voiceover.
This year’s Game award for Best Performance went to…
Nolan North – The Game Awards’ Best Performance of 2016
Nolan North, the voice of Nathan Drake in the Uncharted series, won this year’s award for his work in Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End.
He’s a great choice, and obviously very deserving. North is one of the biggest stars in video game voice acting, and he’s absolutely earned the right to a major award like this.
North’s win follows 2015’s award to Viva Seifert, who played Hannah on-screen in the FMV game Her Story. 2014’s award went to Trey Parker, one of the dynamic duo behind South Park, for his work in South Park: The Stick of Truth.
The rest of the nominees are a whos who of amazing voice acting.
- Alex Hernandez (Lincoln Clay in Mafia III)
- Cissy Jones (Delilah in Firewatch)
- Emily Rose (Elena in Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End)
- Rich Sommer (Henry in Firewatch)
- Troy Baker (Sam Drake in Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End)
Troy Baker, of course, has won in the past and undoubtedly will again.
Rich Sommer strikes a great balance between on-screen and voice acting work. He frequently guests on TV shows ranging from Grey’s Anatomy to Mad Men. Meanwhile, he’s a regular on Regular Show in Space, Elena of Avalor, and more animated projects.
Emily Rose, strangely, only has the one voice credit to her name. She’s played Elena in every Uncharted game. Other than that, she sticks to live action roles on Graceland, Haven, ER, and more.
Cissy Jones, on the other hand, has been quietly building a career in video game voice acting since 2010. She’s been in Fallout 4, Life is Strange, Murdered: Soul Suspect, and a slew of other story-heavy games.
Finally, Alex Hernandez has only been in the industry for a couple of years, at least according to IMDB. He started as Carlos on Law & Order: SVU in 2012, and his next big role was Isaac in Hemlock Grove. Mafia III is his first voice acting role.
Congratulations to Nolan North, and to all the nominees! It’s wonderful to see video game voice acting recognized and celebrated.