The Belgian Game Awards were presented during a virtual show on VRT NU, RTBF Auvio and Twitch. The show is an annual highlight for the Belgian game sector, which received a record number of viewers this year. The awards were organized by Flanders DC in collaboration with Belgian Games, VRT and VRT NU. Discover all the winners here!
The Belgian Game Awards are divided in three different categories: Studio Awards, Game Awards and Esports Awards. The winners were chosen by a professional jury. The public selected the winner of the Audience Award while the public vote for the Esports Awards counted for 50% of the final score.
Rewatch the show on the site VRT NU.
1. Best Studio of the Year: Fishing Cactus
Besides the impressive professional growth that Fishing Cactus knew since their debut, the jury highlighted the dedication of the founders for the Belgian Industry. They founded the Waloon Game Federation Walga and are committed to professionalise, support and promote the game industry in Wallonia and the rest of Belgium.
2. Most Promising Startup Studio of the Year: Salty Lemon
Salty Lemon hit rock bottom after the huge dissapointment of Divine Commander . With only a few months left before bankruptcy, they invested their last ressources to develop a VR-rowing application, that was later baptized EXR. With EXR, Salty Lemons was able to collect enough financial support to launch a BETA-version. The Beta was very well received and currently has more than 7.000 rower-users worldwide.
3. Lifetime Achievement Award: Yves Grolet
Yves Grolet is considered as a pioneer of the Walloon gamesector so it was an obvious choice for the jury to grant him the Lifetime Achievement Award. His merits are huge and his career is impressive. He made his first game on the Commodore 64 while he was only 15 years old. Shortly after, he started working for Ubisoft – at that time a small startup and now one of the mastodonts of the international game-industry. In 1999, Yves launched Outcast, a classic cult and one of the first 3-dimensional open world games, where Grand Theft Auto III took his inspiration from. Outcast II was announced recently with a promising trailer. Yves is not only a creative game developer, he is also a smart entrepreneur. He founded five studios, the last of which, Appeal Studios, was bought by Embracer Group and is by far the largest game studio in Wallonia, with around 60 employees.
4. Audience Award: VR-Kuub
This time, the audience left the entertainment titles aside and voted for VR-Kuub, an educational game made by Cybernetic Walrus that aims to improve the communication skills between young people at school. In the game, a student solves various secret missions and must escape from a mysterious VR cube with the help of his fellow students.
5. PC/Console Game of the Year: The Almost Gone
Happy Volcano's Almost Gone has won awards on several occasions. Once again, it won the hearts of the jury. In fact, it even won two awards this year. The jury particularly praised the interaction between emotion, gameplay and art.
6. Mobile Game of the Year: The Almost Gone
The Almost Gone by Happy Volcano also won the prize in this category. Proof that this puzzle game offers a top-notch game experience both on PC/console and on mobile devices.
7. AR/VR Game of the Year: Deisim
Games have to offer unique experiences and that applies all the more to VR/AR games. Tommy Malloteaux's Deisim hit the mark, according to the jury. When the player stands in front of his creation, he feels like a masterchef who embellishes the world with trees and animals and thus discovers a sadistic side of himself in the process.
8. Best Non-Entertainment Title of the Year: Pollinator Park
Pollinator Park, a game Poppins & Wayne built for the European Commission, was realised in collaboration with a 'bio-architect' Vincent Callebaut who lent his characteristic eco-futuristic style to it. Pollinator Park is somewhere between a zoo, a theme park, an interactive museum and a crystal ball: instructive and fascinating.
9. Debut Game of the Year: Sizeable
Sizeable is a classic example of keeping it simple. A single idea, a single vision, a lot of interesting executions. The puzzle concept is easily expanded upon thematically, and it’s great to see this young team do just that.
10. Student Game of the Year: Glint
Student game Glint from Haute Ecole Albert Jacquard snatched the title of Student Game of the Year. The jury noted that the game remains true to the ominous concept and story behind it in terms of art, sound design and gameplay. A strong performance for a game that was developed in only three months.
11. Most Anticipated Game of the Year: Roguebook
Roguebook by Abrakam is the game that the jury was looking forward to the most. One of the jury members does not even like deckbuilders at all, but became passionate about this game, which incidentally also featured Richard Garfield, creator of Magic: The Gathering. To be clear: the game was not yet released when the jury was testing it. In the meantime Roguebook has already been released on PC, but we still have to wait a little for the console versions.
12. Esports Event of the Year: Tarmac Online Sessions
Tarmac comes up with a brand new initiative that is open to a very diverse audience: the Tarmac Online Sessions. The RTBF channel has been investing in Esports for years and launched with Tarmac Online a community-based, competitive and entertaining concept for the Belgian Esports scene.
13. Esports Rookie Player of the Year: Vincent "Slyex" Tobaly
Esporter Vincent "Sylex" Tobaly - also a medical student at the Université Libre of Bruxelles - made his mark on the Esports scene during the European University Rocketeers. After the qualifications, he reached the top 12 of 350 participants and even made it into the top 3 during the summer series. This Esports talent is on his way to the absolute top and therefore deserved this award.
14. Esports Pro Player of the Year: Raphaël "Targamas" Crabbé
If we look at Targamas' record, we see mostly gold medals. This Belgian player is an icon in League of Legends. Raphaël first played for Fnatic and Vitality and is now part of the successful Karmine Corp. As champion of League of Legends and the European Masters, this young player is the Belgian future in League of Legends.
The Belgian Game Awards are an annual event and have been a milestone in the gamesector since 2016. This year the awards were organised by Flanders DC in collaboration with Belgian Games, VRT and VRT NU and made possible thanks to the support of these partners: VAF | Gamefonds, RTBF, Studio Brussel, MNM, Sporza, FLEGA, WALGA, hub.brussels, Cronos Interactive, Belgian Esports Federation and speelhetslim.be/jouezmalin.be.