In a year where Game Informer had its most heated game of the year discussions in recent memory, a dark horse candidate surprised the field to take home three awards at the Game Developers Choice Awards.

Ustwo's mobile darling Monument Valley took home three prizes, for best handheld/mobile, best visual art, and the innovation award. The grand prize, however, went to Monolith's Shadow of Mordor.

Here is the full list of winners:

  • Ambassador Award: Brenda Romero
  • Pioneer Award: Dave Braben
  • Lifetime Achievement Award: Hironobu Sakaguchi
  • Best Technology: Destiny
  • Best Audio: Alien: Isolation
  • Best Narrative: Kentucky Route Zero
  • Best Visual Art: Monument Valley
  • Best Handheld/Mobile Game: Monument Valley
  • Best Game Design: Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft
  • Best Debut: The Banner Saga
  • Innovation Award: Monument Valley
  • Audience Award: Elite: Dangerous
  • Game of the Year: Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor

Before the Choice Awards, Capybara Games president Nathan Vella took the stage for the second year in a row to hand out the Independent Game Festival awards. Here is the complete list of winners:

  • Excellence In Visual Art: Metamorphabet
  • Excellence In Audio: Ephemerid
  • Excellence In Design: Outer Wilds
  • Excellence In Narrative: 80 Days
  • Nuovo Award: Tetrageddon Games
  • Best Student Game: Close Your
  • Audience Award: This War of Mine
  • Seumas McNally Grand Prize: Outer Wilds