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Heavy Rain, New Super Mario Bros. Honored at CESA Game of the Year Awards

Top designers give first ever Game Designers Award to Heavy Rain.

Heavy Rain was selected by Japan's top designers for the first ever Game Designers Award.

New Super Mario Bros. and Heavy Rain took top honors in this year's Japan Game Awards, which were handed out by Tokyo Game Show organizer CESA on the first day of the show last week.

The annual awards include categories for excellence, best sales, global (made in Japan) and global (made overseas). For the most part, the awards are voted on by the general public (voting ran from 4/12 to 7/23 this year) before being finalized by a CESA selection committee. To qualify, games must have been released from 4/1/2009 through 3/31/2010.

New Super Mario Bros. Wii was given this year's grand prize. The game received "overwhelming" support in the general vote, and was also given a nod from the committee for its demonstration of "the true nature of gaming."

Taking awards for excellence this year were:

  • Inazuma Eleven 2 (Level-5, DS)
  • Wii Sports Resort (Nintendo, Wii)
  • Friend Collection (Nintendo, DS)
  • Dragon Quest IX (Square Enix, DS)
  • New Super Mario Bros. Wii (Nintendo, Wii)
  • Final Fantasy XIII (Square Enix, PS3)
  • Bayonetta (Sega, PS3/Xbox 360)
  • Pokemon HeartGold & SoulSilver (Pokemon, DS)
  • Monster Hunter 3 (Capcom, Wii)
  • LovePlus (Konami, DS)
  • Yakuza 4 (Sega, PS3)

The "Best Sales Award" went to Dragon Quest IX, which achieved 4.26 million in sales over the qualifying period and 4.3 million sales overall. The "Global Award" went to Wii Sports Resort (made in Japan) and Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 (global).

CESA established the new "Game Designer Award" this year, given to the game that a selection panel felt left the greatest mark on gaming history over the past year. This year's panel included the following eleven designers:

  • Masahiro Sakurai (Sora)
  • Fumito Ueda (Sony Computer Entertainment)
  • Hideki Kamiya (Platinum Games)
  • Shuu Takumi (Capcom)
  • Shinji Mikami (Tango)
  • Jin Fujisawa (Square Enix)
  • Jiro Ishii (Level-5)
  • Kazutoshi Ida (Grasshopper Manufacturer)
  • Masayoshi Kikuchi (Sega)
  • Keiichiro Toyama (Sony Computer Entertainment)
  • Hifumi Kouno (Nude Maker)

To qualify for the award, the game had to have been released between 4/1/2009 and 3/31/2010. Also, games that were worked on by members of the panel were not qualified.

The winner of the first Game Designers Award was Heavy Rain. In contrast, Heavy Rain placed 70th in general public voting for the excellence awards.

Director and scenario writer David Cage appeared at the awards ceremony to accept the award. Visit Impress Watch for pictures of the ceremony.

CESA has English translations of the reasons for all awards, as well as comments from the producers.

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