Future Publishing has revealed the results of the Golden Joystick Awards 2004 at a lavish ceremony held today at the Park Lane Hotel. The industry gathered to see Little Britain star Matt Lucas reveal the verdict of a record-breaking 200,000-plus consumers, who’d been voting for their favourite games and hardware released between November 14th 2003 and October 28th 2004.
Despite this largest-ever response to the Golden Joysticks, no single publisher dominated the awards, with a wide-range of games and publishers sharing the spoils.
Warren Spector was welcomed to the Golden Joysticks Hall of Fame (sponsored by Barrington Harvey) thanks to his sterling contribution to the furthering and development of the interactive entertainment medium. He joins last year’s inaugural entrant Shigeru Miyamoto in this most prestigious of clubs.
Activision’s Doom 3 was the only game to scoop two awards, picking up PC Game of the Year and Ultimate Game of the Year – beating off heavy-hitters Far Cry, Fable and Pro Evolution Soccer 4.
Electronic Arts grabbed three awards: Burnout 3: Takedown (PlayStation 2 Game of the Year); Battlefield Vietnam (Online Game of The Year); and Publisher of the Year, capping off a tremendous twelve months which has seen it dominate the charts with every release, as well as claiming last year’s Christmas Number One.
Nintendo maintained its strong showing with the Golden Joystick Awards voters, picking up three accolades: Mario Kart: Double Dash!! (Game Cube Game of the Year); GBA SP NES Classic Edition (Hardware of the Year) and The Legend of Zelda (Most Wanted Game For 2005).
Radio One’s Colin and Edith Show’s listeners rated Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas as the game they were most looking forward to the "Most Wanted For Xmas" Award. And The Sun’s readers declared Sonic The Hedgehog their ‘Ultimate Gaming Hero’.
Fable (Microsoft) was awarded Xbox Game of the Year. Sonic Advance 3 (THQ) picked up Handheld Game of the Year, and the two editor awards – voted for by the staff of Future publishing – went to Konami’s Pro Evolution Soccer 4 (Editors Award: Game of the Year) and Vivendi’s The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay (Editor’s Award: Unsung Hero Game of the Year).
In the non-game award, Amazon.co.uk pipped GAME and Play.com to the Retailer of the Year Award.
"The Golden Joystick Awards 2004 really surpassed our expectations," says Mia Roberts, games publishing director, Future Publishing. "We’ve had a record number of consumers voting – online and via text through our retail partner Gamestation – for their favourite games, a brilliant host in the form of Matt Lucas, and a great day honouring the very best the medium has to offer. We’d like to thank everyone who voted, the sponsors for their support and everyone who attended. We look forward to working with them next year."
The full list of winners is as follows:
PS2 Game of the Year: Burnout 3: Takedown (EA Games)
Runners-up: Pro Evolution Soccer 3 (Konami); Spider-Man 2 (Activision)
Game Cube Game of the Year: Mario Kart: Double Dash!! (Nintendo)
Runners-up: Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes (Konami); Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles (Nintendo)
Handheld Game of the Year: Sonic Advance 3 (THQ)
Runners-up: Metroid Zero Mission (Nintendo); Mario & Luigi Superstar Saga (Nintendo)
Xbox Game of the Year Sponsored by Sonopress: Fable (Microsoft)
Runners-up: Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow (Ubisoft), GTA: Double Pack (Rockstar)
PC Game of the Year Sponsored by PC Retail: Doom 3 (Activision)
Runners-up: X2: The Threat (Deep Silver); Far Cry (UbiSoft)
Online Game of the Year: Battlefield Vietnam (EA Games) Runners-up: Burnout 3: Takedown (EA Games); Counter-Strike: Condition Zero (Valve)
Publisher of the Year Sponsored by Macrovision: Electronic Arts Runners-up: THQ, Ubisoft
Retailer of the Year Sponsored by Electronic Arts: Amazon.co.uk Runners-up: GAME; Play.com
Hardware of the Year: GBA SP NES Classic Edition Runners-up: Creative Labs Gigaworks S750; GBA Wireless Adapter
Unsung Hero Game of the Year (Editors’ Award): The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay (VU Games)Runners-up: The Suffering (Midway); Mashed (Empire)
Game of the Year (Editors’ Award): Pro Evolution Soccer 4 (Konami)
Runners-up: Zelda: Four Swords (Nintendo); Joint Operations: Typhoon Rising (NovaLogic)
Hall of Fame – Industry Personality of the Year: Warren Spector (Ion Storm)
Radio One Colin & Edith Show Most Wanted Game For Xmas: GTA San Andreas (Rockstar Games)Runners-up: Half-Life 2 (VU Games); Halo 2 (Microsoft)
Most Wanted Game For 2005: The Legend of Zelda (Nintendo)
Runners-up: Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater (Konami); Resident Evil 4 (Capcom)
Ultimate Game Of The Year: Doom 3 (Activision) Runners-up: Fable (Microsoft); Pro Evolution Soccer 4 (Konami)
The Sun Ultimate Gaming Hero: Sonic The Hedgehog (Sega)Runners-up: Master Chief (Halo 2, Microsoft); Lara Croft (Tomb Raider, Eidos)