SXSW GAMING AWARDS TO BE HOSTED BY NEWCOMERS JANA MORRISON (ASTRID) AND SAMANTHA AUCOIN (LILLY), STARS OF SYFY’S NEW, CRITICALLY-ACCLAIMED SERIES ASTRID & LILLY SAVE THE WORLD, MARCH 12, 2022, at 7 P.M. CT

The South by Southwest® Gaming Awards (SXSW®), celebrating the wide reach of gaming across areas such as art, design, narrative, gameplay, cultural innovation, and more, has today announced that this year’s virtual Ceremony will be co-hosted by two of TV’s freshest faces — Jana Morrison (“Astrid”; Dragalia Lost video game, voice talent, English version) and Samantha Aucoin (“Lilly”), the heroic leads of Astrid & Lilly Save the World, SYFY network’s new, critically acclaimed series hailed as a “charming” and “refreshing” modern take on Buffy The Vampire Slayer. In addition, a diverse roster of presenters from entertainment and sports has been assembled (see below), as well as some special partnerships and premiere content set to shape this ninth annual gaming industry celebration into a distinct, must-stream awards season event, Produced by Georgia-based Peach Maria Productions (pronounced muh-RY-uh), executive produced by Laurie Lockliear (upcoming esports reality competition series GameMaster), the Awards will stream for free as part of SXSW Online on March 12, 2022, at 7 p.m. CT.

Several platforms will be integrated to create the SXSW 2022 experience across web, mobile and TV. A dedicated SXSW TV app can be accessed via Apple TV, Roku, Fire TV, and Android TV. In addition, SXSW TV is now available on iOS and Android. Additional live content, including Keynotes, Featured Sessions and Music Showcases, can be found in each of the 24-hour channels, during the SXSW 2022 event dates (March 11-20, 2022).

In terms of content, this year’s Ceremony will feature a first-ever integrated animated narrative, produced by Web3 animation studio, Toonstar (The Gimmicks, the first community-driven animated NFT series), in partnership with 6th Wall, the Web3 arm of Mila Kunis’ Orchard Farm Productions (Stoner Cats),  Featuring a signature quirky, expressive and fast-paced animation style, these NFT animated characters and their friends set on a misguided adventure to this year’s SXSW Gaming Awards and beyond. See “The Gimmicks Road to SXSW” teaser clip HERE. In addition, viewers of this year’s Ceremony on March 12 will have special access to an exclusive offer from The Gimmicks.
Plus, TIk Tok sensation, pop punk band Punk Rock Factory (YouTube; Disney’s “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” cover) has written a new song, with its wet-and-wild video making its world premiere during the show. According to the South Wales-based band, they “rehearse, write, record, mix, master and film everything themselves in one dedicated space affectionately called The Sausage Factory and frequently bring friends along to enjoy the fun.”

The presenters reflect the most dynamic talent, executives and storytellers across the film/TV/music/gaming industry and sports, and represent some of the most distinctive and acclaimed projects in entertainment.

Presenters and talent appearing include (in alphabetical order):

“We’re so excited…NO… ECSTATIC to be your hosts for the 2022 SXSW Gaming Awards!,” said first-time co-hosts, Astrid & Lilly Save The World co-stars and on/off-set best friends Jana Morrison (“Astrid”) and Samantha Aucoin (“Lilly”). “As gamers and award show season stans, we promise an all-out good time with plenty of fun surprises.”

For more of the ladies’ reaction, watch HERE. Catch all-new episodes of Astrid & Lilly Save The World on Wednesdays at 10 P.M. ET/PT on SYFY.

As previously announced live on G4TV’s XPlay, leading nominees include: “Kena: Bridge of Spirits,” from developer and publisher Ember Lab, scored four nominations. Five titles – “Deathloop,” “Inscryption,” “Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker,” “Forza Horizon 5” and “Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart” – each took three nominations.

Additionally, 12 titles received two nominations each, including “Before Your Eyes,” “Chicory: A Colorful Tale,” “Hell Let Loose,” “It Takes Two,” “Loop Hero,” “Lost Words: Beyond the Page,” “Resident Evil Village,” “Returnal,” “The Medium,” “The Wild At Heart,” “Unpacking” and “Valheim.”

Each year the SXSW Gaming Awards honor excellence throughout the industry, celebrating the talent that influences the medium and culture of gaming. The annual Gaming Awards celebrate the technical, artistic and design achievements of each year’s best titles and their creators.

Following a rigorous process of nominee selections, this year’s Awards will feature 40 unique games contending for honors in 12 categories (see list of nominees below).

As with each year, the SXSW community voted between February 1-8, 2022. Final winners will be determined through a weighted total of public voting, advisory board and SXSW staff input. More information about the entry and judging process is available here.
2022 FINAL NOMINEES

SXSW GAME OF THE YEAR

GAME DEVELOPER PUBLISHER
Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker         SQUARE ENIX® SQUARE ENIX®
It Takes Two Hazelight Electronic Arts
Psychonauts 2          Double Fine Productions Xbox Game Studios
Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart Insomniac Games Sony Interactive Entertainment
Resident Evil Village Capcom Capcom

INDIE GAME OF THE YEAR

GAME DEVELOPER PUBLISHER
Chicory: A Colorful Tale Greg Lobanov Finji
Death’s Door Acid Nerve Devolver Digital
Inscryption Daniel Mullins Games Devolver Digital
Kena: Bridge of Spirits Ember Lab Ember Lab
Loop Hero Four Quarters Devolver Digital
Lost Words: Beyond the Page Sketchbook Games Modus Games
The Medium Bloober Team Bloober Team
The Wild At Heart Moonlight Kids Humble Games
Unpacking Witch Beam Humble Games
Valheim Iron Gate Studio Coffee Stain Publishing

TABLETOP GAME OF THE YEAR

GAME DEVELOPER PUBLISHER
Cascadia Randy Flyn, Beth Sobel, Dylan Mangini, Molly Johnson, Robert Melvin, Kevin Russ, and Shawn Stankewich Flatout Games
Dune: Imperium Dire Wolf Digital Dire Wolf Digital
Oath: Chronicles of
Empire & Exile         
Cole Wehrle Leder Games
Roll Camera! The Filmmaking Board Game Malachi Ray Rempen Keen Bean Studio
That Time You Killed Me Peter C. Hayward, Jeff Fraser,            and Alex Cutler Pandasaurus Games

VR GAME OF THE YEAR

GAME DEVELOPER PUBLISHER
After The Fall Vertigo Games Vertigo Games
Demeo Resolution Games Resolution Games
Lone Echo II Ready at Dawn Oculus Studios
Resident Evil 4 VR Armature Studio Oculus Studios
Song in the Smoke 17-BIT 17-BIT

MATTHEW CRUMP CULTURAL INNOVATION AWARD
Awarded to the game that best challenges the “norm” of everyday gaming and offers a culturally innovative view of a game world, character, or gameplay.

GAME DEVELOPER PUBLISHER
Before Your Eyes GoodbyeWorld Games Skybound Games
Chicory: A Colorful Tale Greg Lobanov Finji
Life is Strange: True Colors Deck Nine Games SQUARE ENIX®
Lost Words: Beyond the Page Sketchbook Games Modus Games
Unpacking Witch Beam Humble Games

EXCELLENCE IN ANIMATION, ART, & VISUAL ACHIEVEMENT

GAME DEVELOPER PUBLISHER
Deathloop Arkane Lyon Bethesda Softworks
Exo One Exbleative Future Friends Games
Forza Horizon 5          Playground Games Xbox Game Studios
Kena: Bridge of Spirits Ember Lab Ember Lab
The Wild At Heart Moonlight Kids Humble Games

EXCELLENCE IN GAME DESIGN

GAME DEVELOPER PUBLISHER
Deathloop Arkane Lyon Bethesda Softworks
Inscryption Daniel Mullins Games Devolver Digital
Loop Hero                              Four Quarters Bethesda Softworks
Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart Insomniac Games Sony Interactive Entertainment
Returnal Housemarque Sony Interactive Entertainment

EXCELLENCE IN ORIGINAL SCORE

GAME DEVELOPER PUBLISHER
The Artful Escape Beethoven & Dinosaur Annapurna Interactive
Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker SQUARE ENIX® SQUARE ENIX®
Kena: Bridge of Spirits Ember Lab Ember Lab
The Medium Bloober Team Bloober Team
Wytchwood        Alientrap Games Whitethorn Games

EXCELLENCE IN MULTIPLAYER

GAME DEVELOPER PUBLISHER
Back 4 Blood Turtle Rock Studios Warner Bros. Games
Halo Infinite 343 Industries Xbox Game Studios
It Takes Two  Hazelight Electronic Arts
Riders Republic         Ubisoft Annecy Ubisoft
Valheim Iron Gate Studio Coffee Stain Publishing

EXCELLENCE IN NARRATIVE

GAME DEVELOPER PUBLISHER
Deathloop Arkane Lyon Bethesda Softworks
Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker         SQUARE ENIX® SQUARE ENIX®
Marvel’s Guardians of the
Galaxy            
Eidos-Montréal SQUARE ENIX®
Kena: Bridge of Spirits Ember Lab Ember Lab
Lost in Random        Zoink Games Electronic Arts

EXCELLENCE IN AUDIO DESIGN

GAME DEVELOPER PUBLISHER
Forza Horizon 5 Playground Games Xbox Game Studios
Hell Let Loose           Black Matter Team17
Inscryption Daniel Mullins Games Devolver Digital
Resident Evil Village Capcom Capcom
Twelve Minutes         Luis Antonio Annapurna Interactive

EXCELLENCE IN TECHNICAL ACHIEVEMENT

GAME DEVELOPER PUBLISHER
Before Your Eyes  GoodbyeWorld Games Skybound Games
Hell Let Loose            Black Matter Team17
Forza Horizon 5         Playground Games Xbox Game Studios
Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart Insomniac Games Sony Interactive Entertainment
Returnal Housemarque Sony Interactive Entertainment

All nominees will receive two SXSW Platinum Registrations to attend SXSW 2022.

SXSW will offer a hybrid event (in-person with online viewing and participation options). Recognizing that the Covid-19 landscape is changing rapidly, SXSW has updated its Covid-19 guidelines and will continue to coordinate with both the City of Austin and Austin Public Health on further guidance. More details on SXSW’s Covid protocols are available at sxsw.com/covid19-guidelines

The online SXSW Schedule provides a complete rundown of 2022 programming, broken down by time and event category, with the ability to build a customized schedule. To get started, please visit schedule.sxsw.com.

SXSW dedicates itself to helping creative people achieve their goals. Founded in 1987 in Austin, Texas, SXSW is best known for its conference and festivals that celebrate the convergence of tech, film, music, education, and culture. An essential destination for global professionals, the annual March event features sessions, music and comedy showcases, film screenings, exhibitions, professional development and a variety of networking opportunities. SXSW proves that the most unexpected discoveries happen when diverse topics and people come together. SXSW 2022 will take place March 11 – 20, 2022. For more information, please visit sxsw.com. To register for the event, please visit sxsw.com/attend.

SXSW 2022 is sponsored by White Claw, Blockchain Creative Labs, Porsche, and The Austin Chronicle.

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ABOUT PEACH MARIA PRODUCTIONS
Peach Maria Productions (pronounced muh-RY-uh) is an Atlanta based production company founded by Laurie Lockliear and John Colp. Their esports reality competition series GameMaster, featuring Wil Wheaton as the Commissioner/Host, is currently in pre-production.

LAURIE LOCKLIEAR | EXECUTIVE PRODUCER
Laurie’s entertainment career began in the 90’s working with radio stations, record labels and as a production manager for national tours. After years at Radio Disney & Disney Events she transitioned to marketing and audience engagement consulting for major brands, entertainment companies and political campaigns. Since 2017, she has been focused exclusively on film, television and video game production and brand integration.