Hades Wins A Hugo Award, Making History As First Video Game To Ever Do So

Hades Wins A Hugo Award, Making History As First Video Game To Ever Do So
Image: Supergiant Games

Yesterday, Hades made history by becoming the first video game to ever win a Hugo Award, an annual literary award presented to the best science fiction or fantasy works from the previous year.

Hades was developed by Supergiant Games and released after a period in early access last year. Supergiant Games creative director, Greg Kasvin, tweeted his reaction to Hades winning the historic award, stating that although he wasn’t able to make it to the award ceremony, he was “grateful” that the Hugo Awards are “recognising work in this category, much less the work we did!”

Hades, developed by Supergiant Games, was a smash hit last year, winning plenty of awards. We even called it one of the best games of 2020. The roguelike was based on Greek mythology and told the story of Hades’ son Zagreus escaping the underworld, after dying a lot.

The other games nominated by the Hugo Awards this year were: Spiritfarer, The Last of Us 2, Animal Crossing: New Horizons, Final Fantasy 7 Remake, and Blaseball.

The Hugo Awards are an annual literary award given to various sci-fi and fantasy works at the World Science Fiction Convention every year. Normally, video games aren’t nominated for the award, however, this year a new category was introduced for video games. This follows years of conversations among the governing members behind the prestigious and long-running Hugo Awards. The new category is only, at least for now, a one-off thing, but it could continue in the future.

In recent years, the Hugo Awards have continued to expand beyond traditional literary works and authors. Past new categories added to the prestigious awards include Best Fanzine or Best Fancast, an award honouring great sci-fi and fantasy-focused podcasts and video series. It’s likely that, as gaming becomes more popular and continues to tell bigger, better stories involving sci-fi or fantasy, the Hugo Awards will look to add a more permanent award category for video games.

  

Comments

  • Huh. On the one hand, Hades is great and deserves loads of awards.
    On the other, it’s kind of a shame that the award is simply for ‘Best Video Game’, rather than ‘Best Video Game Narrative/Writing/Storytelling’ etc that might be expected from a body that hands out literary awards.

    • Yeah, seems a bit lazy to me as well.

      Writing and story are so often described in glowing terms by video game journalists even when it actually reads like horribly clichéd fan fiction, the base-line really is disturbingly low.

      Having people who know writing handing out awards for video game story at least gives those trying to do a better job an easy pointer towards some examples to aspire to, and starts to develop a critical language to better articulate what good writing actually looks like in the genre.

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