December 7, 2017, at The Game Awards Ceremony, "The Legend Of Zelda: Breath of the Wild" was named Game of the Year. The game also received the Best Action-Adventure Game award and Best Game Direction. The nominees are decided by a panel of 51 international industry people before opening voting to the public. While The Game Awards was once a part of Spike TV, the ceremony has been independent since 2014. Last year’s Game of the Year winner was "Overwatch."

Many fans speculated that the Game of the Year Award would go to one of the Nintendo nominees.

Though titles from Guerilla Games, PUBG Corp., and Atlus were nominated for the award, Nintendo had two strong contenders: "The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild" and "Super Mario Odyssey." Both games were well-received by critics and fans alike, which caused some to declare that 2017 was “The Year of Nintendo.”

'Breath of the Wild' background

"Breath of the Wild" is the latest installment in the "Zelda" franchise. Fans waited anxiously to play this action-adventure game. To further hype the game, Nintendo released the game on the same day as the Nintendo Switch. It was widely lauded by critics for its gameplay. Some even named it one of the greatest video games of all time. The game’s expertly crafted open-world design was heavily praised, though some gave minor criticisms about technical issues that were later patched.

With 4 million copies sold, this is the best-selling game on the Nintendo Switch.

2017 was a big year for Nintendo. With the release of the Nintendo Switch, the company continued its reputation as a giant in gaming. The handheld console is a revolutionary system, and the side-by-side release with "Breath of the Wild" ensured the console’s instant success.

Though the simultaneous release added to the success of the system and the game, both received excellent views on their own and were considered technical marvels.

The Game Awards

This was a year of firsts for The Game Awards. While past winners were chosen by a panel, the public was able to vote this year through The Game Awards' website and social media.

Millions of gamers cast votes for their favorite games. Also for the first time during the awards, an orchestra played the soundtracks to the games nominated during the ceremony. One of the most exciting new features, however, was the inclusion of the Student Game Award. "Level Squared" was given the new award this year.

The ceremony was also available to watch for free on a variety of streaming platforms including YouTube and Twitch. This truly brings The Game Awards to gamers. By meeting fans where they are rather than streaming the ceremony behind paywalls or subscription services, The Game Awards marks itself as an accessible gamer-based ceremony.