Hazelight Studios founder, Josef Fares, was present at this year's The Game Awards to give the Game of the Year award to the winner after It Takes Two took it home last year. It might come off as a huge surprise, but Elden Ring, FromSoftware's latest outing, is the lone winner of arguably the most prestigious award in all of gaming.
Elden Ring was nominated for the GOTY award alongside God of War: Ragnarok, Stray, A Plague Tale: Requiem, Xenoblade Chronicles 3, and Horizon Forbidden West. As expected, it was a two-way race between God of War: Ragnarok and Elden Ring. But, not for the lack of competition, as Stray also nabbed two indie awards.
Heading into the closing moments of The Game Awards, most were expecting God of War: Ragnarok to win. After all, Christopher Judge opened the show with an iconic speech that probably ran a bit too long for comfort following his "Best Performance" win as Kratos for God of War: Ragnarok. In total, Santa Monica Studio's highly anticipated follow-up won six awards and was all but certain to get a third one. However, Elden Ring would add a fourth to its coffers instead and a second GOTY award after winning one in Japan earlier this year.
At the end of the day, the close fight between Kratos and the Elden Lord means the winners here are the larger gaming community. It's very rare for two games of such caliber to come out in the same year.
Sales-wise, both God of War: Ragnarok and Elden Ring are posting historical highs. Earlier this year, Elden Ring enjoyed the best reviews from critics of the year and ended up setting a new record for FromSoftware as its best-selling title. Meanwhile, God of War: Ragnarok is the best-selling PlayStation exclusive in its launch week already and it even outsold all but FIFA in some metrics.
Most likely, Elden Ring will win the battle of longevity as God of War: Ragnarok isn't expected to get post-launch content. On the other hand, FromSoftware is just getting started after releasing the first DLC for Elden Ring.
Fingers crossed, FromSoftware and Santa Monica Studio will find themselves in a tight race a few years from now. Who knows? This might happen as soon as the first-party PlayStation studio gets a chance to work on a Castlevania game.