Weekend Question: Do you vote in the Steam Awards?

PCG Jody

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Dec 9, 2019
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I ask the PCG staff a regular Weekend Question and post the answers on the site. If you'd like to throw in an answer here, I'll squeeze the best into the finished article!

This week's question is: Do you vote in the Steam Awards?

During Steam's Autumn Sale you can nominate games that came out on Steam in the previous year for categories like Better With Friends and Best Game You Suck At, and one game released at any time for the Labor of Love award. (Good luck thinking of something to nominate for VR Game of the Year). Then during the Winter Sale the most-nominated games are put in front of everyone for a round of voting so we can see what other people are wrong about.

Have you nominated anything this year? It earns you a badge, I guess. Have you voted in previous years? Red Dead Redemption 2 was Steam's Game of the Year in 2020 and Apex Legends took home Best Game You Suck At.
 

Zloth

Community Contributor
I don't play games when they release - I normally wait several months to let them get patched up. The only game I played this year that qualifies for an award (other than Labor of Love) is Mechwarrior 5, and that only made it because it released on Steam a year late! I guess that makes it my game of the year!?

When the awards first came out, they didn't put any kind of limit on the nominees. I was able to vote for the games I had the most fun with that year. Naturally, none of them got to the final round, but at least I could vote what I felt. I don't know, maybe this year I'll nominate stuff from my wish list to give some devs a boost.
 
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I don't play games when they release - I normally wait several months to let them get patched up. The only game I played this year that qualifies for an award (other than Labor of Love) is Mechwarrior 5, and that only made it because it released on Steam a year late! I guess that makes it my game of the year!?

When the awards first came out, they didn't put any kind of limit on the nominees. I was able to vote for the games I had the most fun with that year. Naturally, none of them got to the final round, but at least I could vote what I felt. I don't know, maybe this year I'll nominate stuff from my wish list to give some devs a boost.
Same, as far as I'm aware I haven't played any games released in 2021. I did nominate Stardew Valley for the Labor of Love award just now.
 

Frindis

Moderator
I try to do it every year and so far I have rounded up:
  • Game of the year award: Valheim
    • Fantastic game, awesome options for building, beautiful art, music, and exploration. Basically, this game got it all!
  • Better with friends award: Super Animal Royale
    • A very fun game, one of the top battle royale games you can play because of being both fast-paced, easy to learn, has fun weapons, beautiful art style, and of course the most important thing: furry animals.
  • Outstanding visual style award: Psychonauts 2
    • The visual style of that game is just insanely well done, which makes it a joy to roam around in different minds.
  • Best soundtrack award: Cyberpunk 2077
    • While the game was not what I expected it to be, the music was pretty good.
  • Sit back and relax award: Forza Horizon 5
    • Since you can do AFK races in FH5, this one wins the prize of total relaxation. Ok, ok, I'm slightly joking here. It is though, a very relaxing game to roam in. Looks and sounds great and you'll spend hours just drifting, jumping, exploring, and forgetting all about time as we know it.
 
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Nov 27, 2020
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Every year I try to, but it seems like my votes don't register unless I vote in each category, which I can't do because I don't play many new releases. The problem expands, because I can't vote for any one game in more than one category, which I feel I should be able to do. Game of the Year, Best Story, Best Music could theoretically apply to a single game; but I'm unable to do so.

I've only purchased 2 games that were released this year: Mass Effect Legendary, and Solasta: Crown of the Magister, and both those games I would have voted for in multiple categories but wasn't able to.

I also don't feel right about voting in a certain category for a game I've never played (like VR). I wish that we could vote in the categories that apply to us personally, and have those votes count, even if we didn't vote in every single category.
 

Zloth

Community Contributor
I was thinking about my wish to vote for any game I played. That would work great for me, but it would destroy the awards. There are millions of people that play Counter Strike or DOTA and nothing else, so they would all vote for the one or two games they play year after year.
 
I was kind of turned off by the Steam Awards that first year when the categories were mostly nonsense, but I'll vote if I happen to be on a game's page and they have one of those "Vote for us!" notices. I don't know, I might look into a little more, but I'm not sure what I've even played that counts toward this year.

Note: I've just gone through my games and voted in every category except "Game you suck at" because I'm a gaming god.
 
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Nov 26, 2021
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The power cut out just as I was about to post my response. It might go out again, so I'd best hurry up!
Anyway, I participate in the Steam Awards because I'm one of those weird people who likes Steam Badges and Levels. But this year I'm in a bit of a pickle because even if I had followed PC gaming as much as I did before I got into Dungeons & Dragons, I wouldn't be able to tell you that much about what's happened this year. Cyberpunk disappointed, Valheim came out of nowhere, Squenix did some bad games, and that's all I can really tell you. So my choices will be willy-nilly this year just so I can get myself some XP.

I used to get all up in arms over awards ceremonies. Now I see them as a bit of fun. It's a safe bet which games will win which awards, but hey, it's something to wile away the time with. Though that's what the games you're voting on are for I suppose.
 
I used to get all up in arms over awards ceremonies. Now I see them as a bit of fun. It's a safe bet which games will win which awards, but hey, it's something to wile away the time with. Though that's what the games you're voting on are for I suppose.
I think the awards are mostly for the developers, not the consumers. I don't really care that much if the games I vote for actually win, but I imagine it's quite the validation for the people who worked on the games that win.
 
Jan 13, 2020
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The past few awards - I just did it for the badge - mainly because it's a hassle to even see what games are eligible. How hard could it be to create a "2021 Eligible Games" filter and then be able to filter it further from there? Am I missing something with that interface? I wound up finding a website that had their recommendations - and seemed like good suggestions so I went with those.

If Steam doesn't care about people being able to easily find the eligible games to nominate, then what's the point? Maybe that's it - if folks are truly determined to nominate their game - they will find a way. If you build it better, folks will participate - otherwise...
 
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I have in the past, back when I was more active in the "new games" scene, and when I had more free time and... well, cared more. Not to say I don't care now (I still care more than [insert random passerby]), but as my backlog continually grows, my interest in the newest, biggest, flashiest (or even indiest) thing wanes a bit. In fact, I think the only *new* game I played this year was Cyberpunk 2077, and that's technically not from this year. Pretty sure I haven't bought any games released in 2021. Unless the AoE2 remake came out this year, I can't remember. But remakes shouldn't count...

Anyway, I didn't even recognize half the games that were up for awards in some categories. And I don't feel right voting uninformed, possibly cancelling out the vote of someone who put a lot of thought and research into it or something.
 
May 16, 2021
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I don't really participate in the voting. I was hoping to be super interested in whoever won, but even after the fact, seeing a game in Steam Awards only makes me happy if it's a game I've played. Every other game still looks uninteresting.
 
Nov 26, 2021
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The winter sale has started, and so has final voting. Surprisingly, Cyberpunk got nominated for GotY (and for outstanding story-rich game).
I've long believed that candidates are either algorithm or retention-based. Like it's such a controversial pick that it'll get people talking and voting, or it's additional advertising to make sure Valve get their 30% cut. Like achievements, the Steam Awards are likely more than just for fun.

Given a noticeable amount of the games on there have Mixed reviews, some of which have only had that honour after going from Mostly Negative (that Medal of Honour VR game, for instance), I wouldn't be at all surprised if there was either zero thought put into choices, or a nefarious amount for nefarious gains.

I could also argue that one should not attribute malice what could easily be attributed to incompetence. See Valve's quality control.
 
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Zloth

Community Contributor
I'm pretty sure it's just a simple count. There's no fancy votes-per-purchaser calculations or anything like that being done. If a million people get a game, then half of them vote for it, it would easily defeat a game that only 200,000 people bought, even if every person that got the second game voted for it.

Cyberpunk's review isn't mixed. 81% positive recently and 76% overall.

For the VR games, who knows? That's a really tiny market at this point. I wouldn't be surprised if 90% of the people voting in that poll had never played any of the games on the list. They just voted for a name they knew so they could get their badge.
 

PCG Jody

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Between Cyberpunk 2077 being picked up on sale by people who come in with low expectations and end up enjoying it, and VR being so niche people just nominate whatever they've played, I doubt there's anything nefarious going on here.
 
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PCG Jody

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Regarding votes, I'm torn between Deathloop and Loop Hero for Most Innovative Gameplay. Unpacking is an easy pick for Most Relaxing, and Guardians of the Galaxy for Best Soundtrack. They recorded an entire album of authentic '80s hard rock for the fictional band Star-Lord names himself after, it's outstanding
 

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