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Starfield was arguably one of the most hyped games of 2023 prior to launch. However, that hype nosedived a few months after launch. The most recent reviews of the game on Steam were mostly negative as players slammed the game’s performance and Bethesda’s harsh response to criticism.

Starfield Finally Has An Award To Celebrate, Thanks To 2023 Steam Awards

Notwithstanding all the marketing hype, Starfield only received one nomination at The Game Awards. Throughout the award season, Starfield was mostly missing with Baldur’s Gate 3 sweeping most of the high-profile awards.

Well, the result for the 2023 Steam Awards was announced on January 2, 2024, and Starfield won in the Most Innovative Gameplay category. Since the award is based on a 100% fan vote, many believe the award is an ironic way of mocking the game. Starfield beat Contraband Police, Shadows of Doubt, Your Only Move is Hustle, and Remnant 2 in that category to win the award.

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“We’re thrilled to announce that #Starfield has won Most Innovative Gameplay in the Steam Awards!” the developers shared on X through the game’s official handle.

Most of the comments that followed either expressed surprise or insinuated players were only trying to mock the game. Some outrightly said there was nothing innovative about Starfield’s gameplay. Nevertheless, there were still those who spoke in defense of the game.

Starfield Finally Has An Award To Celebrate, Thanks To 2023 Steam Awards

“I’m pretty sure that was done as a joke, same way RDR2 got a “Labour of Love” while not receiving updates for 3 years,” wrote @kroshkaruiya1 in response to Bethesda’s announcement. “I’m afraid there’s nothing innovative in Starfield’s gameplay whatsoever.”

Countering that view, @LindasGamingCo1 wrote, “1. Physics like you have never seen before in ANY Bethesda game. 2. The best graphics so far. 3. Best combat of any Bethesda Game so far. And the list goes on. So I wonder if you even played it!”

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“None of that is innovative in the slightest lol,” responded @apollo_calling. “Do you know what innovated means?”

It was an interesting—and often heated—conversation between those who were for and those who were against Starfield’s announcement as the winner in the Most Innovative Gameplay award category.

Starfield was still not the star of the 2023 Steam Awards

Starfield Finally Has An Award To Celebrate, Thanks To 2023 Steam Awards

For all the games that won at the 2023 Steam Awards, Valve will ship a cuboid-shaped trophy to the developers’ office. Also, a virtual trophy will be added to the game’s store page. Unlike other awards, a game cannot be nominated in more than two categories at the Steam Awards; namely the Game of The Year or VR Game of The Year and one other category.

Unsurprisingly, Baldur’s Gate 3 continued to dazzle and was the star of the 2023 Steam Awards. The game was voted The Game of the Year. In addition to that, it also won in the Outstanding Story-Rich Game Award category, beating some of the greatest releases of 2023 including Resident Evil 4 Remake, Love is All Around, Lies of P, and Star Wars Jedi: Survivor.

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“Some days, only a narrative-heavy game will hit the spot, and this one packs a wallop,” was the message that came with the category. “It’s as gripping as any soap opera, and as well-tuned as a prestige-TV screenplay. Bravissimo—for making us feel things!”

In all, there were 11 award categories. Gamers who voted in each category got a special Steam Award sticker in return for casting their votes. Below are all the games that won in the 2023 Steam Awards and the category they were crowned.

Game of the Year Award – Baldur’s Gate 3

VR Game of the Year Award – Labyrinthine

Labor of Love Award – Red Dead Redemption II

Best Game on Steam Deck Award – Hogwarts Legacy

Better With Friends Award – Lethal Company

Outstanding Visual Style Award – Atomic Heart

Most Innovative Gameplay Award – Starfield

Best Game You Suck At Award – SIFU

Best Soundtrack Award – The Last of Us Part 1

Outstanding Story-Rich Game Award – Baldur’s Gate 3

Sit Back and Relax Award – Dave The Driver

Which of the wins do you think were deserved and which ones do you think was a mockery of the winner? Share your thoughts in the comment box below.

Anthony Emecheta

Anthony Emecheta has over a decade experience as a freelance writer. Gaming has always been a childhood hobby and he is excited to be collaborating with a gaming company as a content creator. It is like having all the things he loves in one place.


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