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Golden Joystick Awards 2020: Everything you need to know

(Image credit: Future)

The Golden Joystick Awards are held in special regard because they are voted for by the people who buy and play games. Every year, millions of fans show their support for their favourite games, developers, publishers and personalities of the last 12 months. Now in its 38th year, the Golden Joystick Awards 2020 are confirmed for November with a renewed format and digital focus. The show will be reimagined as a digital broadcast that celebrates the best games of the last 12 months and looks forward to the next generation of consoles and creators. The keenly-awaited shortlists for the Golden Joystick Awards 2020 will be announced in late September, and you can learn more details about the judging process - including how to cast your all-important votes - below.

When will the Golden Joystick Awards 2020 shortlists be revealed?

Fall Guys

(Image credit: Mediatonic)

The Golden Joystick Awards 2020 shortlists will be revealed in late September 2020 on this very website, with a full list of publicly-voted - and critically-chosen - categories below.

Publicly voted categories:

  • Best Audio
  • Best Game Community
  • Best Family Game
  • Best Game Expansion
  • Best Gaming Hardware
  • Best Indie Game
  • Best Multiplayer Game
  • Best New / Streamer Broadcaster
  • Best Storytelling
  • Best Visual Design
  • Breakthrough Award
  • Esports Game of the Year
  • Mobile Game of the Year
  • Most Wanted Game
  • Nintendo Game of the Year
  • Xbox Game of the Year
  • PlayStation Game of the Year
  • PC Game of the Year
  • Still Playing Award
  • Best Studio
  • Ultimate Game of the Year

Critically-chosen categories (selected by our judging panel):

  • Outstanding Contribution
  • Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Critics' Choice Award
  • Best Performer

You can vote for your favourite Xbox, PS4, Switch and PC titles across 20 diverse categories; with unannounced new awards that recognise the changing ways we play games. Below is everything you need to know about the Golden Joystick Awards 2020, along with when they are, how to watch it, and more. 

How do the Golden Joystick Awards shortlists get decided?

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Before voting begins, the Golden Joystick Award shortlists are (fiercely) debated by a panel of journalists from brands including gamesradar.com, pcgamer.com, Edge magazine, Retro Gamer, and OPM, plus our trusted network of freelance writers. Everyone nominates their favorite games of the last 12 months across 21 public-voted categories, which are assessed and debated until we settle on a final shortlist, with a maximum of 8 games per category. For the first time this year, we invited publishers and developers to nominate their games for consideration by the judging panel. This isn't a guarantee of inclusion, but does guarantee the publisher-nominated game will be considered by the judging panel, eliminating the 'blind spots' that can occur when judging the hundreds, if not thousands, of new game releases each year.

With the shortlists in place, the judges take a back seat, and public voting begins. Your vote can really make the difference, and it's worth noting that some of last year's most keenly-contested categories were won by 20 to 30 votes, which is fine margins when you consider the millions of votes cast each year.

When are the Golden Joystick Awards 2020?

(Image credit: Naughty Dog)

The Golden Joystick Awards 2020 will take place in November 2020 with the final date to be confirmed shortly. This year's show will be a digital event, and not broadcast live from central London like in previous years, for obvious reasons.

Here's a list of the Golden Joystick Awards 2019 winners if you needed reminding of what went down last year, and it's worth pointing out that several categories were too close to call with just 83 votes separating first and second place, just in case you need convincing that your vote does actually count…

What are The Golden Joystick Awards?

Established in 1983, the Golden Joystick Awards are the world's longest-running public-voted games awards, with a star-studded ceremony held in London each year.

Known as the ‘People’s Gaming Awards’, the 2019 edition saw millions of votes cast by gaming fans from all over the world, with Capcom's Resident Evil 2 claiming the coveted ‘Ultimate Game of the Year’ prize. It's your support that make the Golden Joystick Awards so special, as millions give something back to the creators and teams they love.

Over the years, the ceremony has played host to a number of legendary game developers and industry figures, including Hideo Kojima, Ken Levine, the CD Projekt Red team (who snuck a Gold Stick of Joy trophy replica into the Witcher 3) and more. Last year the revered creator of Dark Souls Hidetaka Miyazaki came to the ceremony in person to accept his award, so if you're after a glimpse of gaming's superstar developers you're going to want to tune into the Golden Joystick Awards 2020.

How to watch the Golden Joystick Awards 2020

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To watch the Golden Joystick Awards 2019 all you need to do is tune into the Golden Joystick Awards Twitch channel, or keep your eyes on GamesRadar nearer the event for a special article that'll point you to the stream. Our Twitter account will keep you up to date on when voting goes live, so make sure to check that out - and you can follow the official Golden Joystick Awards facebook page for more info.

Who are the previous winners of The Golden Joystick Awards?

Golden Joystick Awards 2018

Hidetaka Miyazaki collects the Lifetime Achievement award at the Golden Joystick Awards 2018 (Image credit: Future)

You can check out an exhaustive list of Golden Joystick Awards winners (1983 - 2018) on Wikipedia, spanning classic consoles such as the ZX Spectrum, NES, Sega Genesis and more. If you want to test your video-game knowledge, why not see if you can name all our Ultimate Game of the Year winners in this short video spanning almost 30 years of gaming history?

Be first to hear about the confirmed list of categories and some surprise announcements by following The Golden Joystick Awards Twitter account