PUBLISHER OF THE YEAR
RUNNER-UP ENHANCE GAMES
Tetsuya Mizuguchi’s publishing label has hit on a winning formula of nostalgic futurism, giving old favourites a new lease of life on modern technology. Lumines Remastered played it safe – though as a handheld game at heart, it’s an immaculate fit for Switch – but Tetris Effect was one of the games of the year, and certainly its most pleasant surprise, whether played in virtual reality or on a big 4K screen.
With Zelda, Mario, Mario Kart and Splatoon all launching in Switch’s first year, this always looked like a quiet one for Nintendo. Yet it has ended it strongly with Pokémon and Smash
Bros, and smartly padded out the release calendar with ports of overlooked Wii U games that Switch owners might have missed. And with Labo, it has swerved into unexpected territory in a way only Nintendo can.
In a quiet year for the platform holders, and with the publishing community clearly starting to think about the next generation, this was something of an open goal for Sony. There were mis-steps – surely it has finally lost patience with David Cage – but Spider-Man,
God Of War and its best-ever PSVR line-up meant this was a year to remember, even if 2019’s looking a bit barren.