2008 Elans announced

The ElansDelayed from its original date in November 2007, the 2nd annual Elans (aka Canadian Awards for Eletronic and Animated Arts) finally came to pass February 15th. Honouring some of the best Canadian talent in the video game industry, here is who took away bragging rights this year:

Mass Effect

Autodesk Game of the Year:
Mass Effect – Bioware/Microsoft Games

Best Console Game:
Assassin’s Creed – Ubisoft

Best PC Game:
Company of Heroes – Relic Entertainment (Ian Thomson)

Best New Video Game Company (2 winners):Assassin's Creed
Blue Castle Games (Rob Barrett) – The Bigs
Slant Six Games (Brian Thalken) – Socom U.S. Navy Seals: Tactical Strike

Best Sound Design in Video Gaming:
Skate – Electronic Arts
Audio Director: Lance Brown
Sound Designers: Francois Lafleur, Bryan Rennie, Sean Webster, Terry FairfieldSkate

Best Original Music Score in Video Gaming:
Assassin’s Creed – Ubisoft (Jesper Kyd)

Best Character in Video Gaming:
Commander Shepard (Mass Effect) – Bioware/Microsoft Games (Drew Karpyshyn)

Best Art Direction in Video Gaming:
Mass Effect – Bioware/Microsoft Games (Derek Watts)Company of Heroes

Best Handheld Game of the Year:
Socom U.S. Navy Seals: Tactical Strike – Slant Six Games (Brian Thalken)

Best Game Design of the Year:
Mass Effect – Bioware/Microsoft Games (Preston Watamaniuk)

Best Mobile/Casual/Arcade Game of the Year:
Skate – Electronic Arts (David Manriquez)

Best Writing for a Game Production:Socom: Tactical Strike
Mass Effect – Bioware/Microsoft Games (Drew Karpyshyn)

The Nokia Award for Outstanding Innovation in Gaming:
Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts – Relic Entertainment (Josh Mosqueira)

The Ernest & Young Award for International Video Game of the Year:
Crysis – Crytek/Electronic Arts USA (Cevat Yerli – Crytek CEO)

Video Game Hall of Fame:
Don Mattrick


Its unfortunate that four games dominated the awards and didn’t leave much room for the other nominees. Nominees for various awards included Scarface, Sonic Rivals, Crash of the Titans, and Warhammer 40,000 Dawn of War: Dark Crusade, to name a few. I was also disappointed to see this year that some awards carry sponsor’s names, which I think devalues the integrity of that specific award.

This year the even was hosted by Seth McFarlane, who I think is more fitting MC than last year’s William Shatner, but I’d still prefer to have the show hosted by someone in the games industry. We should just pretend Tim Schafer is Canadian.

This year’s inductee into Canada’s Video Game Hall of Fame is Don Mattrick, founder of Distinctive Software (DSI) that would later become Electronic Arts Canada. After resigned as the president of EA Worldwide, he is now a senior Vice President for Microsoft’s Entertainment Division. Mattrick has been credited on over 50 games starting as early as 1982, many of which were developed in Canada.

The award show has many winners in student and animation categories, so for a complete list head over here. If you’d like to see who was running for what awards, feel free to check out the nominees list(pdf) as well.

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