Vampire Survivors has beaten all the odds, surpassing even God of War Ragnarok and Elden Ring to claim the BAFTA Games Awards' most coveted trophy. The indie darling that is Vampire Survivors took 2022 by storm, but not many could have expected a game developed by a single person to have been capable of this.
No matter where one looked as last year came to a close, Elden Ring and God of War Ragnarok dominated the "Game of the Year" discourse. It was a battle of two giants that could not have been more different in their approach to game design but offered two of the most compelling experiences in gaming. God of War Ragnarok was nominated for 14 BAFTA awards, the most in the award show's history. But, in what is no doubt one of the biggest upsets of the video game award season, both Elden Ring and God of War failed to take the mantle of Best Game.
Instead, the honor was bestowed to Vampire Survivors, a pixilated indie game developed by a single person, Luca Galante, also known as poncle. Vampire Survivors skyrocketed in popularity early last year, popularity that did not wane thanks to consistent updates and new content. The indie darling became one of 2022's highest-rated titles, making its way to mobile and Xbox Game Pass as it continued to dominate. Phil Spencer even revealed that he had spent 233 hours playing Vampire Survivors, the most time dedicated to any video game that year for the head of Xbox.
Vampire Survivors was widely considered to have been snubbed at The Game Awards last year when it lost out on Best Debut Indie to Stray. But even those voices would have been hesitant to compare it to either Elden Ring or God of War Ragnarok, which seemed poised to sweep. Elden Ring certainly lived up to expectations, claiming (at the time of writing) a total of 433 Game of the Year wins across media outlets and reader's choice polls, according to information compiled by ResetEra.
Elden Ring picked up two BAFTAs and God of War Ragnarok claimed six, including the oddly named EE Game of the Year, the only award voted for by the public. Vampire Survivors also won Best Design, a victory that is likely to be much less divisive. Then again, many other video game ceremonies have come and gone with little fanfare, as award season attention is typically entirely focused on The Game Awards, led by Geoff Keighley. Had Vampire Survivors won Game of the Year, the subsequent fury would no doubt still be raging to this day.
Vampire Survivors is available now for Android, iOS, PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.
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