Every year, Japan’s Computer Entertainment Supplier’s Association grants a “Game of the Year” award at the Tokyo Game Show to a lucky recipient it feels best embodies all that is excellent about video gaming. And this year, the lucky winner turned out to be… Splatoon?
Indeed, Nintendo’s popular shooter was a huge hit here in Japan, pushing far more Wii U consoles off shelves than it did in North America, and it is still enjoying sustained success deep into 2016. The problem is not in the selection of the game though but rather in the timing.
Splatoon launched in Japan way back in May 2015, but according to the CES’s rules, that still qualifies it for an award this year. Based on the releases of all games nominated, the selection period starts with the business year in April and ends the following March, and that period is celebrated in September, accounting for the huge gap in time.
This accounts for both Splatoon, released last May, and Dark Souls III, released this March, being eligible for nomination.
A number of other 2015 releases also saw success at the show, including Monster Hunter Generations for Best Sales at 3.3 million. Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DS nabbed the Global Award for a Japanese Product and Call of Duty: Black Ops III won the Global Award for a Foreign Product.
Other games nominated for excellence include:
- Dark Souls III
- Dragon Quest Builders
- Fallout 4
- Metal Gear Solid V
- Monster Hunter Cross
- Super Mario Maker
- The Witcher 3
- Yo-kai Watch Blasters
So, congratulations for Splatoon for being Japan’s Game of the Year in 2016, even though it was released in 2015.