Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Knocks out Competition at the Japan Game Awards 2019

Nintendo cleans up the awards show at Tokyo Game Show with 4 of the 5 “Game of the Year” awards

Japan Game Awards 2019


The Japan Game Awards were given out over the Tokyo Game Show 2019 weekend, celebrating the best of video games from the last year of the Heisei Period from a Japanese perspective.


Over the 4 days, different awards and categories are given out to the best of the best; including the “Games of the Year Division”, the “Game Designers Award”, the “The Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Award” – a Japanese government sponsored award “that recognizes an individual or organization that has made a great contribution to the growth and development of the Japanese computer entertainment software industry” –, and the “Future Division” – an award voted on by attendees at Tokyo Game Show who played unreleased games.


Japan Game Awards 2019


Nintendo with Super Smash Bros. Ultimate dominated the award show winning 4 of the 5 “Game of the Year Division” awards and the “The Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Award.” Nintendo Labo was also given the Special Award from the “Game of the Year Division” for finding “new way(s) to enjoy games using hardware features.”


The only game to win a “Game of the Year Division” award that wasn’t from Nintendo was Red Dead Redemption 2 in the Global Award Foreign Product category. A press release from Japan Game Awards said the game “received overwhelming support from fans globally who had waited for its release and was selected for this award.”


From the “Game of the Year Division”, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate won the The Grand Award, The Best Sales Award, and the Global Award Japanese Product – for selling 12 million copies in one month and combining most of gaming's history into one game. The game was also given an Award for Excellence alongside 10 other titles, including: KINGDOM HEARTS III, Marvel’s Spider-Man, JUDGMENT, and others.



Masahiro Sakurai, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate game director, accepted the award on behalf of his team at Sora Ltd and Nintendo. In his speech, he spoke about the lack of non-video game characters appearing in Super Smash Bros. by re-affirming that characters like Goku (from Dragon Ball Super) and Iron Man (from Marvel Comics) won’t be used for the game.


Sakurai also told a story about the late Satoru Iwata. Sakurai said that Super Smash Bros. Ultimate for Nintendo Switch “was the last mission (Nintendo) President Iwata gave to me” and that Sakurai “will continue to work hard on all the DLC characters.” When probed by the presenters on who the other DLC characters might be, Sakurai just replied “spoilers.”




Attendees during the 4 days - two business days and two public days – got to vote on the unreleased games they’re most excited for from the show floor for the “Future Division” of the Japan Game Awards. Of all the games from Tokyo Game Show, 11 titles won a slot for the division:


  • Atelier Ryza: Ever Darkness & the Secret Hideout
  • Cyberpunk 2077
  • DRAGON QUEST XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age – Definitive Edition
  • New Sakura Wars
  • Nioh 2
  • YAKUZA 7


Consequently, these were also some of the games with the biggest presence on the Tokyo Game Show floor.


Source: Japan Game Awards Press Releases


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Daryl Harding is a Japan Correspondent for Crunchyroll News. He also runs the YouTube channel about Japan stuff called TheDoctorDazza, tweets at @DoctorDazza and posts photo of his travels on Instagram

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