The Swedish Video Game Awards is the Swedish Games Industry's award designed to highlight development, creativity and innovation in games. Since 2000, an expert panel has been tasked with nominating the games and winners. To be eligible, the nominated games should have been released in Sweden during the previous calendar year. A lot of games with global success and recognition have been developed in Sweden and as such are rewarded in a separate category. Since 2007, MDTS has also presented an honorary award to persons who have made decisive contributions to the development of the Swedish game industry. For more information on the gala, previous winners and photographs visit: www.dataspelsgalan.se (in Swedish).
The first Video Game Awards took place in April 2000 at the Opera terrace in Stockholm with more than 500 people coming together to celebrate the year's best games. The top award was developed by industrial designer Erik Espmark. FIAN for this year's best games went to Metal Gear Solid. It was a grand slam for Five ants are more than four elephants, which took home awards for 'The Swedish game of the year and the best children's game.
Magnus and Brasse received the prize for Five ants are more than four elephants.
The second instalment was unleashed at Circus in Djurgården in 2001. Before the award ceremony, there was a mini trade fair with mingle possibilities in the foyer of the Circus. The big winners this year were The Sims, which carted home the game of the year as well as the simulator of the year. Ground Control, were also big winners and won categories, Swedish game of the year and strategy game of the year.
In 2002, the industry once again gathered at Circus to celebrate the year's best games. In the foyer, mingling activities as well as an exhibition of retro games by Roger "The Flower" Blomqvist preceded the award ceremony. The game of the year went to Grand Theft Auto 3, which became the real launching pad for the GTA series.
Sven Nordqvist holds an acceptance speech for Pettson & Findus. Photo: Kosmonauts Events.
2003 was a more intimate affair with the event at Teaterskeppet, which was moored at the Ship's Quay in Stockholm. Felix Herngren hosted the event as his renowned alter ego, the crazy culture profile Dan Bäckman. Bäckman handed out bags of figs and spun on a wheel with an assortment of gag inspired names.
DICE receive their award for Battlefield 1942 as the Swedish game of the year. Photo: Kosmonauts Events.
In 2004, the gala was scaled down to a small industry party where no awards were handed out. After a year's break, the gala returned under the moniker, Game Awards 2005. The event was preceded by a mini-tour in Gothenburg and Stockholm, where players could test the nominated games before then voting for their favourites.
Münchenbryggeriet was the setting for the 2006 award ceremony in Stockholm, with the event bandied as Game Awards 2006. The award ceremony took place at a revamped stage arrangement with the audience flanking both sides of the stage. World of Warcraft took home this year's game of the year award, while Battlefield 2 was named the Swedish game of the year.
2007 once again brought the industry together at Clustret to continue the annual tradition of designating the year's best games. New this year was the newly inaugurated honorary prize which served to highlight people who had made decisive contributions to the Swedish computer game industry's development. This year's honorary award went to Owe Bergsten, president of Bergsala and a general agent for Nintendo. The theme of veterans continued throughout the night with the likes of Lars Molander, Sophie Nordström, Jonas Svensson and Heikki Karbing all being recognized for their achievements.
The Culture Minister handed out this year's Swedish game of the year 2008, which went to Massive Entertainment.
The 2008 awards ceremony moved to Parken in Södermalm, Stockholm. Attendance to the event was at record levels with tickets extremely hard to come by. This year's Swedish game of the year went to Massive Entertainment's World in Conflict and was awarded by the Minister of Culture Lena Adelsohn Liljeroth.
The 2009 gala had unusual award presenters in the form of famous game characters that included the Lich King from World of Warcraft, Samus Aran from the Metroid series, Spencer from Bionic Commando, Master Chief from the Halo series and Mario himself took to the stage. The big winner on the night was the sandbox action game, Grand Theft Auto 4, which walked away with the game of the year, the action game of the year and the people's choice award as voted for by users on Pricerunner.
Marcus Fenix oversees awards while host for the evening, Christer Engstrom reads out the winner.
Game of the Year
2000: Metal Gear Solid
2001: The Sims
2002: Grand Theft Auto 3
2005: Half-Life 2
2006: World of Warcraft
2007: Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
2008: Super Mario Galaxy
2009: Grand Theft Auto 4
2010: Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
Swedish Game of the Year
2000: Five ants are more than four elephants
2001: Ground Control
2003: Battlefield 1942
2005: Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay
2006: Battlefield 2
2007: GTR 2: FIA GT Racing Game
2008: World in Conflict
2009: Mirror's Edge
2010: Battlefield 1943
For a complete list of winners check out www.dataspelsgalan.se.