Game Critics Awards 'Best of E3' - EA most nominated publisher despite decline

With the 16 Game Critics Awards winners to be revealed on Tuesday, July 6, video game publishing giant Electronic Arts leads the field with 15 of its titles nominated, and all five of the hopefuls for the Best Sports Game award are also EA branded. Despite this, the tally is EA's worst in the last three years, with Microsoft, Bethesda, and MTV Games making significant gains on previous GCA nomination totals.

In the Best Sports Game category, relative newcomers NBA Jam and EA Sports Mixed Martial Arts are crammed in with 2011's annual season updates of Madden NFL, NCAA Football, and NHL titles.

The Game Critics Awards nominees are taken from the playable titles on display at the Electronic Entertainment Expo earlier in June, and EA's press conference during the event demonstrated their determination to stick to their strong suits: action, racing, and sports.

That may be the case, but over the past 12 months the company has also been undergoing a radical restructure, acquiring Facebook game developer Playfish, and learning how to make its games more appealing to a broader fan base.

Microsoft wowed the E3 crowds with its Kinect motion-tracking control system for the Xbox 360 and the mass appeal of Dance Central and Kinect Adventures, and MTV Games showed how the next Rock Band game will teach players how to play real guitars, drums, and keyboards.

Bethesda gained ground after the ambitious shooting and driving hybrid Rage picked up 5 of their 6 nominations.

Meanwhile, Sony Computer Entertainment also have 6 nominations for their games in various categories, but that contrasts badly with the previous year where they had 13 - mainly thanks to Uncharted 2, which went on to win the main Best of Show award.

Game Critics Awards nominations, 2007-2010

2010 GCA nominations
15 nominations: Electronic Arts
11: Microsoft
7: MTV Games
6: Bethesda, Sony Computer Entertainment
5: Nintendo, Ubisoft
4: Valve
3: Capcom, LucasArts
2: 2K Games, Activision, Atari, SEGA, THQ, Warner Bros.

2009 GCA nominations
18: Electronic Arts
13: Sony Computer Entertainment
10: Activision
5: Microsoft, Nintendo
3: LucasArts, SEGA, Square Enix, Ubisoft, Valve, Warner Bros.
2: Capcom, Namco Bandai
1: 2K Games, Disney, MTV Games, Riot Games, SNK Playmore,

2008 GCA nominations
21: Electronic Arts
11: Sony Computer Entertainment
7: Microsoft
4: Capcom, Ubisoft, Valve
3: Bethesda, MTV Games, Nintendo, THQ
2: SEGA, Warner Bros.
1: Activision, LucasArts

2007 GCA nominations
14: Electronic Arts
8: Activision, Microsoft, Nintendo
7: Sony Computer Entertainment
5: MTV Games, Take Two
4: THQ
3: Bethesda
2: Konami, LucasArts, Midway, SEGA, Sierra, Ubisoft
1: Capcom, D3, Namco Bandai