Steam finally gives Starfield an award, but not one you expected

Steam finally gives Starfield an award, but not one you expected
Bethesda | Steam

Written by 

Joseph Kime


3rd Jan 2024 11:00

Game of the Year season is finally over, and though we were happy to see our favourites get the accolades they deserve at awards ceremonies, at least we're free of Reddit contrarians declaring, "That game you like is bad, actually."

Despite bad-faith internet critics, there are a few titles that suffered when it comes to the final scoring for games in 2023, and none have felt the sting more than Starfield. After so many years of development, players didn't engage with its Bethesda-ness quite as the studio was hoping.

It seems that after all of these years, the cracks in Bethesda's game design have grown too large to ignore. But that doesn't mean that the team is going to come away with nothing, as Steam has finally issued the game an award - and it's a pretty shocking one.

2023's Steam Awards issues Starfield with "Most Innovative Gameplay"

The winners of the 2023 Steam Awards, featuring Starfield as the recipient of the Most Innovative Gameplay award.
Click to enlarge

Steam has revealed its 2023 awards in a new graphic, and it seems that it's made an effort to issue a different award to a different game (which is probably why Baldur's Gate 3 didn't sweep and sat comfortably with its Game of the Year award), but it's led to a game receiving a bizarre award given its criticisms.

Starfield is the recipient of Steam's "Most Innovative Gameplay" award, which is incredibly bizarre, especially as its largest complaints tend to be about its gameplay being simply too familiar to keep it fresh when compared to other Bethesda titles.

Perhaps it's the admittedly impressive idea of how Starfield manages its New Game Plus feature that made it eligible for such an award - but with the rest of the game's functions, fans have wasted no time in expressing their confusion.

Fans don't know why Starfield is regarded for its "innovation"

Starfield is nominated for the Most Innovative Gameplay Award in 2023 Steam Awards. Thoughts?
byu/g0tch4-gaming inStarfield

"Gonna need a list of those innovations," remarks one Reddit user in the comments of a post in the Starfield subreddit revealing the nomination of the award. Shockingly, players can't really think of anything in the replies.

"This is like when Destiny 2 was nominated for 'most supportive community,'" says another, referring to The Game Awards trying to name Destiny 2 the game with the Best Community Support this year. "Feels like a troll nomination."

Still, after Starfield was "snubbed" by The Game Awards, we'll take the win. It's clear that gamers aren't making sense of Steam's Starfield award, but hey, let's let Bethesda keep this one. After all, it didn't win much else this year.

Joseph Kime is the Senior Trending News Journalist for GGRecon from Devon, UK. Before graduating from MarJon University with a degree in Journalism, he started writing music reviews for his own website before writing for the likes of FANDOM, Zavvi and The Digital Fix. He is host of the Big Screen Book Club podcast, and author of Building A Universe, a book that chronicles the history of superhero movies. His favourite games include DOOM (2016), Celeste and Pokemon Emerald.

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