Annual Game Music Awards 2017 Nominations


The team at VGMO: Video Game Music Online are proud to present the nominations for the Annual Game Music Awards 2017. These panel-voted, officially-recognized awards provide a thorough and wide-reaching recognition of achievement in game music over the last year.

A panel of experienced and knowledgeable journalists have determined the nominations of these awards. The panelists have selected their choices by carefully considering the merit of the game music created this year — as art and entertainment, as part of in-game experiences and as part of stand-alone albums. All game music first released between January 1, 2017 and December 31, 2017 was eligible for consideration. Games that were first released in Japan before January 1, 2017, but have since been localized were only eligible in the “Best Western Localization” category.

The seventh awards ceremony of this kind, the AGMAs are intended to celebrate achievement across the game audio industry and give recognition to the incredibly creative people working in it. While ‘best music’ and ‘best sound’ categories are featured in other video game awards, the majority of these awards only commemorate top-selling video games and overlook other often-excellent productions (e.g., import and indie soundtracks). The winners will be announced during the first full week of February.


Editor’s Note: We have a few new categories to announce. First, as was advertised at the end of 2017, we are rolling out a new “Fan Favorite” category for the first time. We held a poll for anyone to vote for their three favorite soundtracks of 2017, and received nearly 200 submissions. The soundtracks featured in “Fan Favorite” are the top five nominated soundtracks from that poll.

Secondly, 2017 was a really good year for game soundtracks. A really, really good year. Even with all of our categories, we had an impossibly difficult time narrowing the scores to only five per category. So, we created a “Writers’ Choice” category, inspired by our friends at Original Sound Version. While we still aren’t able to include every single soundtrack that stood out to us over the past year, “Writers’ Choice” contains some more of our favorite 2017 scores not found in other categories.


Scores of the Year

1.1. Traditional / Acoustic
So Let Us Melt
NieR: Automata
Xenoblade Chronicles 2

1.2. Cinematic / Orchestral
Gravity Rush 2
Horizon Zero Dawn
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

1.3. Rock / Electronic / Hybrid
Blue Reflection
Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony
Nex Machina
Night in the Woods
Splatoon 2

1.4. Chiptune / Retro
Blaster Master Zero
Cosmic Star Heroine
Sonic Mania

1.5. Western Localization
Atelier Firis: The Alchemist and the Mysterious Journey
The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky 3rd
Persona 5
Yakuza 0
Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana

1.6. Fan Favorite
Divinity Original Sin II
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
NieR: Automata
Persona 5

1.7. Writers’ Choice
Atelier Lydie & Suelle
Divinity: Original Sin II
Hollow Knight
What Remains of Edith Finch
Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap

1.8. Score of the Year 2017
To be selected from pool of winners in above categories

Artists of the Year

2.1. Eastern Composer

Keiichi Okabe (NieR: Automata, Final Fantasy XV: Episode Gladiolus)
Kohei Tanaka (Gravity Rush 2)
Shoji Meguro (Persona 5)
Yasunori Mitsuda (Valkyria Revolution, Final Fantasy XV: Episode Ignis, Xenoblade Chronicle 2)
Yugo Kanno (Nioh)

2.2. Western Composer
Borislav Slavov (Divinity: Original Sin II)
Grant Kirkhope (Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle, Yooka-Laylee)
Jessica Curry (So Let Us Melt)
Joris de Man (Horizon Zero Dawn)
Patrice Bourgeault (Flinthook)

2.3. Independent Composer
Alec Holowka (Night in the Woods)
Ari Pulkkinen (Nex Machina, Matterfall, Nine Parchments)
Darren Korb (Pyre)
David Garcia Diaz (Rime)
Stoj Snak (Figment)

2.4. Newcomer
Daughter (Life is Strange: Before the Storm)
Jeff Russo (What Remains of Edith Finch)
Kristofer Maddigan (Cuphead)
Mariam Abounnasr (Another Eden)
Tee Lopes (Sonic Mania)

2.5. Soloist
J’Nique Nicole (Vocals: Nier: Automata)
Julie Elven (Vocals: Horizon Zero Dawn)
Kate Higgens (Vocals: Super Mario Odyssey)
Nakagawa Nami (Vocals: NieR: Automata)
Sebastien Surel (Violin: Get Even)

2.6. Ensemble
ANUNA (Xenoblade Chronicles 2)
Daughter (Life is Strange: Before the Storm)
Hungarian Studio Orchestra (Divinity: Original Sin II)
Kanagawa Philharmonic Orchestra (Xenoblade 2)
Nashville Scoring Orchestra (Call of Duty: WWII, Destiny 2)

2.7. Artist of the Year 2017
To be selected from pool of winners in above categories

Audio of the Year

3.1. In-Game Music
Destiny 2
Divinity: Original Sin II
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
Super Mario Run
Xenoblade Chronicles 2

3.2. Main Theme
Aloy’s Theme (Horizon Zero Dawn)
ARMS Main Theme (ARMS)
Another Eden (Another Eden)
Divinity: Original Sin (Divinity: Original Sin II)
Nioh -Main Theme- (Nioh)

3.3. Vocal Theme
Jump Up, Super Star! (Super Mario Odyssey)
Let Me Save You (Nex Machina)
Song from Figment (Figment)
The Song of the Sea, feat. Mirella Díez Morán (Rime)
Weight of the World (NieR: Automata)

3.4. Audio of the Year 2017
To be selected from pool of winners in above categories

Albums of the Year

4.1. Soundtrack CD
Cuphead Original Soundtrack
Genpei Toumaden Sound Chronicle
Persona 5 Original Soundtrack
Rage Racer 20th Anniversary Sounds

4.2. Official Arranged Album
Atelier Series Rearranged Best 2017 Vol. 1
ChainDive – Arrangements
Final Fantasy XV: Moonlit Melodies
Shin Megami Tensei Memorial Arrange Tracks

4.3. Fan-Arranged Album 
Disclaimer: While some of our writers are involved in the fan remix community, those writers are not involved in the nomination or voting in this category.
Crypt of the NecroDancer: OverClocked
Mirror Image: A Link to the Past Remixed
Piano Collections: Pokemon Red/Blue/Yellow/Green
Sonic Mania Remixed
Zodiac: Final Fantasy Tactics Remixed

4.4. Chiptune Album
8BIT MUSIC POWER FINAL – Various Artists
Chipscape – Scythe
Django – Chip Tanaka
SOUNDSHOCK 3: FM FUNK NIRVANA!​! – Various Artists
Psycho Somatic Generation – chibi-tech

4.5. Original Album
Lingua Franca – Dugo (Takahiro Izutani)
Mystic Ninja – Junya Nakano, Yuji Takenouchi, Hiroyuki Kawada
Symphony No. 1 “The Border” – Yugo Kanno
Three Movements – Manami Matsumae
Yorlga II – Yoshitaka Hirota/Noriko Mitose

4.6. Album of the Year 2017
To be selected from pool of winners in above categories


Organisations of the Year

5.1. Music Studio
Bandai Namco
Falcom Sound Team
GUST Studio
Procyon Studio

5.2. Record Label
Disclaimer: Once again, while some of our writers have worked with record labels we considered or nominated, those writers are not involved in the nomination or voting in this category.
Brave Wave
Data Discs
Materia Collective
Sweep Record
Varese Sarabande

5.3. Organisation of the Year 2017
To be selected from pool of winners in above categories

Posted on January 16, 2018 by Emily McMillan. Last modified on February 2, 2018.

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About the Author

A native and lifelong Texan, I currently work in software education while contributing news, reviews, and interviews to VGMO on the side. I love the feeling that comes with the discovery of a brand new soundtrack, and always look forward to the next rekindling of that excitement. Outside of VGMO, I enjoy playing piano, listening to classical music and film scores, and trying to go unnoticed in any stealth RPG I can find.

4 Responses to Annual Game Music Awards 2017 Nominations

  1. Niall Meloy says:

    Genuinely surprised that Never Stop Sneakin’ Title Theme wasn’t nominated for “3.3. Vocal Theme”. It was a 2017 release in the NA Nintendo Switch market.

    • That’s a great vocal theme (I’ve been enjoying it myself the past few weeks, actually).

      We had an incredibly difficult time narrowing down the entries in each category this year. While we certainly stand by our nominations, that’s not to say that there aren’t some truly fantastic soundtracks (and pieces) not included in the above lists.

  2. Andrew says:

    Diary of a Game Composer: I am about to start writing the soundtrack for a promising indie RPG that recently got funded. After years of un-noteworthy projects, this will be my first full-scale project in a genre I am passionate about. I thought I would be happy, as this is a dream come true in many ways. However, I find myself less happy, and more terrified. Even though this is what I have worked towards and dreamed of since I was a kid, instead I am wondering what I have gotten myself into. I am filled with doubt, to the point where it is physically preventing me from being able to write. Will my music be good enough for the game developer? For the average player? For the hardcore game music lover? For myself? Will the game itself be good? Will my music be heard be a dozen people, or thousands? Will any of this even be worth it? For my career? For the paycheque? For my own satisfaction? These are the questions that are running through my head as I begin writing the soundtrack to what may be the last game I work on before this industry is done with me.

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