Annual Game Music Awards 2018 Nominations


The team at VGMO: Video Game Music Online are proud to present the nominations for the Annual Game Music Awards 2018. 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, 2018 and December 31, 2018 was eligible for consideration. Games that were first released in Japan before January 1, 2018, 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 in early February.

Editor’s Note: In addition to the returning categories of “Fan Favorite” and “Writer’s Choice”, we also have introduced “Best Instrumental Theme” this year that include some of our favorite individual pieces of the year that are not featured in other categories.

Scores of the Year

1.1. Traditional / Acoustic
Far Cry 5
Octopath Traveler
Where the Water Tastes Like Wine

1.2. Cinematic / Orchestral
Detroit: Become Human
God of War
Monster Hunter: World

1.3. Rock / Electronic / Hybrid
Donut County
The Red Strings Club
Tetris Effect
The World Ends With You: Final Mix

1.4. Chiptune / Retro
Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon
The Messenger

1.5. Western Localization
The Alliance Alive
Labyrinth of Refrain: Coven of Dusk
Valkyria Chronicles 4
Yakuza 6: The Song of Life
428: Shibuya Scramble

1.6. Fan Favorite
God of War
Octopath Traveler
Xenoblade 2: Torna, the Golden Country

1.7. Writers’ Choice
Fighting EX Layer
Into the Breach
Mega Man 11
Yoku’s Island Express

1.8. Score of the Year 2018
To be selected from pool of winners in above categories

Artists of the Year

2.1. Japanese Composer
Atsushi Kitajoh (Persona Q2: New Cinema Labyrinth)
Noboru Mutoh (Tetris Effect)
Shota Kageyama (Pokémon Let’s Go Pikachu/Eevee)
Tadayoshi Makino (Monster Hunter: World)
Yasunori Nishiki (Octopath Traveler)

2.2. Western Composer
Bear McCreary (God of War)
Jason Graves (Moss)
Nima Fakhrara (Detroit: Become Human)
Olivier Deriviere (Vampyr, 11-11: Memories Retold)
Woody Jackson (Red Dead Redemption 2)

2.3. Independent Composer
fingerspit (The Red Strings Club)
Jeff Ball (Timespinner)
Jesse Harlin (Yoku’s Island Express)
Kevin Penkin (Florence)
Lena Raine (Celeste)

2.4. Newcomer/Breakthrough
Berlinist (GRIS)
Deniz Akbulut (CrossCode)
Philip Sheppard (Detroit: Become Human)
sakuzyo (CRYSTAR)
Yoann Laulan (Dead Cells)

2.5. Soloist
Eivør Pálsdóttir (Vocals: God of War, Banner Saga 3)
Ikuko (Vocals: Monster Hunter World)
Jason Graves (Various: Moss)
Katali (Violin: CRYSTAR)
Saika Kitazono (Vocals: Black Bird)

2.6. Ensemble
Atom String Quartet and Sofia Session Orchestra (Frostpunk)
English Session Orchestra (Detroit: Become Human)
Koichiro Muroya Strings (Octopath Traveler, Xenoblade 2: Torna, the Golden Country)
Nashville Scoring Orchestra (God of War, Monster Hunter: World)
Schola Cantorum Choir (God of War)

2.7. Artist of the Year 2018
To be selected from pool of winners in above categories

Audio of the Year

3.1. In-Game Music
Donut County
Octopath Traveler
Tetris Effect

3.2. Main Theme
Déraciné (Déraciné)
Kara Main Theme (Detroit: Become Human)
Octopath Traveler Main Theme (Octopath Traveler)
The Red Strings Club (The Red Strings Club)
Stars At Our Backs (Monster Hunter: World)

3.3. Vocal Theme
Always Been But Never Dreamed (Tetris Effect)
A Moment of Eternity (Xenoblade 2: Torna, the Golden Country)
Guidance (Monster Hunter: World)
Remember, We Got Your Back (Persona Q2: New Cinema Labyrinth)
Wayward Daughter (Stormblood: Final Fantasy XIV)

3.4 Instrumental Theme
Memories of Mother (God of War)
Raven Cave (Fighting EX Layer)
Scattered and Lost (Celeste)
They Who Govern Reason (Octopath Traveler)
This City Must Survive (Frostpunk)

3.5. Audio of the Year 2018
To be selected from pool of winners in above categories

Albums of the Year

4.1. Soundtrack CD
Fighting EX Layer Soundtracks
Kurokishi to Shiro no Maou Original Soundtrack
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild Original Soundtrack
Splatoon 2 Original Soundtrack -Octotune-
Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Original Soundtrack

4.2. Official Arranged Album
NieR Gestalt & Replicant Orchestral Arrangement Album
Resurrection: Panzer Dragoon Saga 20th Anniversary Arrangement Soundtrack
Stardew Valley Piano Collections
Square Enix Jazz Vol. 2
Symphonic Suite “Suikoden”

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.

Additionally, Stardew Valley Piano Collections was originally one of the nominees for 4.3; however, since it is an official arrange album, we have moved it to the appropriate category and replaced it with a sixth nomination. No nominees have been removed from the list.

Arcadia Legends
Castellum Sanguis LXVIII: A Castlevania X68000 Tribute Album
Children of Termina
OMEGA: A Tribute to Xenogears
Zelda & Chill

4.4. Chiptune Album
Magenta – C-jeff
Nighty Night Stories – scythe
pop – xyce
Reviver – Kris Keyser
Soundchip Salad – kulor

4.5. Original Album
Across the ridge to heaven – ASTURIAS (Yoh Ohyama)
∀rkadia – sakuzyo
Memories of Tokyo-to: An Ode to Jet Set Radio – 2mello
Real Racing Roots 2019 – Andrew Elmore

4.6. Album of the Year 2018
To be selected from pool of winners in above categories


Organizations of the Year

5.1. Music Studio
Falcom Soundteam JDK
Nintendo EPD Sound Group
Procyon Studio
SEGA Sound Team

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.
Basiscape Records
From Software
Harmonics Music
Ship-to-Shore Phono Co.
Sleigh Bells/ Procyon Studio

5.3. Organisation of the Year 2018
To be selected from pool of winners in above categories

Posted on January 10, 2019 by Don Kotowski. Last modified on October 3, 2023.

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About the Author

Currently residing in Philadelphia. I spend my days working in vaccine characterization and dedicate some of my spare time in the evening to the vast world of video game music, both reviewing soundtracks as well as maintaining relationships with composers overseas in Europe and in Japan.

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