Annual Game Music Awards 2019 – Artists of the Year


We are pleased to present the winners in the ‘Artists of the Year’ category of the Annual Game Music Awards 2019. These panel-voted, officially-recognized awards provide a thorough and wide-reaching recognition of achievement in game music over the last year. 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. Congratulations to all winners, runners-up, and nominees.

Outstanding Artist — Japanese Composer

Masayoshi Soken

With SHADOWBRINGERS: FINAL FANTASY XIV, the latest expansion to the hit MMORPGMasayoshi Soken continues to surprise with a seemingly unending well of inspiration and new ideas. His latest work showcases his ability to bring unexpected styles to the Warrior of Light’s quest to prevent another calamity all while crafting memorable melodies that stick with the player long after they have logged off. 


Go Shiina

Other Nominations

Hiroki Kikuta
Keiki Kobayashi
Yuka Kitamura

Outstanding Artist — Western Composer

Ludvig Forssell

Expertly blending an eclectic mix of genres, raw sounds, and moods, Ludvig Forssell ensured that his score to Death Stranding would represent director Hideo Kojima’s goal of delivering content that is both challenging and emotional. Forssell succeeds on both fronts; Death Stranding‘s soundtrack has a massive range in almost every possible musical aspect (Epic orchestra? Check. Buzzing synths and bass? Check. Household objects from Home Depot? Also check.), but manages to exude quality with each track. 


Jesper Kyd

Other Nominations

Guy Jackson
Oliver Deriviere
Will Roget


Outstanding Artist — Independent Composer

Megan McDuffee

With her score to the side scrolling beat-em-up, River City Girls, Megan McDuffee showcases her synthwave prowess and her ability to craft catchy instrumental tunes to accompany the action on-screen. In addition, she lends her vocal talents to the game as well, so if you find a radio while playing the game, stop and listen for a moment, as her synthpop vocals are equally as delightful. 


Tee Lopes

Other Nominations

Adam Gubman
Ari Pulkinnen

Outstanding Artist — Newcomer/Breakthrough

Jay Tholen

Jay Tholen is no newcomer, but Hypnospace Outlaw––a point-and-click Web 1.0 mystery––brought him a bigger audience than ever before. An adherent of the Todd Rundgren studio-as-instrument sensibility, Tholen’s compositions for Hypnospace are as wide-ranging, kitschy, and idiosyncratic as GeoCities itself. Library sound effects adorn MIDI beats while synthesized vocals detail the obsessions of Merchantsoft’s net-denizens. The most eclectic soundtrack since Osamu Sato’s LSD: Dream Emulator.


Andrew Prahlow
Joseph Bailey

Other Nominations

British Sea Power
Satoshi Igarashi

Outstanding Artist — Soloist

Jenny Plant

Ever-changing and emotionally charged, “BB’s Theme” from Death Stranding demanded an equally adaptable and emotive vocal performance. It got one. Jenny Plant does more than seamlessly integrate with Ludvig Forssell’s dynamic backdrop: she ties its disparate sections together in a sweeping narrative of apprehension and hope. It’s a fitting theme for the connection Sam Porter Bridges shares with Bridge Baby, and for the duty they share in restoring the frayed connections of their ruined world.


Devin Mooers

Other Nominations

Ali Edwards
Laura Custodio Sabas
Stella Angelika


Outstanding Contribution — Ensemble

Manabe Strings

Whether it is performing the more intimate music found in Oninaki or the more bombastic and action-oriented nature of CODE VEIN, the ensemble group Manabe Strings showcases their ability to capture any mood required. 


Bortre Rymden

Other Nominations

F.A.M.E.’s Macedonian Symphonic Orchestra
Nashville Scoring Orchestra
Orchestre national d’Île-de-France

Posted on February 13, 2020 by Don Kotowski. Last modified on February 13, 2020.

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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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