Annual Game Music Awards 2020 Nominations


The team at VGMO: Video Game Music Online are proud to present the nominations for the Annual Game Music Awards 2020. 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, 2020 and December 31, 2020 was eligible for consideration. Games that were first released in Japan before January 1, 2020, but have since been localized were only eligible in the “Best Western Localization” category.

The tenth 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.

Scores of the Year

1.1. Traditional / Acoustic

The Last of Us Part II
The Pathless
Raji: An Ancient Epic
Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin

1.2. Cinematic / Orchestral

Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla
Final Fantasy VII Remake
Genshin Impact
Ghost of Tsushima

1.3. Rock / Electronic / Hybrid

No Straight Roads
Paradise Killer
Risk of Rain 2
Streets of Rage 4

1.4. Chiptune/Synthwave/Digital Fusion

Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon 2
Panzer Paladin

1.5. Western Localization

Persona 5: Royal
Phantasy Star Online 2
Trails of Cold Steel IV
Yakuza: Like a Dragon
13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim

1.6. Fan Favorite

Final Fantasy VII Remake
Ghost of Tsushima
Streets of Rage 4
13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim

1.7. Writers’ Choice

Atelier Ryza 2: Lost Legends & The Secret Fairy
Coven and Labyrinth of Galleria
Mad Dead Rat
Mythic Ocean
Trials of Mana

1.8. Score of the Year 2020
To be selected from pool of winners in above categories

Artists of the Year

2.1. Japanese Composer

Shigeru Umebayashi (Ghost of Tsushima)
Shotaro Shima (Final Fantasy VII Remake)
Tenpei Sato (Brigandine, Coven and Labyrinth of Galleria)
STEEL_PLUS (One Step from Eden)
Yasunori Nishiki (Final Fantasy VII Remake, Granblue Fantasy Versus, Octopath Traveler: Champions of the Continent)

2.2. Western Composer

Austin Wintory (The Pathless)
Darren Korb (Hades)
Gareth Coker (Ori and the Will of the Wisps, Immortals Fenyx Rising)
Ilan Eshkeri (Ghost of Tsushima)
Oliver Deriviere (Streets of Rage 4)

2.3. Independent Composer

Chris Christodoulou (Risk of Rain 2)
Daniel Deluxe (Ghostrunner)
Darren Malley (Mythic Ocean)
Max LL (Spiritfarer)
M. R. Miller (Evergate)

2.4. Newcomer/Breakthrough

aivi & surasshu (ikenfell)
Akihiro Manabe (Nioh 2)
Barry “Epoch” Topping (Paradise Killer)
Linus Tzelos (Raji: An Ancient Epic)
Yu-Peng Chen (Genshin Impact)

2.5. Soloist

Darren Korb (Guitar: Hades)
Einar Selvik (Vocals: Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla)
Emi Evans (Vocals: Coven and Labyrinth of Galleria, Calico)
Kristin Naigus (Woodwinds: ikenfell, The Pathless, Hades, Ori and the Will of the Wisps)
Michaela Nachtigall (Strings: ikenfell, Vitamin Connection)

2.6. Ensemble

The Alash Ensemble (The Pathless)
London Metropolitan Orchestra (Ghost of Tsushima)
Macedonian Symphonic Orchestra (Evergate)
Shanghai Symphony Orchestra (Genshin Impact)
Stella Magna (Granblue Fantasy Versus)

2.7. Artist of the Year 2020
To be selected from pool of winners in above categories

Audio of the Year

3.1. In-Game Music

Final Fantasy VII Remake
Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity
One Step from Eden
Paper Mario: The Origami King
The Pathless

3.2. Main Theme

None Have Returned (The Pathless)
Main Theme (Animal Crossing: New Horizons)
Main Theme (One Step from Eden)
Risk of Rain 2 (Risk of Rain 2)
The Way of the Ghost (Ghost of Tsushima)

3.3. Vocal Theme

Bury the Light (Devil May Cry 5: Special Edition)
If Found [Return to] (If Found…)
Our Light (Persona 5: Royal)
Taiyo Yeskala (Coven and Labyrinth of Galleria)
To the Edge (Shadowbringers: Final Fantasy XIV)

3.4 Instrumental Theme

The Black Wolf Stalks Again (Shadowbringers: Final Fantasy XIV)
Collapsed Expressway (Final Fantasy VII Remake)
Light and Darkness (Yakuza 7: Like a Dragon)
Liyue (Genshin Impact)
Searching the Lost Woods (Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity)

3.5. Audio of the Year 2020
To be selected from pool of winners in above categories

Albums of the Year

4.1. Soundtrack CD

Final Fantasy VII Remake Original Soundtrack Plus
KINGDOM HEARTS – III, II.8, Unchained χ & Union χ [Cross]
Tetris Effect Original Soundtrack: Perfect Collection
Various Daylife Original Soundtrack
13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim Original Soundtrack

4.2. Official Arranged Album

Chrono Cross 20th Anniversary Live Tour 2019
Final Fantasy VII Remake Acoustic Arrangements
Songs of Supergiant Games
Stella Magna – Songs from Granblue Fantasy
Symphonic Memories Concert

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.

Fuzzy Pickles
Hang on to Your Hat
Metroid Piano

4.4. Chiptune/Digital Fusion Album

Domingo – Chip Tanaka
vue – xyce
Retrospect – TDK
Room to Room – Tobokegao
Trans//mission – Game Genie Sokolov

4.5. Original Album

ATTICUS VII – fingerspit
Inner Voice – Junya Nakano
Quiet Songs – Jessica Curry
To Shiver the Sky – Christopher Tin
The Velvet Machine – Neal Acree

4.6. Album of the Year 2020
To be selected from pool of winners in above categories

Organizations of the Year

5.1. Music Studio

Mint Potion Studios
Square Enix

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
Brave Wave
Cold Nerve
Materia Collective
Square Enix

5.3. Organisation of the Year 2020
To be selected from pool of winners in above categories

Posted on January 12, 2021 by Don Kotowski. Last modified on January 19, 2021.

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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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