Last year, Supergiant Games’ Hades, the roguelike inspired by Greek mythology about Hades’ son Zagreus escaping the underworld, released to near universal acclaim. If it wasn’t praised for being an inviting step into the roguelike genre, it was praised for its characters and narrative. If it wasn’t for that, it was for the music, you get the idea. Over a year later and now on all the major consoles and PC, the game still has a sizable impact, and it’ll surely grow again because it won a Hugo Award this weekend and is the first video game to do so.
Every year, the Hugo Awards recognize the best brightest literary works of science fiction and fantasy. In recent years, they’ve branched out to include categories such as Best Fanzine or Best Fancast (podcast or video series, basically). For 2021, the Best Video Game category was created after being floated around as an idea for years now, according to the website’s announcement back in 2020. Of course, it likely helped that a lot of people had time to just play video games this past year.
Hades’ writer and creative director Greg Kasavin, who was unable to attend the Hugo Awards, took to Twitter to post an acceptance speech on behalf of Supergiant. “We’re so grateful that our work on Hades has stood out,” he said, “and we hope the Hugo Awards continue to recognize the amazing work being done in the video games space.” In addition to thanking the staff and their family, he gave a shoutout to the Greek gods up high and down low for “inspiring people like us for several thousands of years now, and may they long continue to do so.”
Hades had some pretty good competition to beat out: unsurprisingly, the AAA contenders were The Last of Us Part II, Animal Crossing: New Horizons, and Final Fantasy VII Remake. And on the indie side, there was the beloved afterlife management darling Spiritfarer and the fake (?) baseball sim Blaseball. This award was created as a one-off, but hopefully it sticks around, since video games are a fairly big part of sci-fi and fantasy at this point.