Best of E3 Awards
In order to be eligible for consideration in the Game Critics Awards: Best of E3 2019, a game must be on display at E3 2019 in Los Angeles, June 11-13, 2019. Games shown in private meeting rooms are eligible along with those shown publicly on the show floor.

Playable Format
In order to compete, a game be shown in hands-on playable format.  For the 2019 awards season, playable format is defined as the ability for the voting publication to manipulate a game in real-time while running on its native platform (i.e. "hands on" gameplay) for a minimum of five minutes.  Games that are only demonstrated on videotape or through screenshots, concept art, rendered movies, pre-scripted (i.e. non-interactive) gameplay sequences, or developer-controlled theater demos are automatically disqualified from consideration in the major award categories. Non-playable games are still eligible for Special Commendations in Graphics, Sound Design and Innovation. 

The onus is on the game publisher, developer and company representative to clearly communicate to voting publications how they can obtain "hands on" time with playable games. Games will be ruled "unplayable" if a voting publication is denied hands-on time with a product at any point during E3, no exceptions. The best way to avoid any confusion is to communicate with the voting publications in advance of the show as to how they can obtain hands-on time at E3.  Also note that a game's eligibility status cannot be changed during the course of E3. For example a game cannot be playable only on day two or three of E3 and not on day one.

Publishers and developers should keep in mind that Game Critics Award voting publications have many obligations during the week of E3. Publishers and developers are welcome to host events in and around E3 and invite voting publications to attend these events to play eligible titles.  But a publisher/developer must also make accommodations to have a game available to play during normal E3 show hours at the Convention Center. If a voting publication is denied access to a game during regular E3 hours, the game in question will immediately be ruled "unplayable" and  ineligible. To clarify: It is not acceptable for a publisher/developer to say a game is playable "only" at an off-site event or evening party, in effect sending the message that the only opportunity to go hands-on with a game is at an off-site location.

For hardware, voting publications must be able to experience "hands-on gameplay" on final hardware or development kits in order for the system to be eligible for "Best of Show."  New hardware does not need "hands on gameplay" to be eligible in Best Hardware/Peripheral, since the focus of this category is technology, not necessarily gameplay.  New hardware must, however, be shown running in real-time in order for it to be eligible for Best Hardware/Peripheral.

Selection of Judges
The Voting Publications for the  Game Critics Awards are determined at the sole discretion of the Game Critics Awards. The list of voting publications is formulated before the E3 show and made available to public relations representatives at major interactive entertainment software and hardware developers. This list is provided to assist in booking hands-on time with products featured at the show.

Voting Publications are major global media and influencer outlets that consistently cover the videogame industry and have shown an interest in critically evaluating interactive entertainment. Voting publications are encouraged to solicit the opinions of their entire staff  when determining their nominees and winners.

Category Selection and Definition
Before E3, the Game Critics Awards determine the list of categories that will be eligible for voting.  The inclusion of a category one year does not necessarily dictate that it will be included in future years.

For 2019, the categories are as follows:

Best of Show
Best Original Game
Best PC Game
Best Console Game
Best VR/AR Game
Best Dedicated Handheld/Mobile Game
Best Peripheral / Hardware
Best Action Game
Best Action/Adventure Game
Best Fighting Game
Best Role Playing Game
Best Racing Game
Best Sports Game
Best Strategy Game
Best Ongoing Game
Best Family Game
Best Online Multiplayer Game
Best Independent Game

Special Commendation for Graphics (non-playable games eligible)
Special Commendation for Sound (non-playable games eligible)
Special Commendation for Innovation (non-playable games eligible)

Nomination and Voting Process
After the E3 show, the Game Critics Awards declare a date when nominations are due from voting publications.  Based on the category definitions, voting outlets submit their top five choices in each category, which are then weighted based on ranking. (For example, the top choice receives five points, whereas the fifth choice receives one point). These results are tabulated by two independent parties, then compared to ensure accuracy.  The nominees are  announced, with five nominees in each category. In the case of a tie for fifth place, all tying titles are nominated. The voting publications are then asked to vote for their top choice among the five (or more) nominees in each category to determine a winner. In the event of a tie for a winning slot, the weighted points from the nomination round are used to break the tie.  In the unlikely event that two games tie
during the nomination process and during the final voting, both games are named winners in that category.

If you have further questions about the Game Critics Awards and its rules and regulations, please see the About page for contact information.