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SXSW GAMING AWARDS TO BE HOSTED BY NEWCOMERS JANA MORRISON (ASTRID) & SAMANTHA AUCOIN (LILLY), STARS OF SYFY'S NEW, CRITICALLY-ACCLAIMED SERIES "ASTRID & LILLY SAVE THE WORLD" ON MARCH 12, 7 P.M. CT

SXSW GAMING AWARDS TO BE HOSTED BY NEWCOMERS JANA MORRISON (ASTRID) & SAMANTHA AUCOIN (LILLY), STARS OF SYFY'S NEW, CRITICALLY-ACCLAIMED SERIES "ASTRID & LILLY SAVE THE WORLD" ON MARCH 12, 7 P.M. CT

AUSTIN, Texas, Feb. 22, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — The South by Southwest® Gaming Awards (SXSW®), celebrating the wide reach of gaming across areas such as art, design, narrative, gameplay, cultural innovation, and more, has today announced that this year’s virtual Ceremony will be co-hosted by two of TV’s freshest faces — Jana Morrison (“Astrid”; Dragalia Lost video game, voice talent, English version) and Samantha Aucoin (“Lilly”), the heroic leads of Astrid & Lilly Save the World, SyFy network’s new, critically acclaimed series hailed as a “charming” and “refreshing” modern take on Buffy The Vampire Slayer. In addition, a diverse roster of presenters from entertainment and sports has been assembled (see below), as well as some special partnerships and premiere content set to shape this ninth annual gaming industry celebration into a distinct, must-stream awards season event, Produced by Georgia-based Peach Maria Productions (pronounced muh-RY-uh), executive produced by Laurie Lockliear (upcoming esports reality competition series GameMaster), the Awards will stream for free as part of SXSW Online on March 12, 2022, at 7 p.m. CT.

Several platforms will be integrated to create the SXSW 2022 experience across web, mobile and TV. A dedicated SXSW TV app can be accessed via Apple TV, Roku, Fire TV, and Android TV. In addition, SXSW TV is now available on iOS and Android. Additional live content, including Keynotes, Featured Sessions and Music Showcases, can be found in each of the 24-hour channels, during the SXSW 2022 event dates (March 11-20, 2022)..

In terms of content, this year’s Ceremony will feature a first-ever integrated animated narrative, produced by Web3 animation studio, Toonstar (The Gimmicks, the first community-driven animated NFT series), in partnership with 6th Wall, the Web3 arm of Mila Kunis’ Orchard Farm Productions (Stoner Cats),  Featuring a signature quirky, expressive and fast-paced animation style, these NFT animated characters and their friends set on a misguided adventure to this year’s SXSW Gaming Awards and beyond. See “The Gimmicks Road to SXSW” teaser clip HERE. In addition, viewers of this year’s Ceremony on March 12 will have special access to an exclusive offer from The Gimmicks.

Plus, TIk Tok sensation, pop punk band Punk Rock Factory (YouTube; Disney’s “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” cover) has written a new song, with its energetic video making its world premiere during the show. According to the South Wales-based band, they “rehearse, write, record, mix, master and film everything themselves in one dedicated space affectionately called The Sausage Factory and frequently bring friends along to enjoy the fun.”

The presenters reflect the most dynamic talent, executives and storytellers across the film/TV/music/gaming industry and sports, and represent some of the most distinctive and acclaimed projects in entertainment.

Presenters and talent appearing include (in alphabetical order):

  • Michael Anthony, (Raising Dion, upcoming Paramount family action film Secret Headquarters)
  • Kadeem Hardison, (upcoming AMC’s Moonhaven, A Different World)
  • Ramon Hermann, SVP Americas, ESL Gaming
  • Maria Ho (Women in Poker HALL OF FAME 2018 inductee, The Amazing Race)
  • Cast members from G4TV’s Attack of the Show, Invitation to Party and XPlay
  • Ryan Johnson, CEO, Cxmmunity
  • Doug Jones (Star Trek: Discovery, upcoming Hocus Pocus 2)
  • Mercedes-AMG Petronas Esports Team
  • Ivan Mbakop (Hawkeye)
  • Taybor Pepper (NFL/San Francisco 49er’s long snapper, former Michigan State Spartan)
  • Corey Reynolds (Resident Alien)
  • Cory Strassburger (a.k.a. “Blu,” visual effects artist and one-man-band creator of YouTube show Xanadu)
  • Stephanie Sheh (Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug and Cat Noir, voice actress, ADR director, writer and producer)
  • Alan Tudyk (Resident Alien, upcoming Disney’s Peter Pan & Wendy)
  • World Boxing’s Eric “Butterbean” Esch (3x Super Heavyweight Champion) & Larry Holmes (Hall of Fame Boxer & Former Heavyweight Boxing Champion of the World)
  • WrestleQuest’s Jeff Jarrett (My World with Jeff Jarrett)

“We’re so excited…NO… ECSTATIC to be your hosts for the 2022 SXSW Gaming Awards!,” said first-time co-hosts, Astrid & Lilly Save The World co-stars and on/off-set best friends Jana Morrison (“Astrid”) and Samantha Aucoin (“Lilly”). “As gamers and award show season stans, we promise an all-out good time with plenty of fun surprises.”

For more of the ladies’ reaction, watch HERE. Catch all-new episodes of Astrid & Lilly Save The World on Wednesdays at 10 P.M. ET/PT on SYFY.

As previously announced live on G4TV’s XPlay, leading nominees include: “Kena: Bridge of Spirits,” from developer and publisher Ember Lab, scored four nominations. Five titles – “Deathloop,” “Inscryption,” “Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker,” “Forza Horizon 5” and “Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart” – each took three nominations.

Additionally, 12 titles received two nominations each, including “Before Your Eyes,” “Chicory: A Colorful Tale,” “Hell Let Loose,” “It Takes Two,” “Loop Hero,” “Lost Words: Beyond the Page,” “Resident Evil Village,” “Returnal,” “The Medium,” “The Wild At Heart,” “Unpacking” and “Valheim.”

Each year the SXSW Gaming Awards honor excellence throughout the industry, celebrating the talent that influences the medium and culture of gaming. The annual Gaming Awards celebrate the technical, artistic and design achievements of each year’s best titles and their creators. Following a rigorous process of nominee selections, this year’s Awards will feature 40 unique games contending for honors in 12 categories (see list of nominees below).

As with each year, the SXSW community voted between February 1-8, 2022. Final winners will be determined through a weighted total of public voting, advisory board and SXSW staff input. More information about the entry and judging process is available here.

2022 FINAL NOMINEES

(Listed by Game, Developer and Publisher)

SXSW GAME OF THE YEAR

GAME

DEVELOPER

PUBLISHER

Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker

SQUARE ENIX®

SQUARE ENIX®

It Takes Two

Hazelight

Electronic Arts

Psychonauts 2

Double Fine Productions

Xbox Game Studios

Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart

Insomniac Games

Sony Interactive Entertainment

Resident Evil Village

Capcom

Capcom

INDIE GAME OF THE YEAR

GAME

DEVELOPER

PUBLISHER

Chicory: A Colorful Tale

Greg Lobanov  

Finji

Death’s Door   

Acid Nerve

Devolver Digital

Inscryption

Daniel Mullins Games

Devolver Digital

Kena: Bridge of Spirits

Ember Lab

Ember Lab

Loop Hero       

Four Quarters

Devolver Digital

Lost Words: Beyond the Page

Sketchbook Games

Modus Games

The Medium

Bloober Team  

Bloober Team

The Wild At Heart

Moonlight Kids 

Humble Games

Unpacking       

Witch Beam

Humble Games

Valheim

Iron Gate Studio

Coffee Stain Publishing

TABLETOP GAME OF THE YEAR

GAME

DEVELOPER

PUBLISHER

Cascadia

Randy Flyn, Beth Sobel, Dylan

Mangini, Molly Johnson, Robert

Melvin, Kevin Russ, and Shawn

Stankewich

Flatout Games

Dune: Imperium

Dire Wolf Digital           

Dire Wolf Digital           

Oath: Chronicles of Empire & Exile

Cole Wehrle     

Leder Games

Roll Camera! The Filmmaking Board Game

Malachi Ray Rempen                

Keen Bean Studio

That Time You Killed Me

Peter C. Hayward, Jeff Fraser, 

and Alex Cutler

Pandasaurus Games

VR GAME OF THE YEAR

GAME

DEVELOPER

PUBLISHER

After The Fall

Vertigo Games

Vertigo Games

Demeo

Resolution Games

Resolution Games

Lone Echo II

Ready at Dawn 

Oculus Studios

Resident Evil 4 VR      

Armature Studio

Oculus Studios

Song in the Smoke

17-BIT

17-BIT

MATTHEW CRUMP CULTURAL INNOVATION AWARD

Awarded to the game that best challenges the “norm” of everyday gaming and offers a culturally innovative view of a game world, character, or gameplay.

GAME

DEVELOPER

PUBLISHER

Before Your Eyes

GoodbyeWorld Games

Skybound Games

Chicory: A Colorful Tale          

Greg Lobanov  

Finji

Life is Strange: True Colors    

Deck Nine Games

SQUARE ENIX®

Lost Words: Beyond the Page 

Sketchbook Games

Modus Games

Unpacking                               

Witch Beam

Humble Games

EXCELLENCE IN ANIMATION, ART & VISUAL ACHIEVEMENT

GAME

DEVELOPER

PUBLISHER

Deathloop                               

Arkane Lyon

Bethesda Softworks

Exo One                                  

Exbleative

Future Friends Games

Forza Horizon 5                      

Playground Games       

Xbox Game Studios

Kena: Bridge of Spirits 

Ember Lab

Ember Lab

The Wild At Heart                    

Moonlight Kids

Humble Games

EXCELLENCE IN GAME DESIGN

GAME

DEVELOPER

PUBLISHER

Deathloop

Arkane Lyon

Bethesda Softworks

Inscryption

Daniel Mullins Games

Devolver Digital

Loop Hero

Four Quarters

Bethesda Softworks

Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart

Insomniac Games

Sony Interactive Entertainment

Returnal

Housemarque

Sony Interactive Entertainment

EXCELLENCE IN ORIGINAL SCORE

GAME

DEVELOPER

PUBLISHER

The Artful Escape                    

Beethoven & Dinosaur

Annapurna Interactive

Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker

SQUARE ENIX®

SQUARE ENIX®

Kena: Bridge of Spirits 

Ember Lab                   

Ember Lab

The Medium                 

Bloober Team

Bloober Team

Wytchwood                  

Alientrap Games

Whitethorn Games

EXCELLENCE IN MULTIPLAYER

GAME

DEVELOPER

PUBLISHER

Back 4 Blood

Turtle Rock Studios      

Warner Bros. Games

Halo Infinite

343 Industries   

Xbox Game Studios

It Takes Two

Hazelight

Electronic Arts

Riders Republic

Ubisoft Annecy

Ubisoft

Valheim

Iron Gate Studio

Coffee Stain Publishing

EXCELLENCE IN NARRATIVE

GAME

DEVELOPER

PUBLISHER

Deathloop                   

Arkane Lyon

Bethesda Softworks

Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker  

SQUARE ENIX®

SQUARE ENIX®

Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy

Eidos-Montréal 

SQUARE ENIX®

Kena: Bridge of Spirits 

Ember Lab

Ember Lab

Lost in Random          

Zoink Games   

Electronic Arts

EXCELLENCE IN AUDIO DESIGN

GAME

DEVELOPER

PUBLISHER

Forza Horizon 5

Playground Games       

Xbox Game Studios

Hell Let Loose 

Black Matter

Team17

Inscryption

Daniel Mullins Games

Devolver Digital

Resident Evil Village

Capcom           

Capcom

Twelve Minutes

Luis Antonio

Annapurna Interactive

EXCELLENCE IN TECHNICAL ACHIEVEMENT

GAME

DEVELOPER

PUBLISHER

Before Your Eyes

GoodbyeWorld Games

Skybound Games

Hell Let Loose

Black Matter

Team17

Forza Horizon 5

Playground Games

Xbox Game Studios

Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart

Insomniac Games

Sony Interactive Entertainment

Returnal

Housemarque   

Sony Interactive Entertainment

This year, SXSW will offer a hybrid event (in-person with online viewing and participation options). Recognizing that the Covid-19 landscape is changing rapidly, SXSW has updated its Covid-19 guidelines and will continue to coordinate with both the City of Austin and Austin Public Health on further guidance. More details on SXSW’s Covid protocols are available at sxsw.com/covid19-guidelines

The online SXSW Schedule provides a complete rundown of 2022 programming, broken down by time and event category, with the ability to build a customized schedule. To get started, please visit schedule.sxsw.com.

SXSW dedicates itself to helping creative people achieve their goals. Founded in 1987 in Austin, Texas, SXSW is best known for its conference and festivals that celebrate the convergence of tech, film, music, education, and culture. An essential destination for global professionals, the annual March event features sessions, music and comedy showcases, film screenings, exhibitions, professional development and a variety of networking opportunities. SXSW proves that the most unexpected discoveries happen when diverse topics and people come together. SXSW 2022 will take place March 11–20, 2022. For more information, please visit sxsw.com. To register for the event, please visit sxsw.com/attend

SXSW 2022 is sponsored by White Claw, Blockchain Creative Labs, Porsche, and The Austin Chronicle.

ABOUT SYFY’S ASTRID & LILLY SAVE THE WORLD

High school is hard enough when you’re different, but when outcast BFFs Astrid (Jana Morrison) and Lilly (Samantha Aucoin) accidentally crack open a portal to a terrifyingly quirky monster dimension, it gets a lot more complicated. It’s up to them to vanquish the creepy creatures and save the world, becoming the badass heroes they were meant to be. That is, if they can survive the horrors of high school. Astrid & Lilly Save The World was written by Noelle Stehman and Betsy Van Stone, who executive produce along with Lance Samuels, Daniel Iron and Samantha Levine. Blue Ice Pictures produces.

ABOUT TOONSTAR / THE GIMMICKS

Toonstar is a Web3 animation studio forging the future of community-driven entertainment. Toonstar’s proprietary technology gives creative people with great stories to tell an easy path to animation that is 50x faster than industry standard. A uniquely scalable model allows Toonstar to open the doors to diverse content creators and characters. Toonstar currently has the #1 animated series on Snap Discover with over 300m monthly views and was the one of the initial studios to pioneer community-driven animated personas. Founded by industry veterans, John Attanasio and Luisa Huang, Toonstar is the first animation studio embracing NFT technology to give fans a chance to participate in storyline development and ownership.Toonstar’s premiere NFT release, The Gimmicks, is a collaboration with 6th Wall, the Web3 arm of Mila Kunis’ Orchard Farm Productions. The Gimmicks is a first-of-its-kind Web3 enabled, community-driven animated NFT series about three washed-up wrestlers from the regional Wrestling Wrestling Wrestling League who bring in a controversial rookie in a desperate attempt to regain relevance and make it back to the main event.

ABOUT PUNK ROCK FACTORY

High-energy, punk rock powerhouse Punk Rock Factory (PRF) hail from South Wales. Formed by life-long friends, Peej (vocals, guitar), Benj (bass, vocals), Ryan (guitar) and Kob (drums, vocals), they were drawn together for their love of great music and punk covers. With a  heavy focus on digital content and an ever-growing worldwide fanbase (over half a million fans on TikTok & Instagram; and upwards of 1.9 million likes), PRF has arrived and shows no signs of slowing down.

ABOUT PEACH MARIA PRODUCTIONS

Peach Maria Productions (pronounced muh-RY-uh) is an Atlanta based production company founded by Laurie Lockliear and John Colp. Their esports reality competition series GameMaster, featuring Wil Wheaton as the Commissioner/Host, is currently in pre-production.

LAURIE LOCKLIEAR | EXECUTIVE PRODUCER

Laurie’s entertainment career began in the 90’s working with radio stations, record labels and as a production manager for national tours. After years at Radio Disney & Disney Events she transitioned to marketing and audience engagement consulting for major brands, entertainment companies and political campaigns. Since 2017, she has been focused exclusively on film, television and video game production and brand integration.

Peach Maria Productions media contact:

David Gardner

[email protected] 

310.291.1156

SXSW media contact:

Brett Cannon

[email protected]

512.467.7979

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