DERRIK J. LANG
AP Entertainment Writer
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- "The Last of Us" won the top honor at the Game Developers Choice Awards.
The gripping post-apocalyptic survival saga created by developer Naughty Dog for the PlayStation 3 picked up the game of the year trophy Wednesday at the 14th annual ceremony. "The Last of Us" also won the awards for best design and narrative.
"I can't stress what a collaboration it is to put something like this together," said creative director Neil Druckmann, who was joined on stage at the Moscone Center by dozens of "Last of Us" developers. "This is just a sampling of Naughty Dogs, but there's another 200 people slaving away back at the office -- and outsourced people and actors and composers and just so many people that brought this to life."
Irrational Games' slick sky-high shooter "BioShock Infinite" nabbed the awards for best audio and visual art, while Lucas Pope's quirky 8-bit immigration agent simulator "Papers, Please" captured both the innovation award and best downloadable game trophy.
"If the criteria is fastest to download, 'Papers, Please' is 40 megabytes zipped," joked Pope. "It's a little unfair, but I'll take it."
Selected by a jury of more than 2,200 game creators, the Game Developers Choice Awards honor the best games of the past year during the Game Developers Conference, an annual gather of game creators.
Other winners included Rockstar Games' heist romp "Grand Theft Auto V" for best technology, Nintendo's shape-shifting adventure "The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds" for best handheld game and The Fullbright Company's coming-of-age story "Gone Home" for best debut. Squad's wacky space flight simulator "Kerbal Space Program" landed the audience award, which was selected by online votes.
Ken Kutaragi, the former chairman of Sony Computer Entertainment who's dubbed "the father of the PlayStation," was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award.
"I am so grateful to be able to share this great moment with my colleagues, my team members and of course all of you here tonight," Kutaragi told the crowd.
Anita Sarkeesian, creator of the Feminist Frequency video series, was presented with the Ambassador Award, which recognizes individuals who have helped advanced the gaming industry.
Brandon Beck and Marc Merrill, the co-founders of "League of Legends" studio Riot Games, received the Pioneer Award for their contributions to the industry, which included raising the profile of e-sports.
"Until you've really been deeply engaged and immersed in an online community, you really don't know how much fun you're missing and how deep the relationships are that you can really build," said Merrill. "We truly believe that type of participation in the great gaming community is really one of the best experiences you can have in all of gaming."
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