Something to look forward to: Valve has confirmed that the annual Steam Winter Sale will begin tomorrow (December 20th). Additionally, the company has announced the final list of nominees for the 2018 Steam Awards, with voting set to coincide with the start of the sale.

The categories for this year’s Steam Awards were announced at the start of the Autumn Sale in November. Since it began in 2016, the event has become a bit more serious, with categories such as “Mom’s spaghetti” and "Best Use Of A Farm Animal" now dropped.

The all-important game of the year nominations consist of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, Monster Hunter: World, Kingdom Come: Deliverance, Hitman 2, and Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. Virtually all of these appear in our Best PC Games (you should be playing) feature, and while I'm a fan of every one of these titles, I think the excellent AC: Odyssey would be a worthy winner.

Some other interesting entries include the The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt in the Best Environment category. Despite being 3 years old, I still believe it might beat Shadow of the Tomb Raider, though Dark Souls 3 will likely be its closest competition.

In the Best Developer section, Valve has included ten nominations instead of the usual five as it says this was a “highly-contested category.” A few people will probably be surprised to see Bethesda making an appearance, considering the debacle that has been Fallout 76. Not only is it the company’s worst-reviewed game in 12 years, there have been controversies over nylon bags, data leaks, and refunds, which could lead to lawsuits. There's also a chance it might be getting loot boxes.

Voting is open until January 3 and anyone who takes part gets Steam trading cards. The winners will be announced in February.

There’s also the matter of Steam’s 12th Annual Winter Sale. As revealed in a leak back in October, it starts tomorrow. No word on what games we’ll see discounted but expect the usual mix of old and new.

Full list of categories and nominees:

Game of the Year

  • Playerunknown's Battlegrounds
  • Monster Hunter: World
  • Kingdom Come: Deliverance
  • Hitman 2
  • Assassin's Creed Odyssey

VR Game of the Year:

  • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim VRV
  • RChat
  • Beat Saber
  • Fallout 4 VR
  • Superhot VR

Labor of Love:

  • Dota 2
  • Grand Theft Auto V
  • No Man's Sky
  • Path of Exile
  • Stardew Valley

Best Environment:

  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
  • Subnautica
  • Shadow of the Tomb Raider
  • Far Cry 5
  • Dark Souls 3

Better with Friends:

  • Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
  • Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege
  • Payday 2
  • Dead by Daylight
  • Overcooked! 2

Best Alternate History:

  • Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus
  • Assassin's Creed Odyssey
  • Hearts of Iron 4
  • Sid Meier's Civilization 6
  • Fallout 4

Most Fun with a Machine:

  • Euro Truck Simulator 2
  • Rocket League
  • NieR: Automata
  • Factorio
  • Space Engineers

Best Developer:

  • CD Projekt Red
  • Ubisoft
  • Bethesda
  • Rockstar Games
  • Digital Extremes Ltd.
  • Square Enix
  • Capcom
  • Paradox Interactive
  • Bandai Namco Entertainment
  • Klei