Warner Bros.’ ‘Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor’ Leads D.I.C.E. Award Nominations

Comedian Pete Holmes to host event

Warner Bros. Interactive's Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor receives the most DICE Award nominations.

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment’s “Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor” has received nine nominations, including game of the year, from the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences for this year’s D.I.C.E. Awards.

The D.I.C.E. event is the videogame industry’s peer-based awards show, its equivalent to the Oscars.

Altogether, 56 games received a D.I.C.E. nomination.

Also up for game of the year are Activision and Bungie’s “Destiny,” Electronic Arts and BioWare’s “Dragon Age: Inquisition,” Ubisoft’s “Far Cry 4,” and Blizzard’s “Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft.”

“Far Cry 4” received seven nominations, while “Destiny” and “Hearthstone” both landed six each. Activision’s “Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare” and ustwo’s “Monument Valley” nabbed five, followed by Sony’s “inFamous Second Son,” The Astronaut’s “The Vanishing of Ethan Carter” and Ubisoft’s “Valiant Hearts: The Great War,” with four each.

Comedian Pete Holmes will host the D.I.C.E. Awards on Feb. 5, from The Joint, inside the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, in Las Vegas. Event will be live streamed via Twitch.

“Each year there are so many great games to celebrate, and 2014 was no different – with rich and enveloping experiences to satisfy any demographic and across all platforms,” said Martin Rae, president of the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences. “Congratulations to all of our nominees, whose integral work has made a deep impression on our peer panelists.”

Ralph Baer, the inventor of the Magnavox Odyssey, and Al Alcorn, the creator of “Pong,” will receive the Pioneer Awards.

The D.I.C.E. Sprite Award is also a new category that will be awarded to a game having disproportionate resources for development and exposure, representing a higher degree of risk tolerance and advances the industry with innovative gameplay and experiences, the AIAS said.

Nominees in the category are “The Banner Saga,” from Stoic, Sony’s “Hohokum,” “Monument Valley,” Sirvo’s “Threes!” and Supergiant’s Games’ “Transistor.”

The Academy’s more than 22,000 members begin voting Jan. 14, for the 23 categories, with the awards handed out at the end of the D.I.C.E. Summit. D.I.C.E. stands for design, innovate, communicate, entertain.

The complete list of D.I.C.E. Award nominees can be found here.