The "Games of the Year Division" awards existing released works.
The "Future Division" awards non-released works.
The three-category "Amateur Division" awards original works that have not been commercially marketed regardless of whether the entrant is a juridical entity, group or individual.
The ceremony changed its name from launch's "CESA Awards" (CESA大賞, CESA taisho) and "CESA Game Awards" to the actual "Japan Game Awards" (日本ゲーム大賞).
The Japanese financial year runs from April 1 to March 31, it applies to all games that were released onto the Japanese market in this period.
The following are the winners of the Grand Award.
Period: January 1, 2001 to March 31, 2002
Period: April 1, 2002 to March 31, 2003
Period: April 1, 2003 to March 31, 2004
Period: April 1, 2004 to March 31, 2005
Period: April 1, 2005 to March 31, 2006
Period: April 1, 2006 to March 31, 2007
Period: April 1, 2007 to March 31, 2008
Period: April 1, 2008 to March 31, 2009
Period: April 1, 2009 to March 31, 2010
Period: April 1, 2010 to March 31, 2011
Period: April 1, 2011 to March 31, 2012
Period: April 1, 2012 to March 31, 2013
Games of the Year Division: 
Period: April 1, 2013 to March 31, 2014
Period: April 1, 2014 to March 31, 2015
Period: April 1, 2015 to March 31, 2016
CEDEC Awards are annually presented by CEDEC (CESA Developers conference) for outstanding game developers and games. The awards started in 2008.Computer Entertainment Supplier's Association
Computer Entertainment Supplier's Association (CESA) is a Japanese organization that was established in 1996 to "promote the computer entertainment industry [...] with the aim of contributing to the strengthening of Japanese industry as well as to the further enrichment of people's lifestyles." It organizes the annual Tokyo Game Show and Japan Game Awards.
CESA is located in Tokyo, Japan. Its current (As of 2015) chairman of CESA is Hideki Okamura, the president of Sega Holdings.The Computer Entertainment Rating Organization (CERO), a rating agency, was established in 2002 as a branch of CESA.Devil May Cry 5
Devil May Cry 5 is an upcoming action-adventure hack and slash video game developed and published by Capcom. It is the fifth installment of the mainline Devil May Cry series, and is scheduled to be released on 8 March 2019.Dissidia Final Fantasy
Dissidia Final Fantasy (ディシディア ファイナルファンタジー, Dishidia Fainaru Fantajī) is a fighting game with action RPG elements developed and published by Square Enix for the PlayStation Portable as part of the campaign for the Final Fantasy series' 20th anniversary. It was released in Japan on December 18, 2008, in North America on August 25, 2009, in Australia on September 3, 2009 and in Europe on September 4, 2009. It was then re-released as an international version in Japan, based on the North American port, as Dissidia Final Fantasy: Universal Tuning, on November 1, 2009.
The game features characters from different Final Fantasy games and centers on a great conflict between Cosmos, goddess of harmony, and Chaos, the god of discord. The two summon multiple warriors to fight for their sides in their thirteenth war. During the story, the player controls the ten warriors chosen by Cosmos, the protagonists from the first ten Final Fantasy games, in their journey. The game's English and international versions also give access to other features such an arcade mode.
Dissidia originated from Kingdom Hearts director Tetsuya Nomura's desire to create a spin-off for the franchise, but it was changed to the Final Fantasy series. Besides designing the characters, Nomura worked with the Square staff with the desire to make it appealing to Western players. Dissidia was well received commercially and critically, with positive reviews and sales of over 1.8 million. A follow-up titled Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy was released in March 2011, and features several new characters and gameplay features.Final Fantasy VII
Final Fantasy VII is a 1997 role-playing video game developed by Square for the PlayStation console. It is the seventh main installment in the Final Fantasy series. Published in Japan by Square, it was released in other regions by Sony Computer Entertainment and became the first in the main series to see a PAL release. The game's story follows Cloud Strife, a mercenary who joins an eco-terrorist organization to stop a world-controlling megacorporation from using the planet's life essence as an energy source. Events send Cloud and his allies in pursuit of Sephiroth, a superhuman intent on destroying their planet. During the journey, Cloud builds close friendships with his party members, including Aerith Gainsborough, who holds the secret to saving their world.
Development began in 1994, originally for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. After delays and technical difficulties from experimenting on several platforms, Square moved production to the PlayStation, largely due to the advantages of the CD-ROM format. Veteran Final Fantasy staff returned, including series creator and producer Hironobu Sakaguchi, director Yoshinori Kitase, and composer Nobuo Uematsu. The title became the first in the series to use full motion video and 3D computer graphics, which featured 3D character models superimposed over 2D pre-rendered backgrounds. Although the gameplay systems remained mostly unchanged from previous entries, Final Fantasy VII introduced more widespread science fiction elements and a more realistic presentation. The game had a staff of over 100, with a combined development and marketing budget of around US$80 million.
Assisted by a large promotional campaign, Final Fantasy VII received widespread commercial and critical success and remains widely regarded as a landmark title and one of the greatest games of all time. The title won numerous Game of the Year awards and was acknowledged for boosting the sales of the PlayStation and popularizing Japanese role-playing games worldwide. Critics praised its graphics, gameplay, music, and story, although some criticism was directed towards its English localization. Its success has led to enhanced ports on various platforms, a multimedia subseries called the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII and an upcoming high-definition remake for the PlayStation 4.Hiroyuki Ito
Hiroyuki Ito (伊藤 裕之, Itō Hiroyuki), is a Japanese game producer, director and designer who works for Square Enix. He is known as the director of Final Fantasy VI (1994), Final Fantasy IX (2000) and Final Fantasy XII (2006) and as the creator of the Active Time Battle (ATB) system in the Final Fantasy series.List of Game of the Year awards
Game of the Year (abbreviated GotY) is an award given by various gaming publications to a video game that they feel represents the pinnacle of video gaming that year.Michael Condrey
Michael Condrey is the Co-founder & former Studio Head Sledgehammer Games, which he founded with Glen Schofield after their collaboration on the popular video game franchise Dead Space and is now the President of the new 2K Games Development Studio in Silicon Valley, California .Persona 4
Persona 4 is a role-playing video game developed and published by Atlus for Sony's PlayStation 2, and chronologically the fifth installment in the Persona series, itself a part of the larger Megami Tensei franchise. The game was released in Japan in July 2008, North America in December 2008, and Europe in March 2009. Persona 4 takes place in a fictional Japanese countryside and is indirectly related to earlier Persona games. The player-named protagonist is a high-school student who moved into the countryside from the city for a year. During his year-long stay, he becomes involved in investigating mysterious murders while harnessing the power of summoning Persona. The game features a weather forecast system with events happening on foggy days to replace the moon phase system implemented in the previous games.
The plot of Persona 4 was inspired by the work of mystery novelists owing to its murder mystery premise. The rural setting was based on a town on the outskirts of Mount Fuji and intended as a "'nowhere' place" and is the central setting to have players sympathize with the daily life of the characters. The developers added many in-game events to prevent the game from becoming stale. During the localization, numerous alterations to names and cultural references were made to preserve the effect through translation, but some Japanese cultural references were altered or removed. The release of the game in Japan was accompanied by merchandise such as character costumes and accessories. The North American package of the game was released with a CD with selected music from the game, and, unlike Persona 3, the European package also contained a soundtrack CD. The game's score was primarily composed by Shoji Meguro, with vocals performed by Shihoko Hirata.
The game was positively received by critics and developed into a full franchise. An enhanced version of the game for the PlayStation Vita, Persona 4 Golden, was released in 2012. Various other manga and light novel adaptations and spin-offs have been produced. An anime television adaptation by AIC ASTA, titled Persona 4: The Animation, began airing in Japan in October 2011, with an anime adaptation of Persona 4 Golden airing in July 2014. The game has also spawned two fighting game sequels, Persona 4 Arena and Persona 4 Arena Ultimax, and a rhythm game, Persona 4: Dancing All Night.Resident Evil 5
Resident Evil 5 is a third-person shooter video game developed and published by Capcom and released in 2009. It is the seventh major installment in the Resident Evil series, and was announced in 2005—the same year its predecessor Resident Evil 4 was released. Resident Evil 5 was released for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 consoles in March 2009 and for Microsoft Windows in September that year. The plot involves an investigation of a terrorist threat by Bioterrorism Security Assessment Alliance (BSAA) agents Chris Redfield and Sheva Alomar in Kijuju, a fictional region of Africa. Chris soon learns that he must confront his past in the form of an old enemy, Albert Wesker, and his former partner, Jill Valentine.
The gameplay of Resident Evil 5 is similar to that of the previous installment, though it is the first in the series designed for two-player cooperative gameplay. It has also been considered to be the first game in the main series to depart from the survival horror genre, critics saying it bore more resemblance to an action game. Motion capture was used for the cutscenes, and it was the first video game to use a virtual camera system. Several staff members from the original Resident Evil worked on Resident Evil 5.
Resident Evil 5 received a positive reception, despite some criticism for its control scheme. The game received some complaints of racism, though an investigation by the British Board of Film Classification found the complaints were unsubstantiated. Resident Evil 5 was re-released for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in June 2016. As of December 2018, the original release has sold over 7.4 million units. An additional 3.6 million units have been sold between a special edition of the game and releases on other platforms, bringing the total sales to 11 million. It is the best-selling game of the Resident Evil franchise, and the original version remained the best-selling individual Capcom release until March 2018, when it was outsold by Monster Hunter: World. A sequel, Resident Evil 6, was released in 2012.Sledgehammer Games
Sledgehammer Games, Inc. is an American video game developer, formed in 2009 by Glen Schofield and Michael Condrey. The pair formerly worked at Visceral Games and are responsible for the creation of Dead Space. The company is an independent, wholly owned subsidiary of Activision and is based in Foster City, California. The studio is known for co-developing Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 with Infinity Ward, and developing Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare as well as Call of Duty: WWII.Tales of Symphonia
Tales of Symphonia (Japanese: テイルズ オブ シンフォニア, Hepburn: Teiruzu Obu Shinfonia) is a Japanese role-playing game released for the Nintendo GameCube on August 29, 2003 in Japan. It was published by Namco and is the fifth core product of the Tales series. The game was localized and released in North America on July 13, 2004 and in Europe on November 19, 2004. In Japan, the game was ported for the PlayStation 2 with additional content and was released on September 22, 2004.The game takes place in a fictional world called Sylvarant and follows Lloyd Irving. Lloyd accompanies his childhood friend, Colette Brunel, who is destined to go on a journey to save their world. As their journey progresses, they learn that saving Sylvarant endangers Tethe'alla, a world parallel to their own. The game's central theme is Kimi to Hibiki au RPG (君と響きあうRPG, "RPG that resonates with you").The game's reception was generally positive with critics praising the gameplay but criticizing the plot. It received a Japan Game Awards in 2003 and had received re-releases under the Player's Choice and PlayStation 2 the Best labels. In the United States, over 100 thousand copies were sold during the first two weeks and has sold over a million copies worldwide.Since its release, Tales of Symphonia spawned a substantial media franchise in Japan. The game has been adapted into seven manga collections, two novel series, seven drama CDs, and an OVA anime series. A sequel entitled Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World was released for the Wii in 2008. Tales of Symphonia and its sequel was collected as a PlayStation 3 high definition release in Tales of Symphonia Chronicles in 2013. A Steam version was released on February 2, 2016.The Legend of Heroes
The Legend of Heroes is a series of role-playing video games developed by Nihon Falcom. First starting as a part of the Dragon Slayer series in the late 1980s, the series evolved into its own decade-spanning, interconnected series spanning fourteen entries, encompassing multiple meta series within it as well. The most recent entry, The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel IV, released in Japan on September 27, 2018.Yakuza (series)
Yakuza, known in Japan as Ryū ga Gotoku (龍が如く, Like a Dragon, Japanese: [ɾʲɨᵝː ɡa̠ go̞to̞kɯ̟ᵝ]), is an action-adventure beat 'em up video game franchise created, owned and published by Sega. The series originated from Toshihiro Nagoshi's desire to create a game that would tell the way of life of the yakuza. Nagoshi initially struggled to find a platform for the project, until Sony showed interest in the prospect.The series primarily focuses on the yakuza Kazuma Kiryu from the Tojo clan. While Kazuma often assists the Tojo clan, the series has also featured him searching for another way of life in the form of raising orphans. The gameplay of Yakuza has the player controlling Kazuma (or another character depending on the title) in an open world where he can encounter an enemy or perform an activity in the city to obtain experience.
The franchise has become a commercial and critical success, and as of 2017, Sega has reported that the Yakuza franchise has sold a combined total of 10.5 million units in physical and digital sales since its debut in 2005. Strong sales of the games in its original Japanese market has led to the franchise's expansion to other mediums, including film adaptations.Yakuza 4
Yakuza 4 (Japanese: 龍が如く4 伝説を継ぐもの, Hepburn: Ryū ga Gotoku 4: Densetsu o Tsugumono, "Like a Dragon 4: Successor of the Legend") is a video game developed and released by Sega for the PlayStation 3. The game was introduced on July 24, 2009. A promotional video was presented at the 2009 Tokyo Game Show, The sequel to Yakuza 3, it was released on March 18, 2010, in Japan after a playable demo was released on the Japanese PlayStation Store on March 5. Yakuza 4 was released in Europe and North America in March 2011.A remaster was released on the PlayStation 4 in January 17, 2019 in Japan. Due to Hiroki Narimiya retiring from allegations of drug use, the role of Tanimura was recast with Toshiki Masuda taking over.Yakuza Kenzan
Ryū ga Gotoku Kenzan! (Japanese: 龍が如く 見参！, "Like a Dragon Arrives!"), unofficially known as Yakuza Kenzan, is a jidaigeki-themed spin-off game in the Yakuza series. The game was developed and published by Sega for PlayStation 3. It was unveiled at the Tokyo Game Show 2007 and released in 2008.
A second Yakuza series spin-off set in samurai era, Ryū ga Gotoku Ishin!, was released in 2014 on both the PlayStation 3 and the PlayStation 4 systems. Ishin! is set two centuries later than Kenzan!, hence the plots are not related to each other since both games focus on different characters, the historical figures of Sakamoto Ryōma (1836-1867) and Miyamoto Musashi (1584-1645) respectively.