The gaming business relies heavily on sequels to generate revenues, but the artists working in this space are also capable of producing original concepts that we’ve never seen before. And 2016 was a wonderful year for games that weren’t a sequel to something already on the market.

As part of our GB Rewind 2016 series, the GamesBeat Decides podcast wants to reward the developers that took a chance on something new, and that’s why we’re choosing the best new gaming universe of the year. These games don’t necessarily have to feel original compared to the market at large, they must simple represent a new intellectual property.

After some discussion, our short list included games like The Witness, Tom Clancy’s The Division, Overwatch, Stardew Valley, Inside, and more. In the end, the winner was pretty obvious, and you can hear us come to our decision in the podcast below or by watching the video at the top of this post.

Listen to the GamesBeat Decide podcast pick the best new gaming universe of 2016, or scroll down to see for yourself:

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The best new gaming universe of 2016 is … Overwatch

Going into the discussion, we were fairly certain that Overwatch was going to win this one. It had some tough competition, but it is far too appealing to so many people — including us — for it to not win this category.

With Overwatch, Blizzard took a G.I.Joe foundation and then built an enthralling world and cast of characters on top of it. Each hero is distinct. The game’s artists and designers put a million tiny details into each character that makes you want to get to know them both in terms of how they play and who they are as people. The environments are the same way, and these elements work together to build this hyper interesting universe that is both epic and intimate.

Shared from VentureBeat