Quoted from anathematize:
Deadpool winning ANYTHING was a tragedy when IM and POTC were in the running. Pirates definitely should have won callouts with the amazing work that Gibbs did for the game... although I do wish there was a little more humor in some of his dialogue but chalk that up to bad writing.
The rest of the awards shook down pretty much as expected. When you get a game designed by one of the best pinball players of all time the rules and layout are going to be top tier.
Just read the award list the other day. I have some thoughts.
IMHO, the awards weren't THAT far off. A quick run down:
1. PotC should have won Game of the Year, yes. 100%. It's the GOAT pin overall, IMHO. But given the relative number of machines in the wild compared to IM and the later release date in 2018, it's not surprising that Iron Maiden won. IM is a good game. Not as good as PotC, but definitely good.
2. The awards PotC won were well deserved, especially toys and gimmicks. JJP is always excellent in this category. But Pirates was exceptional even for them.
3. Maybe I'm a heretic here for saying this, but I actually agree with DP winning callouts. I have both DP and PotC, and they are both EXCELLENT in callouts. Two of the best callouts in pinball history, IMHO. I give DP a slight edge here, BUT PotC is still overall a better game than DP (again, IMHO) for shots/layout, among other things.
4. In terms of best theme, again... between DP and PotC... very competitive. Two excellent themes. Could go either way with that. They went with DP *shrug* that's okay.
5. I agree with IM getting best artwork. Zombie Yeti stuff is amazing.
6. Disagree with IM getting best music. IMHO, both DP and Pirates were superior in this regard - but admittedly, I'm not an Iron Maiden fan. So your mileage may vary. It's probably hard for a non-music pin to compete with a music pin in... ahem... music when it comes to popular voting.
7. Disagree with IM getting best layout. Pirates is FAR superior in this regard, IMHO. Not that IM was bad - it's not, I played it and liked it (and frankly, IM has a better layout than DP by a hefty margin - layout is not DP's strength). But Pirates is on a whole different level in terms of shots and layout. It's not even a fair comparison.
There were some complaints by folks a little miffed about Pirates, DP, and IM getting the most attention, but they were the best/most popular games of 2018. So we knew that'd probably be the case.
That's it for my $.02