Telltale Games' interactive episodic series based on the zombie comic book franchise was selected as game of the year at Friday's extravaganza, which honors outstanding achievements in the video game industry over the past year.
"Look, Walking Dead fans, this is obviously for you," beamed "Walking Dead" creator Robert Kirkman. "Thank you so much. You guys watch the TV show. You read the comics. You play the video games. You make all this possible."
"The Walking Dead" also won the best downloadable and adapted game prizes, as well as best performance by a human female for Melissa Hutchison as young survivor Clementine and studio of the year for Telltale Games.
"The Avengers" star and shooter fan Samuel L. Jackson served as host of the much-censored 10th annual ceremony at Sony Pictures Studios, marking his fourth time hosting the show.
"You know me," warned Jackson at the start of the ceremony. "Whoever's in charge of the bleep button, keep your finger ready cause this is gonna be one heck of a show, (expletive)."
Gearbox Software's cartoony shoot-'em-up sequel "Borderlands 2" swept the VGAs with the most awards, picking up trophies for best shooter, multiplayer, performance by a human male for Dameon Clarke as villain Handsome Jack and character of the year for chatty robot Claptrap.
Other titles winning multiple trophies included 343 Industries' sci-fi shooter "Halo 4" as best Xbox 360 game and graphics; Queasy Games' musical platformer "Sound Shapes" as best handheld game and song for "Cities" by Beck; and thatgamecompany's artsy downloadable adventure "Journey" as best independent, PlayStation 3 game and original score.
"We made 'Journey' for you, to show that games can be something different independent, experimental, moving, emotional, modern, inclusive, different," said "Journey" executive producer Robin Hunicke. "That's why we made it."
Arkane Studios' stealthy first-person game "Dishonored" was picked as best action-adventure game. BioWare's sci-fi saga "Mass Effect 3" won as best role-playing game. Valve Software's "Half-Life 2" was chosen as the best game of the decade.
The two-hour ceremony, which featured performances from Linkin Park and Tenacious D, put more emphasis on hyping upcoming games than handing out trophies though.
The show featured new footage from such upcoming titles as "The Last Us," "South Park: The Stick of Truth," "Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2" and "BioShock Infinite." It also served to unveil never-before-seen games like "Dark Souls II" and "The Phantom Pain," which is apparently connected to the "Metal Gear Solid" franchise.
For the first time, the VGAs were streamed on Xbox Live, the online service for Microsoft's Xbox 360 console. During the ceremony, online viewers could vote on show components like what songs and clips would be played during the VGAs.
The winners of most of the show's categories were chosen by an advisory council, while viewer votes selected character of the year and most anticipated game, which went to "Grand Theft Auto V."