Seems like a pretty weak mix in most areas, GOTY in particular. I'm expecting Dishonored will win it because it's a Bethesda game and it's commercial journalism (how the fuck else can you explain ANY of their other games winning that status?), but none of the other contenders are, IMO, particularly strong. I'd say X-COM and Walking Dead are the best choices since X-COM showed everyone you can make a modern reboot that stays faithful to the original and still be financially successful, and Walking Dead's been an interesting take on the adventure genre.
None of the multiplayer titles have what it takes to be GOTY. None of the three are at all friendly to newbies, and at least two of the three (Tribes and Planetside) still have some kinks to work out, and maybe some balance issues. Dota 2 would be an immediate GOTY winner if it was more newbie-friendly... maybe next year, since it'll probably be officially released by then.
Strategy feels like it'll go to X-COM with Crusader Kings II being a runner-up. CK2 is an amazingly fun game and a very interesting departure from the 4X genre you might associate it with initially, but X-COM... man, it's great.
MMO? Pff, who cares? Probably World of Warcraft because it's Actiblizzion and a commercial gaming journalism, but Planetside 2 has been extremely fun so far. Haven't played GW2 or the other one, but I seriously don't see them being able to compete with Pandaland.
Diablo 3 is gonna take the RPG award, maybe because there apparently haven't been many decent RPGs this year... and because it's a fucking Diablo game, even if it sucks ass compared to the other Diablo games, it's still leagues ahead of anything else.
I'm gonna be pissed if Spec Ops doesn't take the single-player shooter category. It's the first shooter in a LONG, LONG time that actually makes the player consider where they are and what they're doing, and it actually works really well. It's not that there aren't other good entries in the category (Far Cry 3 is supposed to be really good), but that Spec Ops is really unique and REALLY deserves the award for making it work.
Multiplayer shooter... that's a tough one, honestly. I want to hand it to Natural Selection 2, but I've heard there are some bad balance issues right now. Planetside 2 is like Battlefield on steroids and reminds me a lot of how good Battlefield used to be before consoles fucked everything up. I want to hand it to Tribes simply because it has the highest skill ceiling and best overall gameplay of any of the options, but... man, it's a tough one. I'll probably be happy with any of them winning it, they're all deserving of it in their own way.
eSports? Automatic win for Dota 2, it's not even a fucking race. League of Legends is complete trash compared to it, and while Starcraft II is still strong, Blizzard's handling of it in regards to eSports leaves a fuckton of a lot to be wished for. While Valve is active and interested in making sure Dota 2 receives wide recognition, it feels like Blizzard blew their wad out of the gate and then left it there to congeal and rot and I'm gonna stop this analogy now.
Black Mesa's probably gonna take the mod award. DayZ's pretty impressive in its own right... but it's a fucking zombie mod. No, just... no. You're gonna hear a story on the news about some crazy guy stabbing people with those plastic sporks you get from Taco Bell if they give it to that fucking Game of Thrones mod for CK2... so goddamn sick of hearing about that shitty show.
Pretty sure Walking Dead's the only contender for adventure. Lone Survivor was an interesting experience in making a sort of 2D Silent Hill, but it's just that - an experiment. It doesn't feel like a full-featured, complete game.
I'm not even sure what "short-form" means but I guess it's a more politically correct term for "indie." In that case, I'd say it's an even tie between FTL and Grimrock. FTL is basically Rogue in space while Grimrock is in most ways a modern reboot of Ultima Underworld. They're both amazing games, and everyone should pick them up when they inevitably go on sale for like $1.99 during this year's holiday sale.
And, like usual, literally no one gives two shits about the simulator category so they can give it to whoever and the only reaction people will have is "huh?"