The game award is inseparable from its founder, host, and all-round marketing machine Geoff Keighley. His willingness to turn any moment into a business opportunity has earned him notoriety among members of the gaming community. This is also one of the key elements in the gradual transformation of The Game Awards into something that seems to be bigger than when it was first announced in 2014.
At that time, I learned about Keighley mainly from his history in GameSpot (where he was Delivery visit Like everyone else) and the Spike Video Game Awards, this is a fancy and more exaggerated form. The Spike Awards have advertisements, there are ugly awards, and it’s a trivial matter. Nothing comes close to what a game award will become, but it is significant.
It now appears that the most striking thing about them is that they exist only because of Keighley. When he left, the network tried a show with a new host renamed (VGX) and then gave up.
However, the rise of The Game Awards is not only because of Keighley’s comfortingly flat business sense, but also because of the coincidence of the coronavirus pandemic and the absolute chaos it has caused in the field of events-unlike many other companies, it is completely dependent on participants collective.
The Game Awards has always been considered an online priority program, so it was hardly affected last year, at least for the audience.And an event as big as E3 (Keighley publiclyseparate‘And 2020), Gamescom, TGS, BlizzCon and PAX are struggling in different ways-and E3 was completely messed up from the beginning-the game awards are created for a world where everyone can watch on the screen. Spike is an Internet TV station, but Keighley understands that the future lies not in traditional distribution methods, but in mobile phones, tablets, PCs, and any screen.
Keighley has established a personal brand, which is definitely catnip for publishers. This is a well-known face, he can put your game in front of millions of eyeballs, and will perfectly follow the script. It is self-perpetuating. Every time a big secret was revealed, Keighley proved that he was suitable for another big secret. “Keighley will reveal it” is probably the most comforting guarantee that executives at large publishers can get because they know it will go as planned, and after each trailer, he will say “amazing” or before it goes well. “Unbelievable new IP” scroll to the next one. You cannot underestimate these things.
Less than ten years ago, I browsed the floors of programs such as E3, Gamescom, and TGS, and competed with other reporters to be the “first” news or discover new things. These events may come back, but the search will never: game announcements are now fully focused, and everyone gets information at the same time. The amount of funding involved means that the kind of things that have been done in the industry in the past—a little peek at upcoming projects, background observations of some game footage—are definitely not worth the risk.
But there is no risk in the game jackpot.
So we came to a strange question: what exactly is The Game Awards? Pointing out that awards are the least important part of it is nothing new. It walks through them apologetically between the trailers, and frankly, the trophy is the last reason you watch. This is a bit strange, isn’t it: very few people watch the game awards because they are interested in the awards.
We pay attention to the trailer, and this is where the pandemic seems to really enhance Keighley’s operations. There is an interesting similarity between his permanent relationship with Hideo Kojima. Hideo Kojima likes Keighley because he can tell what Kojima wants. Kojima was fortunate to make a game about social isolation and the environment before the pandemic hit. Everyone fell into social isolation. Both benefited from this transformation: Kojima suddenly had a direct connection with reality because of his foresight; Keighley, because he had a platform ready, and the surroundings were shaking, and there was a wooden board pushing him. Drawing inspiration from the great efforts of the Democratic National Congress and Emmys to obtain the rights of “virtual audiences”, the game awards were reconfigured as the ultimate destination for revealing secrets.
The importance of Keighley’s image on this point cannot be overstated: when event companies panicked due to the pandemic, he was the first host they ran to. Of course, he did a great job. Satisfy all the notes that the publisher wants to see.
Check out the complete list of all the content announced during the Game Awards last night. There are a staggering 48 trailers, and it’s undeniable that not all trailers are used for brand new games, but it shows what the event looks like now. The Game Awards is not a real awards ceremony. It has never been so clear, and I really don’t think Keighley, who has a business acumen like him, intends to build this.
It was replaced by a strange situation: the pandemic, other events did not actually do anything decent, and Keighley’s safe hands. These are the weird awards and trailer soups that have taken The Game Awards from all the time. Spike, to be fair, has become a real industry calendar event with more and bigger announcements than Gamescom. This tension exists between the celebration and the promotional film. In summary, “Elden Ring” won the most anticipated game awards of this year and last year, while also providing a large trailer for the show.
Winner takes all
As more and more studios began to see TGA as the best target for their video assets, the show became too versatile, becoming everything to celebrate media, advertising, reveal, and the closest industry uniform award. Last night, the show was an awkward background for acknowledging the harassment problem in the gaming industry for a while.
Watching Keighley, a person allergic to favoritism, changed from the initial “we are neutral” stance to vaguely criticizing Activision Blizzard, saying that they would not be involved. He cannot ignore the public sentiment, so the show features a general condemnation of harassment without saying any specific content. Then turned to another trailer from Quantic Dream, also facing his own harassment allegations.
“We should not and will not tolerate any abuse, harassment or predatory behavior by anyone, including our online community,” Keighley said. “Tonight, I call on everyone to build a better and safer video game industry. Speak online and use your time and money to vote. Empower these world builders who are creating the future of all entertainment.”
This is a statement from the producer you expect, he does not want to take any position that threatens valuable industry relations, and puts the responsibility of stopping the harassment on the person buying and playing the game, not on the related company. This is the problem, not whether there are individual players who choose to buy Call of Duty: Vanguard.
It feels like the game awards should be half of the original. The awards and everything else are removed, and only trailers are provided. This is what it became: the true digital E3, the publisher’s route to the consumer. Obviously, none of this can be attributed to Keighley alone, but the inferior products of traditional large-scale events-E3, Gamescom, TGS-have given game awards more trust. There are no two ways to solve this problem: The game awards have begun to eat their lunch and drink their milkshakes, becoming the biggest single game event this year.