For the past decade or so, gamers have suffered through an uncomfortable event every December: The Video Game Awards hosted by Spike TV. They were inevitably a cringe-worthy event we'd tune in to in order to see the new trailers and announcements that were revealed between awkward celebrity appearances.
This year we get something new. Geoff Keighley, who hosted the VGAs, has announced The Game Awards. As far as I can tell Spike has dropped the VGAs and they won't be happening; The Game Awards will replace them.
I'm a little bit excited because they almost have to be better than the VGAs. Keighley has been around gaming for a long time (I used him as a freelance game reviewer back in the mid-1990's when he was still in his teens) and he's backed by a pretty solid advisory board:
- Peter Moore, COO of Electronic Arts
- Hideo Kojima of Kojima Productions
- Phil Spencer, Head of Xbox Microsoft
- Reggie Fils-Aime, President and COO of Nintendo of America
- Shawn Layden, CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment America
- Yves Guillemot, CEO and Co-Founder of Ubisoft
- Rockstar Games
Although The Game Awards will include musical guests, it sounds like Hollywood isn't invited. Instead we'll see more industry people and some eSports stars.
The Game Awards are happening at the Axis Theater in Las Vegas on December 5th. Tickets are $45 and go on sale through Ticketmaster at 12 ET today.
Those of us who can't attend in person can watch the show live via streaming. Details to come but so far we know it'll be available on the Xbox, Playstation and Steam networks. I don't think it's a stretch to assume it'll be on Twitch as well.
I'm optimistic and I'm looking forward to tuning in on December 5th. I hope Keighley and his advisory board keep the show aimed squarely at gamers and make this a positive event that we can all feel good about. I never made it through a VGA Awards show without cringing at least a dozen times. Please, The Game Awards, give us a show that treats viewers as adults, and that honestly showcases the games we love.