What did gaming lovers have to look forward to for the new year? Ever since Netflix announced the scheduling of its first big awards show, I’ve been itching to see what I might be up for. Of course, the real fun never comes until the nominations are released on December 10, but they’re on the way, and that’s why people keep waiting until May for the Game Awards.
This is the 9th annual Game Awards, and it’s actually pretty exciting. Hulu announced that it would be an official sponsor, and True-D will be the show’s official Sausage Party.
Then, there’s what happened at the announcement: Megan Ellison, head of Annapurna Pictures, and Scott Rudin, the producer of the movie Christopher Robin, both attended to announce the Creative Program, which recognizes particular stories and talent, and the Game Awards is doing something unusual in streaming. They’re not just announcing new projects, they’re making the first-ever batch of full-length TV episodes just for the Game Awards.
That’s a big deal, and it gives the show a bit of prestige. The TV show announcement wasn’t a complete surprise — Netflix had announced it was also supporting the Awards, and Vice had also announced that it would produce a mini-documentary about Game Awards founder Geoff Keighley and his favorite days in video game journalism. But those shows are in the business of promoting their shows, not announcing a TV series at an awards show.
Moreover, a majority of the screen time at the show was taken up by actual awards announcements. It was a nice glimpse into the actual excitement for games that are making the world afraid to walk across them. Naturally, it was a bit of a peculiar spectacle, with filmmakers hamming it up, in fancy suits, to announce that a fictional First-Person Shooter movie they just made was getting awards consideration. Obviously, someone had to announce that it was being submitted for an Academy Award, and the fact that most of the awards were presented to a game from Sony that was a full-on Assassin’s Creed-style theme park ride was kind of odd. But overall, it was a bunch of very passionate people singing a song that they believe in, and that’s what most industry people do, regardless of what TV shows and movies are said to be getting.
It will be an exciting time, and the TV show announcements weren’t the only Game Awards surprises. Battlefield V and Red Dead Redemption 2 were just announced as contenders for Best Game and Best Story, but so far, few awards have been announced. My guess is that they’ll come out once the show airs, for all the hype and PR. Usually, at the start of the show, it’s supposed to be a safe time where the hosts and the nominees are introduced in a way that makes people feel comfortable. Because they are getting recognised for things that people love, those slots will be very limited. Just imagine if there were a Best Multiplayer game that everyone was playing, and it was a medieval-themed multiplayer battle royale. It would be a full-out free-for-all. How awesome would that be? We probably wouldn’t get to see it, though, because most of the reveals will be reserved for the televised portion of the show.
At this point, people are expecting an announcement about Alien: Blackout, a $20 million console game that’s a new take on Alien, and the idea of sitting through another unannounced brand-new shooter is getting irking. The announcement of a newly revised Tomb Raider franchise seems like it would be the biggest one of the night, but it won’t be. Why? Because, the folks behind the Game Awards are not actually in the game development business.
Maybe we’ll find out why Alien: Blackout is a major part of the show at an event where you don’t watch the show. Who knows? We know all the events will happen in Los Angeles, and that’s where the nominations will come out on December 10, but that’s all I really know. I’m a huge fan of the show, and I’m excited to see what Keighley and Co. have in store for the show for 2018. Until the nominations are announced, though, I just hope we get the news we’re waiting for in the form of a simple Twitter message from Keighley, “Expect to see a thing.”