The two lead voice actors from this year's Batman: Arkham City ripped the Spike Video Game Awards on Twitter last night. They both lost in their respective categories, but, they said, that's not why they'e complaining.
Mark Hamill, doubly famous for his roles as Luke Skywalker in Star Wars and as The Joker in Batman cartoons and the recent, acclaimed Batman: Arkham Asylum/City games, groused over twitter that he had "lousy seats" and didn't even realize the award in his category had been announced.
Hamill had been nominated for Best Voice-Acting (Male) for his role as the Joker in Arkham City and had lost to Stephen Merchant who did the voice for the robot Wheatley in Portal 2. Tara Strong, who played Harley Quinn in Arkham City had been nominated for Best Voice-Acting (Female) but lost to Ellen McClain, who voiced the computer GlaDOS in Portal 2.
Neither award was presented on-air. As with several other VGA awards, their winners were announced in montages. [CORRECTION: The Best Voice-Acting (Female) award was presented during the online pre-show. The Male award was only in a montage.]
Strong slammed Spike on Twitter for putting her and Hamill in the bleacher seats and for announcing the Voice Acting winners in passing, with no presentation and no mention of the nominees: "if you weren't going 2 announce the nominees, y have us come 2 the show? VO may not matter 2 u, but it sure does to us."
At left: This is the image Strong Tweeted 10 minutes before complaining about her seats.
Strong's complaints about the show being "just a big commercial" likely stem from the fact that the VGAs have been used as a showcase for trailers that announce new video games. Two years ago, Arkham City was announced to the world during its own VGA-exclusive trailer.
The Spike Video Game Awards are not everyone's ideal version of a video game award show, and complaining about them has become an annual event, like the show itself. Complaints have often come from members of the gaming press and game development community, who have said the VGAs show too many celebrities, not enough video game developers and cater to stereotypes that gamers are crude fools.
In this case, it's two celebrities—both of them hailed for their work on a video game series—who are complaining. To put it in context, though, this year's VGAs included both the things people complain about and the things complainers say they want. There were skits with celebrities, lots of hype for new games and awards given off-camera. There were also featured moments that put game developers such as Nintendo's Shigeru Miyamoto on stage. The creative leads on the Arkham games even got to go on stage to receive an award for Best Action Adventure. The lead developers at Platinum Games, whose new Metal Gearproject was announced at the end of the show, sat in the front row at the event.
For the record, Kotaku's Brian Crecente and I are both judges for this awards show. (We weren't able to make the the trip to L.A. to attend.) We've reached out to the VGA team for comment about the Arkham actors' complaints.
CORRECTION: This story originally stated that Strong played Harley Quinn in both Arkham games. She did not. She played the character in this year's Arkham City. Arleen Sorkin played in the role in Arkham Asylum.