There's A Big New Game Award Show Happening This December

Illustration for article titled Theres A Big New Game Award Show Happening This December

Spike's VGX may no longer be this year's big holiday showcase—former host Geoff Keighley just announced plans for a new December awards show, The Game Awards, which promises "awards, world premieres, musical performances, and appearances by game developers, eSports players and online content creators."


For the past few years, Keighley (a friend of Kotaku) has hosted the Spike VGAs, an annual awards show that was better known for its big exclusive announcements than its actual awards. In 2010, Keighley premiered The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, and last year's show gave us a first look at games like No Man's Sky and Tales From The Borderlands. Traditionally, the VGAs—rebranded the VGX in 2013—have been the December equivalent of E3, a place where major publishers can announce their biggest new games.

This new Game Awards show, which will take place in Las Vegas on December 5, seems to be the latest incarnation of that. It's unclear just how many big new surprises we'll see, but Keighley has put together a lot of heavy-hitters for this one. From the press release:

The Game Awards 2014 is produced by Geoff Keighley, with the guidance of an advisory board that includes Reggie Fils-Aime (President and COO, Nintendo of America), Yves Guillemot (CEO, Ubisoft), Hideo Kojima (President, Kojima Productions), Shawn Layden (CEO, Sony Computer Entertainment America), Peter Moore (COO, Electronic Arts), Rockstar Games, Phil Spencer (Head of Xbox, Microsoft), Martin Tremblay (President, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment) and Valve.


Given all of that pedigree, it appears that this will be the show for announcements this December. The big hope, of course, is Fallout 4—a hope exacerbated by a Keighley tease last month that he was making plans with Bethesda's PR team.

Spike has yet to announce whether they plan to put on another VGX show this year.

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Stephen Totilo

Hey all, a little more about this from my pal Keighley to me about the vibe of the show (note the middle of his second answer... very interesting!). You'll see that he's trying for a very gamer-friendly tone for the show in what feels like a move to make The Game Awards feel like they're for the kind of people who also get excited about E3.

a) Why aren't you making the VGAs at Spike anymore?

What I'm creating is an entirely new show — you'd have to ask Spike for comment on its plans with the VGA/VGX brands. Earlier this year I decided to pursue a new path and create a new awards show. Spike/Viacom has been very supportive of that choice.

b) What does it mean for an awards show that used to be on TV to not be on TV this year?

It depends on how you define "not be on TV." In many ways the show is still on television, but instead of watching it via traditional cable you can watch it via your Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS4, PS3, Airplay from your computer or phone, and so on. When you think about it, is it better to be in 100 million cable homes in America, or in 100M Steam homes around the world?

That said I really do value how TV can help our industry reach beyond the core audience — Spike has been a tremendous partner in that regard, and honestly took a lot of ratings hits over the years to keep supporting the category and push gaming into the mainstream. People would always tweet me and ask why Spike was airing Dodgeball or Cops on TV as opposed to the Sony press conference at E3. And the honest answer is that a re-air of a decade old movie achieves a much larger total audience.

This year I want to go back to first principles and prove that a show like this can work for gamers — and be respected by them. If we achieve that goal my hope, down the road, is to find a way to partner with a variety traditional media companies — be it for television, print, radio and so on.

c) What goals do you have for the The Game Awards—in terms of what a gaming awards show can be—that you think you can achieve this year?

Given everything that has gone on this year, the theme I keep coming back to is a desire to celebrate our industry. Whether we make games, play them, or comment on them, we all share a deep love and passion for this medium. I want to physically bring everyone together in one room to celebrate what this industry means to us. We've got a big stage, thousands of seats, and I'm really honored that all the platforms and publishers have put competition aside to unite at The Game Awards. The tone of The Game Awards is celebratory. We want to show the world why there is nothing as great as playing a video game.