The Spike Video Game Awards were a great piece of entertainment, weren't they? We got a Mass Effect 3 trailer, an Elder Scrolls V reveal, an amazing Batman trailer and awards for…hrm...
It's all a bit sad, isn't it? That we had as big a reveal, and as expensive a collection of trailers as you'll see, crafted not for a major industry event like E3 but for an "awards" show in which nobody gives a rat's about either the awards or the channel that's hosting them?
It saddens me, because year in and year out, the entertainment package that is the Spike Video Game Awards continues to bother with the "awards" part at all. Surely everyone would be better served turning into something a little more appropriate?
Like, say, the Spike TV Christmas Video Game Spectacular. Ditch the pretence that it's about celebrating the best achievements of those in the gaming industry and just embrace the fact it's about money, advertising and big product reveals. Get some celebrities in a studio to bore us to death with lame jokes about games, interview some developers, then roll the trailers.
It'll be E3 without the press. An opportunity for the games industry to do what it does best: spend a ton of money to make some slick trailers that will get people terribly excited about products almost a year away. And they won't even have to answer any questions about it!
That's the kind of thing the people were there to see. Not a procession of the safest choices from a limited selection win a meaningless award; they wanted to hear someone do his best Christian Bale impersonation, they wanted to see Batman kick some ass. They wanted to see a new Elder Scrolls game.
Those who genuinely care about those kind of awards pay a lot more attention to more "authentic" ceremonies like those at the Game Developers Conference, AIAS awards or even their favourite publication's end of year gongs. I mean, I write about this stuff for a living, and I can't tell you (without hitting Google first) who won a single award at last year's Spike ceremony. I can tell you how much I liked the half a dozen trailers I saw, though, and this time next year, I'll still remember that Mass Effect 3 clip.