At a time where games showcases have somehow come to mean less and less as game developers become more comfortable with releasing things in a digital format, The Game Awards have become vastly more important. If E3 is where all the major companies get their own show to themselves, The Game Awards manages to get them to all come together for a single show, which also happens to celebrate all the major games that have released over the last year.
In an interview with Epic Games, show host Geoff Keighley sat down to talk about what it’s like working on the show for its eighth year, including what it’s like to be doing an in-person event this year instead of being locked into Zoom like 2020. The event will be back at the Microsoft Theater, but will require audiences to wear masks and be vaccinated, while also seating half the usual attendants live to keep things as safe for all involved.
For those who look at the Awards for new games, not to worry. Keighley mentioned during the interview is that he intends to have between 40 and 50 games at the show this year, with new games “in the double digits”. If that sounds like a lot for a show that’s supposed to be about Awards, Keighley isn’t unaware, mentioning that the awards are “half the show and the other half is announcements and premieres”.
This time around The Game Awards will be offering a glimpse at “content” from 2022 and 2023, which is an interesting way to phrase it and is a massive change from how we looked at gaming just a generation prior. “Content” can refer to anything from new game announcements to information about beta testing, or even DLC coming to a live-service game.
One of the biggest drawbacks to Keighley’s E3 and Gamescom showcases this year were the over-focus on games everyone was already well-aware of. Could things be the same here? Potentially, but with Keighley promising their “biggest line-up yet” of world premieres and announcements, it’s probably not a safe bet to imagine they’ll disappoint.
The interview also mentioned the insane growth the show has experienced, with last year having 83 million people watching. This is perhaps the biggest reason why The Game Awards has become such a high-profile place for new game premieres: there’s very few places to get that many eyes on the product at the same time.
With that in mind, what could possibly make an appearance there? BioWare has certainly had no problem preparing something for the show every year, and we’re closer to Dragon Age 4 than ever. Meanwhile, Final Fantasy XVI was meant to appear somewhere this year, but has been suspiciously absent. Other worthy mentions include potential release dates for projects like Gotham Knights, as well as the appearance of projects that made their first appearance last year. Meanwhile, Microsoft seems to have a limitless amount of games to pull from, meaning anything from Avowed to Starfield has the potential to appear.
The Game Awards returns December 9th at 8PM EST. As with the major E3 shows this year, I’ll be live-streaming the event as well @SageShinigami on Twitch.