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Opinion

The Game Awards 2023 – The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly

Last night was gaming’s biggest awards show of the year, The Game Awards. And as happens every year we were treated to some amazing announcements, awkward moments, Muppets, heartfelt speeches, and some straight up disrespect. 

Every year Geoff Keighley puts on gaming’s biggest production that is meant to pay tribute to the people who create the games we love while also drawing in audiences with high production trailers and announcements. And every year it surpasses The Oscars in viewership (no numbers yet for this year). If you missed the show I got you covered, let’s break the event down into categories and start positively.

The Good

We had an embarrassment of riches in terms of video game announcements! SEGA is back with at least 5 games in development, all announced at the same time. Jet Set Radio, Shinobi, Golden Axe, Crazy Taxi, and Streets Of Rage are all getting new entries! God of War: Ragnarok is getting new dlc for free next week! Along with a bunch of cool surprises like a new Jurassic Park game and new entry in the Monster Hunter series, we’ll cover the big game announcements in a separate article shortly.

Jurassic Park: Survival looks exactly like the kind of game I want.

Matthew McConaughey came out on stage to announce his involvement with a new Sci-Fi RPG “Exodus” by Archetype Entertainment (made up of BioWare veterans along with the director of the original Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic). 

Hideo Kojima announced a new game being made in conjunction with Xbox and Jordan Peele that is set to be a return to horror for gaming’s biggest auteur. Anthony Mackie himself even made an appearance to announce that season 2 of Twisted Metal is coming. Sean Murray of Hello Games, creator of the infamous No Man’s Sky, got on stage to talk about his next big project Light No Fire, and it’s great to see someone have such a big turn around professionally as well as publicly. Also Geoff had much better security this year!

Poets of the Fall and Heilung delivered awesome musical performances, and I feel every year the musical performances are barely talked about and quickly forgotten. Lastly Timothy Chalamet walked out to present the award for Game Of The Year, which, of course, went to Baldur’s Gate 3(As we predicted). Congrats to the team at Larian for sweeping most of the categories!

The Bad

Now that we got the good stuff out of the way let’s talk about some of the other things. Christopher Judge returned this year (this time without delivering a 8 minute speech) and in high spirits. He poked fun at Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 3’s short campaign (a game that was maligned with production issues and development crunch) and quite a few developers felt that is was in poor taste to take a jab at a studio. Judge himself perhaps knew that is was a low-blow as he quickly acknowledged immediately after that he probably lost his chance to work with the studio in a joking manner.

Christopher Judge has got some jokes.

Insomniac’s “Marvel’s Spider-Man 2” was nominated for seven different categories and took home zero awards, which some Spider-Man fans were furious about. Additionally Nintendo made no announcements, zilch, nada. Their only real presence was felt when The Legend Of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom won Best Action/Adventure game and Eiji Aounama went on stage to accept the award, and that was it. 

Why was so much time spent focused on Gonzo?

Starfield (my personal Game of the Year) didn’t even win the one category it was nominated for (Best RPG) as that also went to Baldur’s Gate 3 *sigh*. Also a lot of time was mismanaged. Anthony Mackie was on stage for way longer than was needed and had a shouting match with the audience (and appeared possibly inebriated). Gonzo, yes, from the Muppets, had a long sketch comedy bit with Geoff which just felt very weird considering it had very little to do with gaming and seeing Geoff interact with a puppet is cringe-inducing.

The Down Right Ugly

Geoff Keighley says that every year he takes feedback into consideration for the next year’s show, but how much of that is actually true? After last year’s situation where Christopher Judge took 8 minutes to deliver his acceptance speech, Geoff overcompensated this year. The few awards that actually allowed for the winners to go on stage were capped at 30 seconds, and at the 30 second mark music would start to play the winners off. 

For a show called The Game Awards very little focus and time was actually spent on said awards. At one point during their award acceptance speech, representatives from Larian studios were paying homage to their recently deceased team members when the “wrap it up” music began to play. That was simply distasteful. Hideo Kojima and Jordan Peele had a pretty long time to goof off and fawn over each other, but developers had 30 seconds to give their heartfelt speeches.

I love Kojima as much as the next guy, but he took up a lot of air time.

Also for a show about celebrating games and the people who make them, there was not a single mention of the thousands of developers who were laid off this year, some of which had worked on games that were nominated last night for various awards! It was pretty tone deaf of the show to not even acknowledge for a few seconds the various layoffs. Lastly there was a pretty high profile trailer for Black Myth: Wukong from Game Science, a studio that has been reported numerous times for their very public sexist opinions. Seemed like the vetting process wasn’t as good as it could have been.

Closing Thoughts

I feel a proper balance can be struck between game announcements and award recognition. Double the time each winner gets to talk next year and also allow every winner to speak, not just win off-screen. It would make the show 30 or so minutes longer, but it would go a long way to making this awards show feel legitimate. Also no more Muppets. 

What did you guys think about the Game Awards this year? Did you get to see them? Did you miss out? Was this rundown helpful? Let us know in the comments, we appreciate reading them. Be sure to follow Geek News Now on Facebook and also at our official site here. As always, stay geeky out there!

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