After a year abounding with generation-defining amateur and adverse layoffs, the gaming industry got a moment to bless its wins at The Game Awards 2023. The 10th anniversary event, produced by host Geoff Keighley, was addition watercooler comedy for creators and admirers to discuss. This year’s all-embracing appearance featured bags of bold trailers, celebrity cameos, Muppets, and a beard metal agreeable achievement complete with analytic dancing. There was alone one affair missing: the awards.
As has been added the case as the appearance has developed in calibration over the years, the absolute awards took a aback bench to pageantry. Most winners were agilely ashamed off in abbreviate break amid trailers, and the few that absolutely did get to access awards didn’t get abundant time to do so. The appearance garnered a alloyed acknowledgment from admirers as a result, with abounding analytic if the appearance is an able anniversary of those who accomplish games.
After 10 years, The Game Awards assuredly finds itself at a breaking point. It’s acceptable bright that it can’t be both a aboveboard ode to bold makers and an E3 advertise that caters to hyped-up admirers – at atomic not in its current, advantageous form.
Please blanket it up
For admirers who aloof appear to The Game Awards to see bold trailers, 2023’s appearance had no curtailment of “world premieres.” Arkane’s Blade bold got the loudest acknowledgment of the night, while God of War Ragnarok’s chargeless roguelike DLC was a 18-carat surprise. Keighley managed to accumulate the historically adulterated appearance beneath lock and key this year, creating some left-field moments that players apprehend (a Crazy Taxi revival certainly wouldn’t accept been on any bingo cards).
Though there were a drop of highs, the array of trailers seemed to bankrupt the army by the end of the show. Games like Stormgate got ablaze reactions from admirers as a continued third hour asthmatic down. Potentially agitative announcements acquainted adulterated in the ambience of a chase appearance area expectations are consistently too high. A final acknowledge of Monster Hunter Wilds, which isn’t set to absolution until 2025, served as a final clue that abutting year ability be a slower one for big-budget games.
While the appearance delivered a excess of forward-facing trailers, it generally bootless to bless the creators abaft 2023’s better games. As has been the case in antecedent years, alone a drop of awards were formally presented to winners at the show. Most categories, including abundant hitters like Best RPG and Best Action, were breathlessly ashamed off in lightning-fast segments amid trailers. The developers of Street Fighter 6 or Armored Core 6: Fires of Rubicon didn’t alike get to airing on date to access their trophies.
That’s not new for the show, but there was a cogent change for those who absolutely did get to abode the crowd. This year, winners alone got 30 abnormal to accord an accepting speech. A massive teleprompter in the army ticked bottomward the abnormal afore admonishing speakers to “Wrap it up.” Most speeches were played off by music in beneath a minute, while one was anon cut off by a trigger-happy bung to the abutting segment. It was an actual point of altercation amid admirers as industry legends like Remedy’s Sam Lake and Zelda ambassador Eiji Aonuma almost got time to acknowledge their teams. Developers I batten to on the arena afterwards the accident bidding annoyance over the show’s setup.
The abbreviate speeches ability not accept stung so abundant if added moments had acquainted appropriately rushed, but there was some asperous prioritizing throughout the night. Death Stranding architect Hideo Kojima got an astronomic articulation in the average of the appearance to acquaint his new bold OD admitting alone accepting a short, cryptic brain-teaser to show. Celebrities like Matthew McConaughey and Anthony Mackie got abounding time to go off-script and ham it up with the crowd. Gonzo of the Muppets got to do an continued bit about his adulation of chickens advanced of a truncated accepting accent for Cocoon.
And yet, the appearance didn’t accept a additional to additional to abode absolute issues the industry had apprenticed Keighley to allege on advanced of the show. The celebration didn’t accede the accepted blow beachcomber in the industry, which has larboard bags out of work. It was a audacious blank because that Keighley had ahead acclimated the belvedere to alarm out toxicity and bribery issues in the industry. Keighley additionally abandoned calls from the show’s antecedent Future Class recipients (an anniversary alternative of assorted choir meant to represent the approaching of the industry) to abode the accepted altruistic crisis in Palestine. The appeal wasn’t unfounded; aftermost year’s appearance featured articulate acceptance of the war in Ukraine and offered words of abutment for the country.
Regardless of area one stands on the issues, it was a night authentic by bifold standards.
There’s acceptable a actual cold, analytic account for the way this year’s appearance was constructed: money. The Game Awards has become a advantageous accident for Keighley and his aggregation as the appearance has pulled in added viewers. Getting a bivouac into the appearance can amount studios in the aerial six-figure range, according to industry professionals I batten to at the event. Those agitative costs advice armamentarium a big bright at the big-ticket Peacock Theater in Los Angeles, featuring head-scratching cameos from aloof celebrities like Timothée Chalamet.
When I spoke to Keighley advanced of aftermost year’s ceremony, he fatigued that the appearance was “for the fans.” It’s an access that invites skepticism. Isn’t an awards appearance the one night that shouldn’t be for the fans? Shouldn’t it be for the creators accepting awards?
It’s an abnormally odd absolution because that accepting speeches are a ample address for awards shows like this. Ceremonies like the Oscars accept complete their acceptability on memorable speeches that become viral moments on amusing media every year. Speeches can body iconic moments for shows like this, whether they affect admirers or bear anathema statements that get bodies talking. That’s alike accurate of The Game Awards; admirers may attempt to name a distinct bivouac that debuted during aftermost year’s show, but I’d bet abounding still bethink Christopher Judge’s long, animated accepting accent for God of War Ragnarok. The moment was so memorable that Judge got to bang the appearance off this year with a self-referential callback to the moment that had the army in stitches. This year’s Game Awards didn’t accord any winners the aforementioned befalling to actualize their own moment.
Humanity was in abbreviate accumulation during the automated ceremony, and that fabricated the show’s few shreds of artlessness angle out. The night’s best articulation saw Sergent Studios architect Abubakar Salim demography the date to acquaint Tales of Kenzera: Zau. Salim gave an affecting accent afore assuming off the standout trailer, answer how the bold was complete to advice him action affliction afterwards his ancestor anesthetized away. It was a moment the appearance badly needed, one that reminded admirers that video amateur don’t aloof magically appear. They’re fabricated by amorous bodies with belief to tell. Those efforts deserve to be celebrated, not agilely rushed off the date to clasp in addition apple premiere.
The best the celebration abject on, the added its admirers aesthetics rang hollow. The Game Awards isn’t alike for the fans; it’s for the advertisers. It’s a abundant way to get ads in advanced of millions of eyes after the abhorrence that they’ll appear abutting to a controversy. That absoluteness became bright back I rewatched Keighley’s aperture address, which set the date for the night with an advertiser-friendly band that about taunted anyone who admired the belvedere would do added to abutment a afflicted industry and world.
“More than anything, this is a appearance about bringing our association calm … to focus on article we can all accede on: There’s annihilation added able or added immersive than an amazing video game,” Keighley proudly declared afore the show’s best dissected night yet.
- The best trailers from The Game Awards 2023: OD, Blade, Den of Wolves and more
- The maker of No Man’s Sky appear its abutting aggressive game: Light No Fire
- Everything appear at The Game Awards 2023
- The Game Awards 2023: how to watch and what to expect
- The ‘Indie’ characterization is accident its meaning, and that’s a big botheration for gaming