The Game Awards is one of the most important events of the year for the gaming industry. Developers, publishers, and personalities from all across the industry join up to reveal future releases and to look back on the year’s accomplishments. And this year’s show will include plenty of game reveals, Game Awards founder Geoff Keighley said in an interview with Epic Games.
This year’s Game Awards show will be returning to an on-site location next month, as opposed to the unavoidable online edition that took place last year. Although this year’s edition will have a live audience, there will be some requirements for those who are attending, such as mandatory masks, vaccine certificates, and a 50 percent capacity limit to ensure the safety of the event. “I think we all felt that it was great that we did [last year’s show online], but we really missed the energy of people accepting their awards live and the reactions and all that type of stuff,” Keighley said.
Keighley dropped some hints on next month’s Game Awards show and gave players and fans an idea of what to expect. “There’s great tension this year,” he said. “I’d say the awards are about half the show and the other half is the announcements and premieres.”
If this year has taught the industry anything, it’s that game trailers and big announcements need to be the drive of the show. Although this year’s edition of The Game Awards, like previous editions, will see no shortage of celebrities and features of more traditional entertainment, Keighley made it a point that this year’s show will have a bigger focus on games.
“You know, it’s great to have celebrities, it’s great to have music, but I think focusing really on games is important,” he said. “Especially this year, there’ll be a lot of content for 2022 and 2023 that will be showing us our kind of biggest lineup yet of world premieres and announcements.”
In spite of the show being centered around games, though, Keighley hinted that next year’s edition might see the addition of a few categories, such as a Best Adaptation category, which may have been triggered by Riot Games’ most recent success with the Netflix launch of Arcane.
Keighley expects 40 to 50 games to be featured in the show “in some way or another,” as well as specifically some new announcements for next-gen consoles. “I think you’ll see some stuff in the show that is truly pretty stunning,” he said. “We’ll see footage of games that will remind people that the best of this industry is still to come.”
He also explained that due to the pandemic, a lot of developers have had to delay their games, which has led to an overflow of pitches from developers and publishers for The Game Awards that’s definitely benefited the organizers.
Although this year’s edition will go back to an on-stage production, Keighley did mention that the team is always looking for ways to reimagine how people around the world will watch the show—and how to incorporate the show into the actual games.
“We’re starting to explore the idea of finding new ways to distribute it using games and game technology,” he said. “That’s actually kind of our next platform, right? We’re a show about video games, so of course, we should be airing it inside of video games if we can.”
More specifically, Keighley was referring to the possibility of merging the show with Fortnite Creative. He believes that within five years, more people will be watching or participating in the show from within a real-time 3D environment and not from a traditional video feed.
The 2021 Game Awards show will kick off on Thursday, Dec. 9, at 7pm CT, live from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. It will be available to watch on numerous platforms, such as YouTube, Twitch, Twitter, Facebook, and Steam.