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TGA: The Game Awards Are Not For Audiences, They Are For Industry Representatives

strange headache

Fluctuat nec mergitur
The Game Awards are a big deal. Over the years, they have become videogaming's Oscars and just like the Oscars they are not aimed at true audiences, but media representatives. It's nothing more than corporate gate-keeping and opinion-making. It's a media ceremony that allows gaming-media to tell the rest of the world which games they liked independent of their true quality and popularity. In other words, The Game Awards are fake and their sole purpose is to create more advertisement drive through corporate networking.

Upper Echelon Gamers had an interesting video on the matter:


1. The winners are picked by media representatives, not the audience

If you take a look at their FAQ, you can see that audience votes only account for 10% of voting process:

Winners are determined by a blended vote between the voting jury (90%) and public fan voting (10%). Fans can vote for their favorite games on TheGameAwards.com and also via social media platforms in select categories.

This means that your votes are absolutely meaningless and only serve to create more social media buzz. The winners are picked by a jury that is composed of media entities that belong to giant media conglomerates. There are 103 media publications on the voting jury, many of which belong to the same media groups such as VOX media (Polygon, Verge) or ReedPop (Eurogamers, VG247, RPS). In essence, the vast majority of the jury is not independent and their voting process is heavily dependent on advertisement deals that are created as a result of their decisions.

2. The advisory board is populated by the same people who produce the games

Game publishers have a heavy hand in the Game Awards, as such it is not a ceremony by and for the gamers, but by and for the media. EA, Ubisoft, Nintendo, Sony, Microsoft, Rockstar are all part of the advisory board, even Tencent's vice president Steven Ma. The presence of Tencent shows how strong China's influence on our hobby has become, which considering the country's human rights situation is reason for concern.


When Geoff virtue signals Activision's absence for the awards, he fails to mention that Rob Kostich, president of Activision, is part of their advisory board. The Game Awards are just a façade, it's an artificial show disguised as one giant hours long advertisement. With so much money behind, they are certainly not representative of their audiences opinions.

3. TGA heavily favors third person cinematic single player games

Since 2014, all GOTY winners, with the exception of Overwatch, are narrative driven single player games. Racing games (Forza 5), indies and multiplayers games stand no chance at winning due to how the jury and the voting process are designed. Many games win, not because they are that good, but because they are chosen as a statement by the journalists against critical voices among audiences. Some nominees wouldn't even be on the list, had audiences more than 10% of a say in the matter.

4. TGA is corporate gate-keeping

The Game Awards serve as a gate-keeping mechanism for the media. Only they get to present their opinions, only they get to make statements, only they can promote their views and drown out criticism from their audiences.

4. Conclusion

The Game Awards makes the awards secondary to creating marketing hype for upcoming games. The primary purpose is to build hype and to promote, not to recognize the best games. It's a marketing event where ads, commercials, trailers and promotions are blasted in your face. It's not a show by the people for the people and it is high time we put this crap on ignore.
 

SlimeGooGoo

Party Gooper
 

Ladioss

Member
So, just another manifestation of "stakeholder capitalism" : the ruling class and its commensals get to shape the Potempkine simulation however they want, "in the name of" but free of any feedback from reality or consummers.
 

TonyK

Member
3. TGA heavily favors third person cinematic single player games

Since 2014, all GOTY winners, with the exception of Overwatch, are narrative driven single player games. Racing games (Forza 5), indies and multiplayers games stand no chance at winning due to how the jury and the voting process are designed. Many games win, not because they are that good, but because they are chosen as a statement by the journalists against critical voices among audiences. Some nominees wouldn't even be on the list, had audiences more than 10% of a say in the matter.
It sounds like a conspiracy or something but those games are the best our industry can produce. I'm enjoying Hades right now, but compared with The Last of Us or God of War, it's like comparing Mandalorian with Interstellar. Both are good, but not at the same level.
 
Industry awards are always like this, no matter the industry... Somebody has to pay for the show, this is the same as a tourist guide or anything that recommends.

Sometimes you get free exposure, free is not always bad, and this is nothing to say of the intents, these shows have a place (I find them boring AF and I only go after the trailers I'm interested in on the following days).

I miss being naïve about the role of the media.
 
as shit as it may be, i would still have it rather than not have anything at all. theres going to be game reveals and new trailers so theres atleast something worth it from the show. problem is you can fit the good stuff into 10-15 mins but the show is like 3 hours long. most of it is pure boredom. also whats with the musical performances? who gives a fuck! im waiting on a big game reveal geoff has been hyping for weeks prior and instead im listening to a live concert at 4am!
 
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Eh, I think their selections are mostly reasonable. Forza Horizon 5 is the major exception to that and it is bizarre that it's not even nominated for GOTY. Either way, unlike the Oscars, they do include an audience choice for GOTY too.
 
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The Skull

Member
Dorito Pope has already tricked me once into watching one these bags of crap waiting for Elden Ring. Never again.
 

Bernkastel

Ask me about my fanboy energy!
The Oscar comparison is weird. Oscar awards are given for movies which mostly have the same audience. Unless Oscars covered movies, k-dramas, anime, soap operas, music videos, youtube/tik tok videos and gave a "Media of the Year" award. The term "video game" covers very broad range of interactable media. Like how do you take Unconnected Marketeers, Age of Empires 4, Metroid Dread, Forza Horizon 5, Psychonauts 2 and Halo Infinite and decide "Game of the Year"? All those games I mentioned have different audience and can never be possibly compared in any gauge. You also can't compare a Marvel movie with exurb1a video or a new k-pop music video.
 
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reksveks

Member
Wait, is it mandalorian or interstellar thats supposed to be on next level? I really can't tell since both are mostly just ok.
Hmmm, Interstellar fell apart at the end hard. Mandalorian less so.

The D.I.C.E. awards are gaming’s Oscars as the awards are voted on by devs, programmers, etc.

Yeah, the only two awards I take seriously is Bafta then followed by Dice. Bafta is like the GB process but everyone in the specific panel has had to play the game and have expertise in that subject matter.

Now on to the OP, there is a fan based award show if you want it, its called the Golden Joysticks, no?
 

Yoda

Member
Just all industry award shows. The only way to tell them you don't like it is to not watch.
 

Airbus Jr

Member
Speak for youself

Last year winner ( Sekiro right? Or TLOU II? ) are well deserved

Just because your favourite game doesnt win it doesnt mean the competition are rigged

It means that youre biass, being disrespecfull toward other people choices and cant accept the results
 
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Matt_Fox

Member
it's like comparing Mandalorian with Interstellar. Both are good, but not at the same level.

Which one is meant to be the superior? Mandalorian set a new bar for visuals in a TV series, whilst Interstellar set a new low when the dude started lurking behind his daughters bookshelf.
 

Javthusiast

Member
I always watched the show for the new game ads only. Also never the actual show, always through easyallies, giant bomb and many more.
 
It sounds like a conspiracy or something but those games are the best our industry can produce. I'm enjoying Hades right now, but compared with The Last of Us or God of War, it's like comparing Mandalorian with Interstellar. Both are good, but not at the same level.
There is no difference in reviews so why should there be a difference at awards? The Hades gamplay is so good that it got a well deserved 93 on metacritic and in the end we are talking about games, so gameplay should be the most important factor. Unfortunately it's mostly about graphics and cinematics/story. I guess Ratchet will win, because it's the best looking from those 6, no matter how good Psychonauts 2 is.in gameplay/leveldesign/art style.
 
Speak for youself

Last year winner ( Sekiro right? Or TLOU II? ) are well deserved

Just because your favourite game doesnt win it doesnt mean the competition are rigged

It means that youre biass, being disrespecfull toward other people choices and cant accept the results

I think OP went right over your head.
 

Fredrik

Gold Member
The killer blow for me was finding out last year that games after mid November don’t count in their game of the year voting. Targeting the Christmas is suddenly a bad thing, to not be ignored at TGA devs need to target October.
In the TGA bubble Cyberpunk 2077 is literally seen as a 2021 release. And Halo Infinite is seen as a 2022 release.

About Halo, it’s actually kinda ironic. They moved the launch, crunched like crazy, and going by previews Halo is back for real this time. But with the Nov cut off date at the TGA Microsoft will miss their best chance ever to win a TGA GOTY award, with about two weeks, and it’ll happen in their own theater.
To top it off, the highest rated game of the year is Forza Horizon 5, which isn’t nominated for GOTY. Because nobody play racing games, right? Only 10 (?) million lol

Oh well. I’ll watch a summary for the trailers
 

Kokoloko85

Member
3. TGA heavily favors third person cinematic single player games

Since 2014, all GOTY winners, with the exception of Overwatch, are narrative driven single player games. Racing games (Forza 5), indies and multiplayers games stand no chance at winning due to how the jury and the voting process are designed. Many games win, not because they are that good, but because they are chosen as a statement by the journalists against critical voices among audiences. Some nominees wouldn't even be on the list, had audiences more than 10% of a say in the matter.

Maybe like 1st person single player games they can be more versatile. Dragon Age, Sekiro, Witcher 3 and God of War all play different and they are different to TLOU2 and Zelda. Its like saying Persona 5 and Uncharted 4 are favoured over Racing games But they are nothing like each other

Plus they are better than racing and multiplayer games :p
 

Guilty_AI

Member
The Oscar comparison is weird. Oscar awards are given for movies which mostly have the same audience. If Oscars covered movies, k-dramas, anime, soap operas, music videos, youtube/tik tok videos and gave a "Media of the Year" award. The term "video game" covers very broad range of intractable media. Like how do you take Unconnected Marketeers, Age of Empires 4, Metroid Dread, Forza Horizon 5, Psychonauts 2 and Halo Infinite and decide "Game of the Year"? All those games I mentioned have different audience and can never be possibly compared in any gauge. You also can't compare a Marvel movie with exurb1a video or a new k-pop music video.
This is a good point actually. And also part of the reason why i think these awards are a joke.
 

Guilty_AI

Member
If that is true than how come small indie game like Hades, Ori etc getting award
Same reason why some big corps donate to X or Y charities. Just a show of "look we care about the small guys!!!".

Naturally they won't include indie games that don't follow their agenda however.
 
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OP said that TGA is event for big coorporate gate keeping

If that is true than how come small indie game like Hades etc getting award
He wasn't even talking about his favorite game, but rather how the awards show is structured around gaming centric media and corporates belonging to major publishers/advertisers. It's all in the OP.
He's going through the voting process and how Audience votes are almost meaningless. He's not attacking the show because of favoritism, but rather how the results from the voting are determined.

I think he is right. The show is a big cringey shitfest and like a lot of people here, I only care about the trailers from new/and/or unannounced games.

Imagine putting any stock in this show beyond the trailers.
 
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Azelover

Titanic was called the Ship of Dreams, and it was. It really was.
I think it's better off this way.

It's the same as if the Academy Awards were decided by fans. We'd have feverish awarding. For instance Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande(with all due respect) winning anything and everything.

Just sweeping up the awards. Then a few years later we're left wondering what the hell happened.
 
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Airbus Jr

Member
He wasn't even talking about his favorite game, but rather how the awards show is structured around gaming centric media and corporates belonging to major publishers/advertisers. It's all in the OP.
He's going through the voting process and how Audience votes are almost meaningless. He's not attacking the show because of favoritism, but rather how the results from the voting are determined.

I think he is right. The show is a big cringey shitfest and like a lot of people here, I only care about the trailers from new/and/or unannounced games.

Imagine putting any stock in this show beyond the trailers.
So let me put it this way by that logic the most heavily advertised/funded game like gta call of duty or batlefield or any EA game should be winning these award anually so what gives
 
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So let me put it this way by that logic the most heavily advertised/funded game like gta call of duty or batlefield or any EA game should be winning these award anually so what gives

Maybe they figured spending their advertising budget on other forms of advertising that will reach a wider audience made more sense than spending it on winning VGA's award just so they can slap it over the box art on the GOTY edition.
 
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