Viewers hold high expectations for this year's Game Awards

By AARON ACEVEDO
On December 9, 2020

Photo courtesy of Minnaert, Wikipedia

This Thursday, the 2020 iteration of The Game Awards will finally be held. Acting as one of the more notable awards ceremonies for video games, The Game Awards is home to various game world premieres and celebratory wins since its inception in 2014. This year appears to be no different in that regard. Changes have been made to the ceremony’s events in response to COVID-19, but the love of video games will continue to shine through this year.

Although The Game Awards will take place in the usual setting of the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, they will not have a live audience like during previous years. The Awards will continue to be hosted by games journalist Geoff Keighley, but the ceremony’s events will mainly be held virtually. Soundstages will be used for some moments (located in Los Angeles, London, and Tokyo), but they will be restricted to minimal audiences, mainly consisting of production crews.

Furthermore, awards will be presented by several large figures in gaming and beyond, including actors Tom Holland and Brie Larson, former Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime, and sports personality Stephen A. Smith.

The Game Awards has categories covering almost all genres of gaming and several aspects of game production. Best Game Direction, Best Score and Music, Best Debut Indie Game and Best Community Support are just some of the many categories that will be presented this year.

The winners in each category are decided by two main factors: average people voting for their favorite game, and a voting jury consisting of gaming-focused companies across the world, including the U.S.-based magazine “Game Informer” and U.K.-based news company “The Guardian.” With such a large demographic of voters, tomorrow’s ceremony is sure to be full of surprise winners.

While every category has its fair share of supporters, the category that nearly everyone will be paying attention to is Game of the Year. This category takes every video game released in 2020 and decides which one is the greatest out of all of them. Out of all the games released this year, six have been nominated for this prestigious category: Nintendo’s “Animal Crossing: New Horizons,” id Software’s and Bethesda Studio’s “DOOM Eternal,” Square Enix’s “Final Fantasy VII Remake,” Sucker Punch Productions’ “Ghost of Tsushima,” Supergiant Games’ “Hades,” and Naughty Dog’s “The Last of Us Part II.” Each of these games, on top of being nominated in other categories, has a large amount of critical and commercial acclaim behind them, on top of passionate fanbases.

“The Last of Us Part II” has an edge over its competitors, considering that it holds ten nominations overall. However, “Hades” has set a record for independent game developers at the Awards, being nominated for eight categories and being the second indie game to be nominated for Game of the Year, the first being 2018’s “Celeste.”

One should not discount the other nominees though; “Ghost of Tsushima” was praised for being a great send-off to the PlayStation 4, with the rest of the nominees belonging to some of the gaming industry’s biggest franchises.

Which game will win the coveted title of Game of the Year is anybody’s guess. One thing is certain: even though COVID-19 may have altered The Game Awards’ protocols, this year’s ceremony is set to be a great one, both for fans and for gaming as a whole.

Interested in watching? Tune in! The Game Awards 2020 will air on Dec. 10, with the pre-show beginning at 6:30 p.m. EST and the actual ceremony being at 7 p.m. It is streamable on over 45 platforms, including YouTube, Twitch and Twitter.

 

aaceved3@ramapo.edu

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