Online-only award shows could have a bright future.
Last Friday marked the first inauguration of The Game Awards. Many wondered how it would fare against Spike TV’s Video Game Awards from last year. Rather well, apparently.
Nearly 2 million people tuned in to watch the award show which featured Kiefer Sutherland, Reggie Fils-Aime, and Conan O’Brian. It garnered 75 percent more views than last year’s VGX on Spike TV, hosted by Community’s Joel McHale.
It was a risky endeavor for game journalist veteran Geoff Keighley. He poured much of his own livelihood into making the award show happen. Luckily, the industry that he’s dedicated the past 20 years of his life to was there to support him. Companies like Nintendo, Sony, Microsoft, Electronic Arts, Ubisoft, and even Rockstar all came together to help make the show a reality.
In an interview with Polygon Keighley said that he was “absolutely stunned by the results” and “we didn’t have any marketing budget or TV spots for the show. I’m used to having a lot of support resources—a promotional team, a digital media team, a PR team. All we had was the support of the game publishers and fans to spread the word and on social media.”
According to analytics company, Sysmos, 96 percent of those watching found the show favorable. It’s in stark contrast to the game award shows that were put on by Spike TV, which felt more insulting to gamers than celebratory.
For Keighley, however, the show wasn’t flawless. He felt that there were not enough on stage awards, too many premieres, and it ran an hour longer than it should have. Either way, it’s a great freshman effort by Keighley and his team.