December 18, 2019
Jamie Galea
New Game Plus / Features

For the fifth year running, The Game Awards has transpired to celebrate the year that was. And like years past, it was yet another forgettable show that seemingly felt worse than in years past. There were highs for sure, but they were brought crashing down by some painful lows. Though the question I ask myself every time The Game Awards happens is just who exactly is this show for?

The Game Awards isn’t the sole awards ceremony for the video game industry, but it’s by far the biggest and most well known. It’s been described as “The Oscars of Gaming” by the New York Times, and it’s probably the closest comparison to what The Game Awards are like in terms of its voting process and its presentation.

Where it differs from the Academy Awards is that The Game Awards don’t focus exclusively on a domestic audience, they’re a worldwide event, with creators and works from all over the world celebrated. It makes for a much more interesting ceremony, especially considering the #OscarsSoWhite movement from a few years ago. It should be something celebrated by the games industry as being a genuine improvement over the film industry that it often looks to emulate. Yet that’s never where creator Geoff Keighley ever wants to go.

Keighley’s goal has always been to create a much more entertaining and interactive show than something like the Oscars. You can vote and interact with the show as it happens! It has musical performances from bands you know! The Muppets are involved! It certainly creates a much less dry show, but it becomes a different sort of boring. Enough that one of the nominated developers brought golf balls in an attempt to have their own fun.

These attempts represent some of the worst aspects of the industry trying to cater to everyone and pleasing nobody. Who in their right mind thinks that having a far too long “conversation” between Geoff Keighley and one of the Apex Legends characters would be anything but cringeworthy? Who thought that a genuinely funny skit involving the Muppets and Untitled Goose Game would be a good lead-in for the “Games for Impact” award, an award for games that tackle some pretty serious issues?

What kills it for me is arguably one of the biggest reasons one would tune into The Game Awards — new game announcements. While there’s already far too much in the way of advertisements on the show, it’s understandable given Keighley mostly funds the show out of his own pocket, and isn’t being broadcast on TV. Yet as much as I was screaming at my screen everytime Carl Weathers appeared to sell Magic: The Gathering, it’s the new game announcements that gave me the most pause and removed any form of actual credibility of The Game Awards being a serious celebration of the industry in my mind.

I don’t doubt it’s a massive draw for Keighley and the prospective audience, and it certainly builds a reputation for The Game Awards as being a must-see event. Yet it feels kinda wrong to do this. It takes away from awarding the hard-working people who bring you these games and disregards them for the new crop of stuff that will inevitably get nominated in The Game Awards in the years to come.

Imagine if any other awards show stopped to show you a trailer or a commercial for something upcoming? Not just during a commercial break, but integrated into the actual awards show itself. How annoyed would you be right before the announcement of the Academy Award for Best Picture, we were treated to a trailer for an upcoming film? That’s exactly what happened at The Game Awards this year, and it was incredibly disheartening to see.

So who is The Game Awards for in the end? I’m still struggling to see who would appreciate it. The awards are never taken seriously. The spectacle and the skits are cringeworthy at best. The constant advertising is understandably, but a turnoff. The new game announcements could genuinely be announced anywhere else and still get the same amount of attention.

While Geoff Keighley should be commended for creating an awards show at this scale and turning it into an event ostensibly celebrated by the industry, Keighley needs to realize his vision is scattered, and in attempting to cater absolutely everyone, he’s not pleasing an audience who would be keen for any aspect of the show. And it’s a real shame, because he’s got the right heart, resources and connections to make something incredible. Yet he’s not been able to do so, and I doubt he’ll ever be able to ever do so.

January 11, 2020

CouchWarriors QLD first Ranbat of 2020 was held on Saturday the 4th of January at George St Brisbane. Here’s a summary of the results in every game and how the top matches played out. A complete listing of match results and brackets for each game can be viewed on Smash.gg here. Results for SFV, MK11, Tekken 7, and Smash U count towards the standings for the BAM Path To EVO series for that game, which can be viewed here. Street Fighter V Willing Foe Antaresxv Happy Marco “Antaresxv” Encina wasn’t been able to make a lot of ranbats over the back half of 2019 – but wh...

January 1, 2020

Wondering where you can find details for all upcoming CouchWarriors events for the month in one place? Well, it’s always a good idea to check our Facebook. But now these simple roundup posts will also serve as a quick reference here on the site. Check out what we have for January, and look forward to a fresh update on the 1st of each month! QLD CouchWarriors QLD Ranbat – January 4th, 9AM-9PM. QUT Gardens Point Campus, 2 George St Brisbane, P Block Level 5. twitch.tv/couchwarriors SFV, Tekken 7, MK11, DBFZ, Smash Melee, Smash Ultimate, Melee Doubles, Ultimate Doubles, SamSho, USFIV...

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December 30, 2019

Another month of fiercely contested events saw the conclusion of the BAM Path To EVO Season 2. The last few points on the line in each of Street Fighter V, Mortal Kombat 11, Tekken 7 and Smash Ultimate then decided which players received sponsored travel to the season-ending Major, CouchWarriors Crossup! So who ultimately emerged on top to be crowned the season champion for their game across Australia & NZ? Here’s your monthly breakdown of all the BPTE results and rankings for December. For more information about the upcoming Season 3 BPTE events, current standings and the points system ...

December 29, 2019

Merry Christmas and happy holidays to everyone across the AUNZ FGC! 2019 has been a year of big tournament turnouts and big tournament performances, capped off by the year-ending mini major CouchWarriors Crossup. Full results from the event have already been reported here, but there’s so much more that goes on at any event like this than those results can really tell. To make sure we can celebrate everything great about our community and the events we put together, this will be the first of a string of tournament recaps focusing on the best moments, images and personal achievements from ...

December 24, 2019

2019 has been a hell of a year, capping off a stellar decade for gaming. To give you an idea as to how big this year was, we had two tied entries when compiling our list of 2019’s best games! With a new decade and generation on the horizon, here’s our list of the Top 5 Games of 2019, and some great last-minute Christmas gifts or Boxing Day ideas! 5. TETRIS 99 Available on Nintendo Switch (Requires Nintendo Switch Online) Tetris 99 was a game that came out of nowhere. It was announced and released shortly after a bumper Nintendo Direct back in February (which announced another of...

December 17, 2019

The second edition of CouchWarriors Crossup, our end-of-year Mini-Major, was held December 14th at Bayview on the Park in Melbourne. Here’s a summary of the results in every game and how the top...

December 13, 2019

The Dark Alliance series holds a special place in people’s hearts as one of the best ways console fans of Dungeons & Dragons could experience the Baldur’s Gate and Forgotten Realms settings without playing the Baldur’s Gate PC RPGs. Nowadays, with those games on console and D&D more popular than ever, Dark Alliance is coming back in 2020 with a familiar setting, famous characters and an all-new name –  Dungeons & Dragons: Dark Alliance. Announced at The Game Awards, D&D: Dark Alliance is described by its developer, Tuque Games, as a spiritual successor to the Baldur&...

December 13, 2019

There’s always a major announcement or three at The Game Awards, but Microsoft may have upped the ante with a full-on system reveal. The console previously known as Project Scarlett is now officially called the Xbox System X, and we got a look at its unusual design. Microsoft is still touting this as the most powerful console they’ve ever built, and even gave a quick look at its controller. It looks similar enough to the Xbox One controller, but with the much-needed and welcomed addition of a Share button. No further details about the console were revealed, except that it’ll...

December 12, 2019

The second edition of Big Cheese, the South Australian Major, was held over the weekend of December 6th-8th at Union House in Adelaide. Here’s a summary of the results in every game and how the ...

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