The Game Awards Experience

For gamers all around the world, the annual Game Awards is the biggest event of the year. Hundreds of thousands watch across YouTube and Twitch streaming platforms online, and thousands show up to attend and watch in person.
The Game Awards have been mostly supported and put on by show-host Geoff Keighly since 2014, who got his roots in Canadian video game journalism. The awards show has become so popular that a spinoff show, Summer Games Fest, has taken place annually since 2020.
This year’s 9th annual awards ceremony took place in Los Angeles at the Microsoft Theatre. The event was sold out and had many different talents and influencers from the industry in attendance. The main draw of the awards is the huge game reveals that usually take place throughout the show.
Some of the big names present in the crowd included Phil Spencer, the CEO of Microsoft Gaming and Doug Bowser, president of Nintendo of America, as well as big-name game developers such as Hidetaka Miyazaki, creative director and executive of FROMSOFTWARE, and Hideo Kojima, decorated video game director and designer, as well as the founder of his own company, Kojima Productions.
The crowd was pretty electric inside the actual theater, as this was the first show with public in-person attendance since 2019, and the first in-person ceremony since 2020 and the pandemic. Even when the preshow started, fans started to cheer as loud as if it was the main show because of the excitement in the air.
“This is my first time at a show like this and it’s really awesome,” said local LA attendee Lorenzo Benefield during the preshow.
“I came here to see games and be in an atmosphere with fans who like the same stuff as me, and that’s exactly what I’m getting. Hoping that the games I played win tonight.”
With game reveals, there were plenty of noteworthy ones. Early in the show, game developers Supergiant Games announced “Hades II,” a sequel to the highly popular game and previous Best Indie Award-winner “Hades.” Another big sequel was the first gameplay trailer for “Star Wars: Jedi Survivor.” This game has been highly anticipated by fans for over three years, as “Star Wars” fans are a very dedicated fanbase.
In previous years, the Game Awards have had complaints of too many ads and filler announcements, but Keighly made a great change to have fewer filler and advertisements. This brought the showtime down significantly, which was especially great for everyone attending in the crowd.
One of the biggest game reveals came near the end of the show, with a surprise announcement of Armored Core VI, from developers Bandai Namco and FROMSOFT. This was a significant announcement as there is a big fanbase for the game who have been waiting over 10 years for another game announcement in the franchise. The theater had one of the loudest reactions for this game with much screaming and cheering.
With the actual awards, the big clash for Game of the Year was between “God of War: Ragnarok” and “Elden Ring.” All night fans were cheering the loudest when either game was nominated for or won smaller awards, and the anticipation built all night for the big reveal. When “Elden Ring” was revealed as the winner of the Game of the Year award, the theater exploded with cheering and applauding, and it was one of the best parts of the night.
Unfortunately, this important and emotional moment was ruined at the end by a 15-year-old who snuck up on stage, and said, “I want to nominate this award to my reformed orthodox rabbi, Bill Clinton.”
Everyone knew that it was not supposed to happen and Keighly came on stage to close out the show afterward, looking visibly frustrated.
“The individual who interrupted our Game of the Year moment has been arrested,” said Keighly on Twitter after the ceremony.
Overall, the event was one of the best live shows, and it was a fantastic time to attend. The future of video games looks bright, and next year will definitely be a must-attend for anyone who enjoys games and has a passion for them.