The Game Awards Does Greater Online Than VGX On TV


Geoff Keighley deserves a huge round of applause for his efforts to make The Game Awards happen. Even if the “awards” part seemed to be second to the world premieres and exclusive announcements (as it should be), it took a lot of effort and money from his own pocket to make it work. The result; The Game Awards 2014 outperformed Spike’s VGX Awards last year. As confirmed to Polygon, 1.93 million people witnessed this year’s award show online, which was a 75% viewership increase from the amount who tuned into the TV awards program last year.

As great as the viewership increase for The Game Awards was online, it appears that the viewership at the event was disappointing. Only roughly 3,000 of the 4,000-ish seat capacity was filled up, and half of those in attendance were members of the gaming press from around the world. Because of that, in addition to development costs for the website and paying for all the performing music acts, Keighley has not profited from the show this year.

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Still, with that in mind, Keighley’s only regrets seemed to be about the length of time The Game Awards ran, plus the diminished focus on awards. For me, each iteration of a Keighley-hosted game awards program has clearly been a games marketing-engineered vehicle, with the awards aspect being an obvious front. This year solidified that notion a great deal better than any year before, and to me it is why Keighley wants to focus more on it next year. The BAFTA game awards do such a better job at pulling off an awards show to the point that I wouldn’t be upset if Geoff Keighley turned The Game Awards into The Games Showcase. It would be a lot more honest (and exciting) that way.

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