For years, Geoff Keighley has toiled away under the oppressive, marketing-driven direction of Spike TV, stifling his vision for what a three-hour series of video game commercials poorly disguised as an MTV Video Music Awards clone could truly be. But no more. Keighley has broken free from Spike’s AXE deodorant-branded shackles and will be producing his own awards show/lengthy series of video game commercials with the backing of all three console manufacturers and other major game companies.
The plan was announced in an article on Variety, which notes that this new show, simply called The Game Awards, “is a direct challenge to Spike’s VGX,” the seeming final incarnation of the channel’s consistently disastrous, Keighley-produced Video Game Awards. Judging by the plan that’s been revealed thus far, Keighley’s new show will be similar to the VGA/X, at least in structure. It will have world exclusive game trailer premieres, musical performances, and appearances by eSports stars and “online content creators” (read: people famous for playing video games on YouTube and the Mega64 guys). Also, there will be awards of some kind and appearances from game developers. Serving on the “advisory board” for the show are a handful of the industry’s most recognizable executives, like Nintendo’s Reggie Fils-Aime, Metal Gear Solid creator Hideo Kojima, Microsoft’s Phil Spencer, and EA’s Peter Moore.
The question is whether Keighley will use his newfound creative freedom and the public support from this industry cabal to produce a show that isn’t a total embarrassment, and is more interested in celebrating the typically uncelebrated people who make video games than selling ones that won’t be out for at least another year. To be fair, it can’t be worse than last year’s VGX, where a despondent Joel McHale unleashed his ire on an empty soundstage for three hours. (On second thought, not much could top that.)
The Game Awards won’t be on television, but you will be able to watch the show on its official website, as well as through game consoles and Steam, when it airs live from Las Vegas on Dec. 5. If you’d prefer to watch these video game commercials and musical performances in person, tickets will be available for purchase at $45 apiece starting tomorrow, or you can grab some now using the Xbox-provided presale code JAMESONLOCKE.