It’s been a little over two weeks now since The Game Awards 2019 has aired, and I finally feel enough time has passed to talk about it. It is no secret that I—and the rest of the Critical Coins’ staff—are not what you would call the biggest fans of The Game Awards, so I must give myself some time before formulating my opinion. In the past, while I have found the game announcements that occur during the show generally enjoyable, I have expressed a multitude of issues with the show itself. These have ranged from:
- Lack of focus on actual awards
- The nominees and winners that were chosen
- The show’s schedule
- Multiple cringe-worthy moments
and many smaller things that are too numerous to mention. I have covered these problems extensively for both the 2017 and 2018 Game Awards, but this year, I will be taking a different approach all for one simple reason; The Game Awards 2019 was just more of the same.
If you watched the past few years of The Game Awards you would note that there certainly have been a few improvements, far less than I would have preferred, but they were there. The removal of the cringy advertisement segments like Schick Hydro Bot, Geoff Keighley relinquishing some of his screen time, and small adjustments to the voting process have all improved the show, but this year it felt like there was only one change—more. More announcements, more high-profile guests, more skipped over awards, more cringy interactions; whatever progress was made in the 2018 Game Awards were quickly taken as overall positives and doubled down on in 2019 to a nauseating degree.
You could watch the entirety of the stream to confirm this—or—just take The Game Awards‘ press releases that highlights it perfectly:
The Game Awards featured highlight moments such as the global announcement of Xbox’s next-generation console, Series X, set for release Holiday 2020; the reveal of Godfall, the first PlayStation 5 game; NBA superstar Stephen Curry presenting Best Esports Player to Bugha, the winner of the Fortnite World Cup; Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice winning Game of the Year, presented by Vin Diesel and Michelle Rodriguez; an appearance by Dr. Bunsen Honeydew and Beaker from Muppet Labs, with a special appearance by the Untitled Goose from the Untitled Goose Game; Margot Robbie, in character as Harley Quinn, debuting a new clip from the upcoming film Birds of Prey alongside influencers CourageJD and Valkyrae; J.J. Abrams announcing details of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker’s crossover event with Fortnite; and more than a dozen new video game announcements. Performers included Green Day, who rocked the show with a 2-song set and news of a Green Day music pack for the hit VR-game Beat Saber; CHVRCHES, performing a special orchestra rendition of their song Death Stranding from the night’s most-nominated game; and Grimes, who world premiered her new song 4AEM, which will be featured on the soundtrack to Cyberpunk 2077.
Take the highlighted area; notice a bit of a focus? It’s certainly not on the actual awards themselves. It is on all the more things that have been crammed into this show with more prominent profile celebrities, features, game announcements, and more!
Console reveal? Check
Several well-known Celebrities? Check
Movie Clips? Check
More Game Announcements? Check
Well known band? Check
Once again, we have another The Game Awards that opts to push the awards to the side in favor of making everything else that is unrelated to what the show is supposedly about. The Game Awards don’t facilitate actual awards; the awards promote an excuse to bring all these things together under one roof: the announcements, the performances, the movie clips, celebrities, and whatever else may catch the show’s fancy. It is all just so much and feels over the top for the sake of only being over the top.
I would much prefer that a show called The Game Awards stuck to being about the awards. I don’t need all the fanfare or announcements that turns it into a 3+ hour show; I want to have an enjoyable award show that is focused on that one task. The announcements can be at any time or anywhere in this modern era, and the fanfare can happen at events that are for that, but the awards themselves, those should happen here.
I don’t need more of The Game Awards, I have had plenty enough to last an entire year, what I need is more game awards and less of everything else at this once a year event.