Twitter: YEA. FUCK YOU GEOFF KEIGHLEY. YOU RIGGED THIS JURY YOU BASTARD. I MEAN LOOK AT ALL THE MEMBE-….
Twitter: ok…but that’s only-…
Twitter: Ok…BUT STILL, ALL THESE GUYS HATE XBOX AND IGNORED GEARS 5.
These are just 10 of the 80 media outlets and influencers that make up the jury for The Game Awards. Feel free to look up the opinions of the other 70, but for the sake of length, I stopped at 10. And I want to clarify something else: at each of these outlets, there isn’t just one person that is being chosen to submit their ballot for The Game Awards. According to the FAQs on The Game Awards site:
“Each voting outlet completes a confidential, unranked ballot based on the collective and diverse opinion of its entire editorial staff, listing out its top five choices in each category. Ballots are tabulated, and the five games that appear on the most ballots are put forth as nominees. In the event of a tie, six (or more) nominees will be announced in a category. Game Awards producer Geoff Keighley is not a member of the jury and does not vote on the nominees.“
So you are not only pooling 80 media outlets, you are pooling hundreds of people who spend their entire year playing and reviewing video games. Yes, each of those people probably have biases toward certain genres, studios, consoles, etc. But I ask you this: is there a better way? We can’t go with a “popular vote”. Review bombing has basically nullified that option. What about game developers? I mean they’re already a part of The Game Awards. Yes, Hideo Kojima is on the show’s advisory board, but so is Doug Bowser from Nintendo (Super Smash Bros. Ultimate), Rob Kostich from Activision (Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice), and Phil Spencer from Xbox (The Outer Worlds). And outside of the big studios, there is another award show, the Game Developers Choice Awards, that holds their own ceremony every year. Spoiler alert: both shows have given the GOTY award to the same title for 7 of the last 10 years.
Is there a conflict of interest since Geoff had a cameo in Death Stranding? I mean, I guess you can make that argument. But what else has Geoff Keighley been a part of in his career that could have been a “conflict of interest” with The Game Awards? He was a host of Blizzcon in 2014 when Hearthstone was nominated for GOTY (it didn’t win). He hosted Halo 5 Live when it launched in 2015, where it wasn’t nominated for GOTY, nor did it win and of its 3 nominations. He was in a promotional short for Metal Gear Solid V in 2015 when it was up for GOTY (it didn’t win) (also a game made by Hideo Kojima). And I know there’s a bunch of people that are reading all that saying “BuT tHiS tImE hE wAs In ThE gAmE”. Well, fuck me if I’m a game developer I don’t want this guy anywhere near my game considering he’s done NOTHING to rig his own fucking awards show so that it wins. Yeah, fuck you Geoff Keighley for not being a corrupt son of a bitch.
Say what you will about each and every one of these gaming media outlets and the validity of their opinions. I personally hated Gears 5 and I liked (not loved) Death Stranding. I also understand that not every game is for everyone. I literally cannot stand playing RTS titles, I hate Fortnite (the most popular game in the world for the last 2 years), and I rarely enjoy games where turn-based strategy or grinding are key mechanics. But despite my own personal opinion on these games, as an aspiring game critic/blogger, I also have learned to look at each of these games from different perspectives. *deep inhale*. I can…understand why someone would think Gears 5 is one of their top 5 games this year. *deeper breath*. I can…understand the appeal of Fortnite to both the casual and competitive communities. And, while the game has some of the most frustrating and boring gameplay mechanics I’ve ever seen, I can also understand why MANY people think it is one of the best and most innovative games of 2019. So yes, I can see why it made the shortlist for GOTY.
If it wins 2019 GOTY am I going to be upset? Kinda, because I think 3 of the other nominees (Sekiro, RE2, Super Smash Bros.) are more deserving of the award. Am I gonna go on Twitter and complain? You bet your fucking ass I am. But I also know at the end of the day that it will not affect my opinion on the game or on The Game Awards as a whole. Why? Because opinions are like assholes: everyone’s got one and most of them stink.