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Geoff Keighley

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Geoff Keighley
Keighley in 2018
Born (1978-06-24) June 24, 1978 (age 46)
Occupation(s)Video game journalist, presenter
Years active1994–present
Notable work

Geoff Keighley (/ˈkli/; born (1978-06-24)June 24, 1978) is a Canadian video game journalist and television presenter, best known for his role as the host of several video game industry conferences & presentations.[1] He is the executive producer and host of The Game Awards since its inception in 2014, having previously served as the executive producer of the Spike Video Game Awards.[2] He also hosts and produces Summer Game Fest, and has hosted live events for trades fairs GamesCom and the now-defunct E3.[3]

He previously hosted the video game show GameTrailers TV, and G4tv.com. Keighley is also a freelance writer whose work has appeared in Kotaku among other publications.[4] His multi-media series The Final Hours, originally an article series published by GameSpot, features in-depth interviews and behind-the-scenes with developers of popular franchises like Portal, Mass Effect & Tomb Raider.[5]


Early career

Keighley was born on June 24, 1978,[6][7] and grew up in suburban Toronto. Both of Keighley's parents were executives at IMAX (and remain there as of 2022), which came with membership in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Through his parents, he gained an appreciation of the Oscars and awards shows in general.[6] He and his younger brother were exposed to computers and video games at a young age, both becoming fans of the medium. As a teenager, Keighley started GameSlice in 1996, a website for game reviews and journalism.[6]

Keighley's foray into video game reporting and presentation had been through Cybermania '94, the first video game awards show broadcast on television. Keighley was fourteen at the time, but, through his father's connections, was brought in to help write lines for the celebrity hosts to read.[6] The show was not considered successful, aimed more for comedy than celebration, but from it, Keighley was inspired to develop some type of equivalent of the Academy Awards for video games in his career.[8]

Keighley entered into the University of Southern California in 1997 to obtain a business degree. During that time, he pitched to GameStop a series of long-form articles to delve into the development of some popular games, inspired by VH1's Behind the Music. His first such work was "Blinded by Reality: The True Story Behind the Creation of Unreal", covering the development of Unreal. He had been able to get access to some of the behind the scenes at Epic Games as he had been friends with Epic's co-founder Mark Rein during his youth in Toronto.[6] Other such works Keighley wrote for GameSpot included deep dives into the development of Daikatana and Metal Gear Solid 2. Through these reports, Keighley gained numerous contacts with development studios, including open access to Valve.[6] Following his business degree, Keighly entered into law school, inspired by a Time reporter suggesting he write in the crossover area of business and video games.[6] Around this time in 2002, Keighley also began writing articles for Entertainment Weekly and Fortune, and was also brought as a co-host of The Electric Playground alongside Tommy Tallarico by the show's creator Victor Lucas.[6]

Television appearances

Spike TV brought on Keighley to host his own show, GameTrailers TV with Geoff Keighley in 2003.[6] He was also involved in other video game-related projects on television. On Comcast's G4 network, he appeared as the network's lead anchor for its E3 press conference coverage, interviewing CEOs from companies like Sony and Electronic Arts. For MTV he created the concept and produced (with LivePlanet) "Gears of War: Race to E3" and "Gears of War: Race to Launch", two specials that took viewers inside the development of the hit Xbox 360 game from Microsoft. And in 2007, the Discovery Channel aired a five-hour documentary on releases including those of such companies as World of Wonder Productions, based on a treatment by Keighley, who also served as consulting producer. Geoff has also hosted and co-produced a number of video game launch specials for Spike TV, including "Madden NFL 08 Kickoff" featuring a performance by Ozzy Osbourne and "Halo 3: Launched!" featuring a performance by Linkin Park. He was also interviewed on what became a controversial Fox News segment on Mass Effect, and was later praised by gamers online for being the only one on the show who had actually played the game.[6][9][10]

Keighley had also come under some negative perception by gamers in 2012 after he was presenting information about Halo 4 while sitting among stands advertising Mountain Dew and Doritos products. Several people critiqued this presentation as a sign of a lack of journalism standards, and the scenario became known as "Doritosgate" within the gaming community while Keighley was derogatorily called "Dorito Pope".[11] Eurogamer's Robert Florence criticized Keighley's presentation and the state of game journalism at that time: "Geoff Keighley is often described as an industry leader. A games expert. He is one of the most prominent games journalists in the world. And there he sits, right there, beside a table of snacks. He will be sitting there forever, in our minds. That's what he is now. And in a sense, it is what he always was."[12] The event led to Keighley reviewing his current career.[6]

Keighley was invited by the producers of Spike's Video Game Awards program to help with the programming from 2006 onward. In 2013, Spike changed the format of the show and rebranded the awards as the VGX Awards. To Keighley, the format became more commercial and promotional rather than a celebration of video game achievements, and coupled with the ridicule he faced from Doritosgate in 2012, he opted to leave the show.[6]

The Game Awards and Summer Game Fest

Keighley presenting at The Game Awards 2022

Through 2014, he funded his own efforts to put together a new awards show, gaining the support of Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo as well as major publications and industry leaders. Keighley thus established The Game Awards which were first presented in December 2014, and which Keighley remains the primary host.[13]

In December 2016, Keighley was picked as a judge for the Viveport Developer Awards (VDAs).[14]

Keighley was a participant of E3, the annual video game trade show, since its start, and from E3 2017 to E3 2019, Keighley arranged and hosted the E3 Coliseum, a live-streaming event running over the course of E3 that brought in developers and publishers at E3 for interviews and other discussions. However, with the Entertainment Software Association making significant changes to the format of E3 2020 (prior to its cancellation due to the COVID-19 pandemic), Keighley stated he would not be organizing an E3 Coliseum event nor attending the show for the first time in 25 years.[15]

With E3's cancellation among other several other trade shows and events like Gamescom from the pandemic, Keighley worked with several major publishers and video game industry leaders to launch the first Summer Game Fest from May to August 2020. During this period, Keighley helped developers and publishers present game announcements and other presentations, along with Steam and Xbox to provide game demos during this period.[16] Summer Game Fest was also held in 2021 and 2022 as a virtual event, and expanded to an in-person event in 2023.[17]

Ongoing journalism

Keighley's has written a series of articles "The Final Hours", where he has in-depth access to the various studios near the end of a development period and write in depth about the process as the game is nearing completion. In more recent years, these articles are released as mobile apps.[18] In a July 2008 interview on The Jace Hall Show, Keighley spoke about the importance of this process, stating "There's such a lack of investigative journalism. I wish I had more time to do more, sort of, investigation. Really dig into some of these bigger issues, so I could look at like, the 'Red Ring of Death' problem. That's never really been properly reported about, like what really happens."[19]

Other appearances

Keighley appeared as a holographic character in the game Death Stranding.[20] A mask of Geoff Keighley's face was also added to the video game Among Us.[21] In August 2021, Geoff Keighley was cast as Uncle Theodore in Muppets Haunted Mansion.[22] Keighley also had a brief cameo role in The Matrix Resurrections, as a game awards presenter.[23]


  • Keighley, Geoff (2011). The Final Hours of Portal 2. ASIN B004XMZZKQ.
  • Keighley, Geoff (2012). The Final Hours of Mass Effect 3. ASIN B007KVXSFG.
  • Keighley, Geoff (2013). The Final Hours of Tomb Raider.
  • Keighley, Geoff (2014). The Final Hours of Titanfall: Behind the Scenes at Respawn Entertainment. ASIN B00JQFIE1W.
  • Keighley, Geoff (2020). The Final Hours of Half-Life: Alyx.


  1. ^ Gordon, Lewis (December 8, 2022). "How Geoff Keighley Became Gaming's Master of Ceremonies". The Ringer. Retrieved December 12, 2023.
  2. ^ Keighley, Geoff (November 20, 2014). "Nominees announced for The Game Awards 2014". The Game Awards. Archived from the original on November 23, 2014. Retrieved November 29, 2014.
  3. ^ Yin-Poole, Wesley (December 12, 2023). "E3 Is Dead for Good". IGN. Retrieved December 12, 2023.
  4. ^ "The Final Hours of Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty". GameSpot. Retrieved December 12, 2023.
  5. ^ Takahashi, Dean (July 10, 2020). "The DeanBeat: The Final Hours of Half-Life: Alyx gives us a much-needed peek inside Valve". VentureBeat. Retrieved December 12, 2023.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Gordon, Lewis (December 8, 2022). "How Geoff Keighley Became Gaming's Master of Ceremonies". The Ringer. Spotify. Archived from the original on December 9, 2022. Retrieved December 9, 2022.
  7. ^ Keighley, Geoff [@geoffkeighley] (June 24, 2011). "Thanks to everyone for the nice birthday wishes!" (Tweet). Archived from the original on May 24, 2023. Retrieved May 24, 2023 – via Twitter.
  8. ^ Martens, Todd (December 6, 2017). "Geoff Keighley's lifelong obsession to create a video game Oscars". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on December 7, 2017. Retrieved December 6, 2017.
  9. ^ Brian Crecente (January 22, 2008). "Keighley Sets Mass Effect Record Straight... Or Tries To". Kotaku. Australia. Archived from the original on January 15, 2021. Retrieved July 9, 2016.
  10. ^ "FOX NEWS on MASS EFFECT Sex Debate". GameTrailers. January 21, 2008. Archived from the original (video) on May 9, 2013. Retrieved October 28, 2014.
  11. ^ Glennon, Jen (December 11, 2019). "Geoff Keighley Is The Nicest Power Player In Video Games". Inverse. Archived from the original on September 30, 2020. Retrieved December 11, 2022.
  12. ^ Robert Florence (October 24, 2012). "Lost Humanity 18: A Table of Doritos". Eurogamer. Archived from the original on October 25, 2012. Retrieved August 16, 2023.
  13. ^ Brian Crecente (November 13, 2014). "VGA host backs new gamer-centric award show out of his own pocket". Polygon. Archived from the original on December 11, 2020. Retrieved December 9, 2014.
  14. ^ "Viveport Developer Awards Jury & Community Choice". VIVE Blog. December 5, 2016. Archived from the original on December 12, 2016. Retrieved December 6, 2016.
  15. ^ Shanley, Patrick (February 12, 2020). "Geoff Keighley to Skip E3 2020". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on August 4, 2020. Retrieved February 12, 2020.
  16. ^ Spangler, Todd (May 1, 2020). "Summer Game Fest 2020 Steps in to Fill E3 Void for Video-Game Biz". Variety. Archived from the original on September 30, 2020. Retrieved May 1, 2020.
  17. ^ Welsh, Oli (June 10, 2022). "The organizers of E3 and Summer Game Fest are gearing up for a head-on clash". Polygon. Archived from the original on October 3, 2022. Retrieved July 3, 2022.
  18. ^ Pavlus, John (May 5, 2011). "iPad App Goes Behind The Scenes Of 'Portal 2', Pushing Limits Of Storytelling". Fast Company. Archived from the original on May 9, 2021. Retrieved August 19, 2019.
  19. ^ "Jace Hall, Ep 7: Is Video Game 'Journalism' Legit?". The Jace Hall Show. Season 1. Episode 7. July 16, 2008.
  20. ^ Gera, Emily (August 19, 2019). "Death Stranding features a breastfeeding ghost baby, and Geoff Keighley". VG247. Archived from the original on November 8, 2020. Retrieved August 19, 2019.
  21. ^ "Geoff Keighley Twitter Post". June 8, 2021. Archived from the original on October 6, 2021. Retrieved October 6, 2021.
  22. ^ "@geoffkeighley". Archived from the original on September 8, 2021. Retrieved September 17, 2021.
  23. ^ @geoffkeighley (December 26, 2021). "Had to keep this one a secret for a long time. Still can't believe you reached out, but so honored you did. Thank y…" (Tweet) – via Twitter.

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