The Game Awards 2019

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The Game Awards 2019
The-Game-Awards-2019-original-logo.jpg
DateDecember 12, 2019 (2019-12-12)
VenueMicrosoft Theater, Los Angeles
CountryUnited States
Hosted byGeoff Keighley
Preshow host(s)Sydnee Goodman
Highlights
Most awardsDisco Elysium (4)
Most nominationsDeath Stranding (10)
Game of the YearSekiro: Shadows Die Twice
Websitethegameawards.com
Viewership45.2 million

The Game Awards 2019 was an award show that honored the best video games of 2019. It was produced and hosted by Geoff Keighley, and took place at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles on December 12, 2019. The preshow ceremony was hosted by Sydnee Goodman. The event was live streamed across more than 50 digital platforms; it was also the first show to broadcast live in India, and was simulcast in 53 movie theaters across the United States. The show featured musical performances from Chvrches, Grimes, and Green Day, and presentations from celebrity guests including Stephen Curry, Norman Reedus, Michelle Rodriguez, and Vin Diesel.

Death Stranding received ten nominations, the most of any Game Awards to date,[a] while Disco Elysium tied for the highest-awarded game in the show's history with four wins.[b] Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice was awarded Game of the Year. Several new games were revealed during the show, including Bravely Default II, Godfall, and Senua's Saga: Hellblade II. Microsoft also revealed the Xbox Series X as the successor to the Xbox One. In association with the event, a virtual games festival was held online, allowing free demos to be played through Steam over a 48-hour period.

The 2019 show was viewed by over 45 million streams, the most in its history to date,[c] with 7.5 million concurrent viewers at its peak. It received a mixed reception from media publications, with praise directed at new game announcements but some criticism for the show's decreasing focus on the awards. Some critics and viewers shared concerns over Death Stranding's nominations due to Keighley's friendly relationship with game director Hideo Kojima; Keighley clarified that he does not partake in the voting.

Winners and nominees[edit]

The nominees for The Game Awards 2019 were announced on November 19, 2019.[1] Any game released on or before November 15, 2019 was eligible for consideration.[2] The nominees were compiled by a jury panel with members from 80 media outlets globally.[3] Winners are determined between the jury (90%) and public votes (10%);[3] the latter was held via the official website.[4] The exception was the Player's Voice award, which was fully nominated and voted-on by the public after three 24-hour votes that started with 24 games and ended with four.[5] The show also included new honorees of the Global Gaming Citizens award, in partnership with Facebook Gaming; two winners were announced at E3 2019, and the final three during the awards show alongside videos directed by Lisanne Pajot and James Swirsky (Indie Game: The Movie).[6]

Awards[edit]

Hideo Kojima won Best Game Direction for Death Stranding.
Mads Mikkelsen won Best Performance for his role as Cliff in Death Stranding.
Conrad Roset and Roger Mendoza accepted the Games for Impact award for Gris.
Beat Games was awarded Best VR/AR Game for Beat Saber.
Shroud won Content Creator of the Year.

Winners are listed first, highlighted in boldface, and indicated with a double dagger (double-dagger).[3]

Video games[edit]

Game of the Year Best Game Direction
Best Ongoing Game Best Narrative
Best Art Direction Best Score/Music
Best Audio Design Best Performance
Games for Impact Best Independent Game
Best Mobile Game Best VR/AR Game
Best Action Game Best Action/Adventure Game
Best Role Playing Game Best Fighting Game
Best Family Game Best Strategy Game
Best Sports/Racing Game Best Multiplayer Game
Fresh Indie Game[d] Best Community Support
Content Creator of the Year Player's Voice[e]

Esports[edit]

Danny "Zonic" Sørensen of Astralis won Best Esports Coach.
Sjokz won Best Esports Host for the second consecutive year.
Best Esports Game Best Esports Player
Best Esports Team Best Esports Coach
  • Danny "Zonic" Sørensen (Astralis, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive)double-dagger
Best Esports Event Best Esports Host

Honorary awards[edit]

Fereshteh Forough (left) and Vanessa Gill (right) were named Global Gaming Citizens, among other honorees.
Global Gaming Citizens[f]
  • Fereshteh Forough, Code to Inspire
  • Damon Packwood, Gameheads
  • Luke, Let's Be Well
  • Vanessa Gill, Social Cipher
  • Stephen Machuga and Mat Bergendahl, Stack Up

Games with multiple nominations and awards[edit]

Multiple nominations[edit]

Death Stranding received ten nominations, the most in the show's history to date.[a] Other games with multiple nominations included Control with eight and Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice with five. Nintendo had 15 total nominations, more than any other publisher, followed by Sony Interactive Entertainment with 12 and Activision with 10.[1]

Multiple awards[edit]

Disco Elysium received the most awards, winning all four of its nominations, tying for the highest-awarded game in the show's history to date.[b] Death Stranding won three awards, while Fire Emblem: Three Houses and Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice won two. Activision was the most successful publisher, with five total wins, while Nintendo and ZA/UM won four.[3]

Wins by publisher
Awards Publisher
5 Activision
4 Nintendo
ZA/UM
3 Sony Interactive Entertainment

Presenters and performers[edit]

The following individuals, listed in order of appearance, presented awards, introduced trailers, or performed musical numbers. All other awards were presented by Sydnee Goodman in the preshow and Geoff Keighley in the main show.[12][13][14]

Presenters[edit]

Name Role
Lual Mayen Presented the reveal trailer for Salaam in the preshow
Jeff Spock Presented the gameplay trailer for Humankind in the preshow
Jonathan Nolan Presented the award for Best Narrative
Phil Spencer Presented the reveal trailer for Xbox Series X and Senua's Saga: Hellblade II
Stephen Curry Presented the award for Best Esports Player[15]
Keith Lee Presented the reveal trailer for Godfall
Steve Gibson
Rebecca Ford Presented the trailer for Warframe: "Empyrean"[16]
Daniel Ketchum Presented the Theros: Beyond Death trailer for Magic: The Gathering Arena
Ikumi Nakamura Presented the award for Best Art Direction
Donald Mustard Presented a teaser for the Fortnite collaboration with Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
Joe Madureira Presented the gameplay reveal trailer for Ruined King: A League of Legends Story
Norman Reedus Presented the award for Best Action Game
Jeff Hattem Presented the reveal trailer for Dungeons & Dragons: Dark Alliance
Mirage[g] Presented the Holo-Day Bash Event trailer for Apex Legends
Bunsen Honeydew Presented the award for Games for Impact
Beaker
Raphaël Colantonio Presented the reveal trailer for Weird West[18]
Julien Roby
Ninja Presented the award for Best Multiplayer Game
Sydnee Goodman Presented the award for Best Ongoing Game
Matias Myllyrinne Presented the reveal trailer for Nine to Five
Reggie Fils-Aimé Presented the award for Fresh Indie Game
Lee Thomas Presented the reveal trailer for Convergence: A League of Legends Story[19]
Alex "Goldenboy" Mendez Presented the winner of the Samsung QLED television
Ashly Burch Presented the award for Best Game Direction
Michelle Rodriguez Presented the reveal trailer for Fast & Furious Crossroads and introduced Vin Diesel
Vin Diesel Presented the award for Game of the Year

Performers[edit]

Name Song Game(s)
Chvrches "Death Stranding" Death Stranding
Grimes "4ÆM" Cyberpunk 2077
The Game Awards Orchestra[h] "Way of the Ghost" Ghost of Tsushima
Game of the Year medley Control
Death Stranding
The Outer Worlds
Resident Evil 2
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
Green Day "Welcome to Paradise" Beat Saber
"Father of All..."

Ceremony information[edit]

Geoff Keighley hosted and produced The Game Awards 2019.

The Game Awards 2019 were held at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles on December 12, 2019, hosted and produced by Geoff Keighley.[21] The preshow was hosted by Sydnee Goodman.[13] The show was livestreamed globally across more than 50 digital services, including Facebook, Twitch, Twitter, and YouTube. The 2019 show was the first to broadcast live in India, on television via MTV and online through services such as JioTV, MX Player, and Voot.[20] The show was also simulcast in 53 Cinemark movie theaters across the United States alongside the opening night screening of Jumanji: The Next Level, in partnership with Sony Pictures. Keighley had previously wanted to broadcast in theaters and he felt that the release of Jumanji—which largely focuses on a video game—was a perfect fit.[22]

The show featured presenters such as Stephen Curry, Vin Diesel, and Norman Reedus, performances from Chvrches, Green Day, and Grimes.[12] When booking presenters and performers, Keighley ensures that they are relevant to the video games industry, not wanting a "celebrity in the show for the sake of celebrity".[23] Reggie Fils-Aimé's award presentation was his fifth for the show, and his first since retiring as president of Nintendo of America. The presentation from Bunsen Honeydew and Beaker is the second appearance of Muppets, following Pepe the Prawn's appearance at The Game Awards 2018.[24] In association with the event, a virtual games festival was held online from December 12–14, 2019. Several upcoming games released free demo through Steam, including Carrion, Skatebird, and Spiritfarer. The demos were only available for the 48-hour period.[25]

During the show, Keighley spoke to the animated character Mirage from Apex Legends for the announcement of the game's holiday event. The interaction took place in real-time, with actor Roger Craig Smith performing the movements through motion capture in a studio next to the Microsoft Theater. The game's creative director Drew Stauffer approached creative production studio The Mill in October 2018 with the idea. The Mill partnered with Cubic Motion to develop the technology, and with Animatrik for the motion capture movement.[17] The production teams considered revealing the technology during the show, but opted to maintain the illusion until afterwards.[26]

Announcements[edit]

Valve announced that it would showcase Half-Life: Alyx at the ceremony, but pulled out several hours prior to the event.[27] Announcements on recently released and upcoming games were made for Apex Legends, Beat Saber, Black Desert Online, Control, Cyberpunk 2077, Gears Tactics, Ghost of Tsushima, Humankind, Magic: The Gathering Arena, New World, No More Heroes III, and Ori and the Will of the Wisps. New games announced during the ceremony included:[12][28]

Additionally, Microsoft revealed the Xbox Series X as the successor to the Xbox One.[29] The announcement was so secretive that Phil Spencer read a fake script about Xbox Game Pass during rehearsals.[23] Godfall's reveal also marked the first PlayStation 5 game to be announced.[30]

Ratings and reception[edit]

The show received a mixed reception from media publications. Jackson Ryan of CNET found that the show "felt like one giant advert" but praised some of the announcements, including the Xbox Series X, Hellblade II, and Weird West, as well as the performance by Chvrches.[12] IGN's Matt T.M. Kim similarly praised some of the surprise reveals, but felt that the show focused more heavily on trailers than awards.[31] Andy Chalk of PC Gamer expressed his confusion toward the Fresh Indie Game nominees, as several of them had created prior games despite the category's intention for first-time developers.[7] USgamer's Eric Van Allen criticized the Game of the Year nominees for favoring The Outer Worlds over games like Disco Elysium, Fire Emblem: Three Houses, and Outer Wilds; he similarly expressed his surprise that Death Stranding received so many nominations, though he praised the independent game nominees in some categories.[32]

Following the announcement of the nominees, some viewers and critics shared concerns related to Death Stranding, due to Keighley's friendly relationship with game director Hideo Kojima, and his cameo appearance in the game. Keighley reiterated on social media that he does not partake in the jury nominations or award selections, noting that he intentionally distances himself due to his close working relationship with developers and publishers when preparing the show. Additionally, while Kojima sits on the advisory board for the Game Awards, Keighley asserted that the board had no direct influence on the selections.[33][34] Kotaku's Heather Alexandra wrote that the close relationship would continue to reflect badly on the ceremony, regardless of Keighley's clarification

The Game Awards 2019 was the most-viewed ceremony to date.[c] Over 45.2 million streams were used to view the show, an increase of 73% from the 2018 ceremony's 26.2 million. At its peak, the show had over 7.5 million concurrent viewers, including over 2 million across Twitch and YouTube. Fan votes totaled 15.5 million, a 50% increase from the previous show as well.[23] The show had increased viewership in China, which Keighley partly attributed to the League of Legends announcements.[26] The increased viewership reassured Keighley that a digital show was more effective than a television broadcast.[23]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b Death Stranding's nomination record was beaten by The Last of Us Part II's eleven nominations at The Game Awards 2020.[8]
  2. ^ a b The other games that received four awards are Red Dead Redemption 2 in 2018,[9] and Overwatch in 2016.[10] This record was beaten by The Last of Us Part II's seven wins in 2020.[11]
  3. ^ a b The viewership record was beaten in 2020 with 83 million streams.[35]
  4. ^ Awarded for the best debut game by an indie studio in 2019[7]
  5. ^ 100% fan-voted award that had a three-round nomination process that began with 24 games[5]
  6. ^ Presented in conjunction with Facebook Gaming[6]
  7. ^ Animated character from Apex Legends portrayed by Roger Craig Smith.[17]
  8. ^ Conducted by Lorne Balfe.[20]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Shanley, Patrick (November 19, 2019). "The Game Awards Reveals Full List of Nominees". The Hollywood Reporter. Valence Media. Archived from the original on November 19, 2019. Retrieved February 3, 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ Van Allen, Eric (November 19, 2019). "The Game Awards 2019 Nominations". USgamer. Gamer Network. Archived from the original on November 23, 2019. Retrieved February 3, 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ a b c d Goslin, Austen (December 13, 2019). "All the winners from The Game Awards 2019". Polygon. Vox Media. Archived from the original on December 13, 2019. Retrieved February 3, 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
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  7. ^ a b Chalk, Andy (November 19, 2019). "Death Stranding and Control lead The Game Awards 2019 nominations". PC Gamer. Future plc. Archived from the original on March 3, 2020. Retrieved February 13, 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
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  18. ^ Gerblick, Jordan (December 13, 2019). "Prey and Dishonored co-creators reveal Weird West at The Game Awards 2019". GamesRadar. Future plc. Archived from the original on December 13, 2019. Retrieved February 12, 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  19. ^ Livingston, Christopher (December 13, 2019). "CONV/RGENCE is a League of Legends platformer starring Ekko". PC Gamer. Future plc. Archived from the original on December 14, 2019. Retrieved February 12, 2021. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
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  35. ^ Stedman, Alex (December 17, 2020). "The Game Awards 2020 Show Hits Record Viewership With 83 Million Livestreams". Variety. Penske Media Corporation. Archived from the original on December 17, 2020. Retrieved January 8, 2021.

External links[edit]