The Game Awards celebrated gaming’s highs and ignored its lows

A missed opportunity for such a large platform

MajorLinux - Editor-in-chief

I’m all for celebrating gaming as an artform and giving honors to the talented folks who make them. However, there’s something to be said when you don’t also acknowledge the rot that permeates throughout the industry. When great games underperform because of a lack of coverage. That snowballs into the studios making difficult decisions because projections weren’t met. Ultimately, these great creators lose jobs, benefits, and so much more. Therein lies The Game Awards with all the credit, but none of the blame.

Last Thursday night, The Game Awards aired and it was a “Who’s Who” of developers, publishers, and journalists with maybe some fans sprinkled about. Announcements were made, awards were handed out, insults were made.

So, let’s start with the good news.

Award Nominations and Winners

Of course, this year’s nominees were filled with heavy hitters for the most part. It’s hard to argue that 2023 was a big year for gaming. Nearly every month was filled with top tier releases from AAA to Indie (whatever that definition means to you). And it shows in this nomination breakdown.

Game Nominations

Baldur’s Gate 38
Alan Wake 28
Marvel’s Spider-Man 27
The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom5
Super Mario Bros. Wonder5
Resident Evil 4 Remake3

Publisher Nominations

Epic Games9
Square Enix8
Electronic Arts6
CD Projekt Red4
Riot Games4

As someone had mentioned a couple of days ago, it looks like the rest of the games that were created during the pandemic may have finally come out and it kind of shows. So, let’s get down to the winners!


Game of the YearBaldur’s Gate 3 (Larian Studios
Best Game DirectionAlan Wake 2 (Remedy Entertainment/Epic Games Publsihing)
Best AdaptationThe Last of Us (PlayStation Productions/HBO)
Best NarrativeAlan Wake 2
Best Art DirectionAlan Wake 2
Best Score and MusicFinal Fantasy XVI, Composer Masayoshi Soken (Square Enix)
Best Audio DesignHI-Fi Rush (Tango Gameworks/Bethesda Softworks)
Best PerformanceNeil Newbon, Baldur’s Gate 3
Innovation in AccessibilityForza Motorsport (Turn 10 Studios/Xbox Game Studios)
Games for ImpactTchia (Awaceb/Kepler Interactive)
Best Ongoing GameCyberpunk 2077 (CD Projekt Red)
Best Community SupportBaldur’s Gate 3
Best Independent GameSea of Stars (Sabotage Studio)
Best Debut Indie GameCocoon (Geometric Interactive/Annapurna Interactive)
Best Mobile GameHonkai: Star Rail (HoYoverse)
Best VR/AR GameResident Evil Village VR Mode (Capcom)
Best Action GameArmored Core 6: Fires of Rubicon (FromSoftware/Bandai Namco)
Best Action/Adventure GameThe Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom (Nintendo EPD/Nintendo)
Best RPGBaldur’s Gate 3
Best Fighting GameStreet Fighter 6 (Capcom)
Best Family GameSuper Mario Bros. Wonder (Nintendo EPD/Nintendo)
Best Sim /Strategy GamePikmin 4 (Nintendo EPD/Nintendo)
Best Sports/RacingForza Motorsport
Best MultiplayerBaldur’s Gate 3
Most Anticipated GameFinal Fantasy VII Rebirth (Square Enix)
Player’s VoiceBaldur’s Gate 3
Content Creator of the YearIronMouse
Best eSports GameValorant (Riot Games)
Best eSports AthleteLee “Faker” Sang-hyeok (League of Legends)
Best eSports TeamJD Gaming (League of Legends)
Best eSports CoachChristine “potter” Chi (Evil Geniuses – Valorant)
Best eSports Event2023 League of Legends World Championship

The Elephant in the Room

Now, while there was quite a lot to celebrate as evidenced by the list above, there was definitely something else that could have been mentioned but was just ignored by Geoff Keighley and The Game Awards. I’m talking about the staggering amount of jobs lost in 2023.

With so many games getting acclaim, it means others didn’t. And because of how everything turned out during the pandemic, I still look to Daniel Ek, the CEO of Spotify, to explain how we got here. Every company grabbed up so much cheap capital. While some companies may have had amazing, lofty goals, some didn’t and through a whole bunch of money at problems. However, when those plans didn’t pan out, it meant developers getting the boot. All the while, those at the top still there, and probably even attended The Game Awards.

By the way, you can check out the Tech Talk Thursdays crew cover The Game Awards here.

Source: Polygon

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By MajorLinux Editor-in-chief
Marcus Summers is a Linux system administrator by trade. He has been working with Linux for nearly 15 years and has become a fan of open source ideals. He self identifies as a socialist and believes that the world's information should be free for all.

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