On December 7th, gamers were treated to a new version of the video game awards known as the VGX.
A new vision was intended for show with less glamor and Hollywood actors involved and more focus on the games and developers themselves. The show seemed to get off to a good start when Geoff Keighley interviewed Eidos Montreal about Thief during the pre-show, but then the show actually started.
The host problem: I can’t tell you how much I appreciate that they reached out to Geoff Keighley, an experienced video game journalist to speak to developers this year, but then he was derailed by the off-putting Joel McHale with his awkward jokes and sometimes rude questions toward the developers.
One of the most cringing moments was when Retro Studios and Reggie Fils-Aime were presenting the new game Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze. They were trying to talk about the game, but all Joel wanted to talk about was a new Metroid game. Reggie tried his best to sway the conversation, but Joel just wanted to make everything weird. All of his jokes seemed to fall flat and he didn’t really know much about video games.
Announcements: While the star of the show was easily No Man’s Sky by the indie developer Hello Games, there were not that many announcements besides two new games by Telltale Games in the form of Game of Thrones and a new Borderlands episodic title. Sure there was new game play videos from Thief and Titanfall, but what about the big announcements of past VGA’s? Everywhere I have read in forums and other blogs share the same sentiment that the announcements were very lackluster.
However I am excited for the games that were announced and am also glad that Hello Games got some attention for their ambitious game No Man’s Sky, which appears to be a first-person shooter Sci-fi game with open-world moments.
Lack of Awards in an award show: Something that still hasn’t been fixed from the previous award shows on Spike, was the lack of presented awards during the show. I thought with the new three hour time slot and with it being streamed live the developers could have more time to shine and thank their fans for the support. Instead gamers were treated to viral celebrities and hijinks of the Loiter Squad, and a live musical performance of Grand Theft Auto V‘s music.
The whole point of an award show is to actually present all the awards instead of the big Game of the Year award and then going to game play of games that haven’t been released yet. I just wish Spike would understand that these developers deserve the respect and recognition after laboring on these works of art. One of the best moments of the show was when Naughty Dog got to have their workers say thank you.
The new format of the VGX is promising but still has a lot of work needed to be done. I hope that next year with more big titles on horizon these developers can have more time dedicated to them. I don’t hate what Spike is doing, I’m just disappointed.