The Game Awards 2021: A Tired and Overly Bloated Formula

December 16, 2021

Every year, I tune into the Game Awards. Every year I’m let down by how boring it is. Every year I think it’ll be different, but it never is. Last year was nearly saved by the announcement of Sephiroth joining the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate roster, but the ridiculously bloated three-and-a-half-hour runtime completely killed any interest I had in the ceremony. As you can probably guess, this year was no different, the only difference is there was no exciting announcement.

I could write this piece as a basic overview, detailing what games won what, the best announcements, the most surprising victories. But I quickly realized there’s no point. I had a similar moment to this with the Oscars earlier this year, and while I still bothered to actually watch the full ceremony, I was dying to do literally anything else by the end of it.

Ironically enough for a show called The Game Awards, a very small portion of the night is actually dedicated to the awards. The big focus of the ceremony now is how many trailers and announcements they can fit in. Every once in a while, there’s something that raises an eyebrow. We got updates on the highly anticipated Elden Ring, DLC for Cuphead, and even a few cool announcements like Slitterhead or Metal Hellsing. However, the vast majority of trailers are boring, drawn-out, and uninteresting.

Unlike the Oscars, I feel like the Game Awards actually have a lot of worth. They continue to bring in more viewers than ever before, and the gaming industry is lively and competitive enough that the actual awards are a fairly big deal. However, as it is, watching them live feels like more of a chore, and it’s better to just catch up on the news online. A legendary live moment every once in a while is never worth the three and a half hours of boring trailers that the majority of the audience couldn’t care less about.

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