The Game Awards, which was formerly known as the Spike Video Game Awards, is the only award show where fellow game enthusiasts gather to celebrate the best video games of the year and the nominees for 2017 have finally been announced.
Hosted annually by Geoff Keighley since 2014, The Game Awards honors games in categories that range from “Game of the Year” to “Best Art Direction” to “Best Mobile Game.” In 2016, Overwatch took home the “Game of the Year” award. This year, the video games in the running for “Game of the Year” include Horizon: Zero Dawn, Persona 5, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, Super Mario Odyssey, and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
It’s safe to say that based off of the nominees currently in the running, it will be a hard decision to select just one of the amazing games produced this year within each category. The winners of the awards for the primary categories, such as “Game of the Year,” will be determined by 51 representatives from global media platforms such as Gamespot and Giant Bomb.
There will be a few categories, including “Most Anticipated Game,” “Best Esports Player,” and “Best Esports Team,” which will be determined by a public vote online. You can vote for your favorites by logging onto The Game Awards website, or through Twitter, Google, or Facebook Messenger. The entire list of nominees can be found on The Game Awards website as well.
There are 102 nominations for video games and notable gaming celebrities this year. Overall, Nintendo takes the lead with 23 nominations and is followed by Sony Interactive with 15, and Activision with 7. As for the video game with the most nominations, there is a four-way tie between Destiny 2, Horizon: Zero Dawn, Super Mario Odyssey, and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild with each of them receiving six nominations.
As always with award shows, deserving candidates of the awards are bound to get snubbed in the nominations, and The Game Awards are no exception. Many gamers are upset that Yakuza 0 didn’t receive any nominations at all and has been slighted by The Game Awards entirely.
Similarly, even those that did get nominations are bound to be criticized by the public if they are deemed undeserving of the nomination. For the category “Game of the Year,” there’s a bit of controversy surrounding PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds‘ nomination since the game is currently only available through Early Access. In addition, not even one female player was nominated for the category of “Best Esports Player.”
Of the many categories, there are two new ones that will be added this year: the “Student Game” award and the “Best Ongoing Game” award. The “Student Game” award will be presented to the best video game developed by high-school and college-level students and will be judged by EA Motive’s Kim Swift, Bethesda’s Todd Howard, Respawn’s Vince Zampella, Supercell’s Ilkka Paananen, and Hideo Kojima.
The “Best Ongoing Game” award is presented to video games that continually add new content under a games-as-a-service model. The games up for the award include Destiny 2, PUGB, Overwatch, GTA Online, and Warframe.
In honor of The Game Awards, a “Game Awards Sale” will also be held at the beginning of December where gamers can purchase the nominated games at a reduced price on PSN and Xbox Live.
During the award show, The Game Awards Orchestra, a combination of “some of the world’s most talented orchestral and rock musicians,” will also perform for the first time. The orchestra, which will hopefully become a celebrated tradition at The Game Awards, will have “special guests” in attendance and are set to play video game music.
For those who want to attend the 2017 Game Awards, the awards will be held at the Microsoft Theater in L.A. on December 7th. Tickets start at $40 and VIP Packages can be purchased for up to $200, which will include a seat closer to the stage and pre-show admission. For those who are unable to make the trip to Los Angeles, you can also live-stream the award show at 8:30 ET/ 5:30 PT.