On Thursday, what are basically the Oscars of the video game world will be handed out. The Game Awards will take place at Microsoft Theater in downtown Los Angeles, the same place where the Emmys are hosted. The award show is independent, created just last year, by Geoff Keighley. It won't air on network television, but the show is expected to attract millions of viewers on streaming services.
On why he started the Video Game Awards:
I had worked for many years at Viacom at a network called Spike TV working on what was the video game awards there and really fell in love with the gaming industry and the opportunity to recognize these creators…you know their games. You know "Call of Duty." You know "Grand Theft Auto." You know "Candy Crush." But you don’t necessarily know who makes them, and I’ve always felt like they’re some of the most creative individuals out there in the entertainment field. I wanted to create a platform for them and it became clear that the way distribution works online — you don’t really need a big network to put something like this together. You can reach this audience on your own.
On how he explains to people that the show is not on a traditional television channel:
Last year, we were on Instagram during the show, watching what people were saying about it and we saw all these pictures of folks sitting in their living rooms watching the show on their television sets. It sort of dawned on me, of course they are because they’re watching it on their Apple TV on television, or they’re watching it through their Xbox on the YouTube app. People always ask me, "Oh when are you going to get back on television?" That’s not a goal for me anymore. You have to sort of explain to people that it is a very different approach. When you come in and see our set, you see the scale of what we’re doing. This is not me in an apartment setting up a green screen announcing my favorite games. This is a multi-million dollar award show.
On the growth of the show:
This show is double in scale of what we did last year. My view is that we need to continue investing in building this into a franchise. It’s not about making money right now. It’s about trying to break even, trying to scale up what we’re doing. I feel like gaming is not going anywhere. I’ve been playing games since I was a kid and I get excited about 20 years from now, what a show like this can look like. The format of what we’re doing – streaming it to everyone digitally, being able to get sponsors and everyone involved, this is the future.