Geoff Keighley got to do something closer to the awards show I imagine he always wanted to do. Rather than giving us another product placement-fueled silly, faux-video game celebration version of Hell, we got something that was online only, and hence did not have to bow to gross product pressure. Starting with the legendary Koji Kondo playing the piano, and wrapping up with him again, playing with the impressive Imagine Dragons, this even felt like a genuine awards show celebrating the medium of video games. A lot of people felt the same way. Almost two million people tuned in to see the show, according to a report by Polygon. The report also breaks down a lot more ways it was found to be favorable by viewers, and has some words from the organizer Geoff Keighley.
I for one found the show on the whole to be a big step up from the frankly upsetting VGA’s, hosted by Spike TV. Looking more like a brothel where video games, and the love thereof, was pimped out to whatever god-awful brightly colored product backdrop forked over money, it was good that Spike decided not to go on with the travesty. It seems like moving away from the old way of being on TV forced Keighley to think creatively and his product was all the better for it. Instead, he did a classier, tighter show, that was still overly long, and had some out of place spots, and too many trailers. But besides that there really wasn’t much to complain about. He took the calculated risk that the key audience, gamers would be willing to watch on TV, and it paid off for him. Also probably getting away from Spike and the images of shows past helped. Spike can go on airing reruns of Bar Rescue until it’s blue in the face. I would rather they never try to have an awards show again, as they clearly see them as nothing but ad-potential.
My advice for next year (because there should definitely be one next year): more awards on stage, cut the time of the event down by at least thirty minutes, and stick with that award design. It was seriously classy. Good job Keighley, you’re no longer the Dorito Pope. You’re the guy who put together an award show gamers from all walks can be proud of.