The Game Awards have closed in on another ceremony, and as every year goes, it is best to not only prepare to be impressed, but to also prepare to be disappointed.
Winners, Losers, and More Layoffs
As expected, there was a stark contrast between the air of celebration inside the Peacock Theater and the protests by games workers outside Los Angeles streets. Protestors and allies wanted to draw attention to the troubling rising numbers of layoffs that have shaken the industry this year, alongside other issues that continue to negatively affect developers. This gathering was not at all acknowledged by host Geoff Keighley.
Otherwise, the show has went on smoothly with much haste—and arguably with a little too much haste as viewers have remarked, noting the dissonance felt with how rushed many of the show’s winners were in their speeches and acknowledgements in contrast to the much longer advertisement spots and candid, celebrity moments.
The following are big winners of the night:
- Super Mario Bros. Wonder for Best Family Game
- Forza Motorsport for Best Sports/Racing Game, Innovation in Accessibility
- Tchia for Games for Impact
- Armored Core VI: Fires of Rubicon for Best Action Game
- Pikmin 4 for Best Sim/Strategy Game
- Street Fighter 6 for Best Fighting Game
- Resident Evil Village VR Mode for Best VR/AR Game
- HBO’s The Last of Us for Best Adaptation
- The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom for Best Action/Adventure Game
- Hi-Fi Rush for Best Audio Design
- Honkai: Star Rail for Best Mobile Game
- Cyberpunk 2077 for Best Ongoing Game
- Cocoon for Best Debut Indie Game
- Sea of Stars for Best Independent Game
- Final Fantasy XVI for Best Score and Music
- Final Fantasy VII Rebirth for Most Anticipated Game
Despite glimmers of something to celebrate for, more layoffs and unsettling developments in games workplaces continue to erupt within the past week alone.
Angry Birds developer Rovio is shutting down subsidiary Studio Lumi, which includes the cancellation of an unannounced project.
While details remain pending, TinyBuild will be escalating a cost reduction plan due to failing to meet financial goals for the year.
EA lays off staff at Codemasters.
Indie studio League of Geeks, developer of Armello, pauses development on Jumplight Odyssey, a starship management game that has been in early access, following the termination of over half of its staff.
Right after announcing a content update to their game Fae Farm, Phoenix Labs lays off more staff, a second round following up a series of layoffs back in spring.
Sony has been waving concerning threats over Destiny developer Bungie if they fail to meet its financial targets. Since its recent wave of layoffs, culture and morale at the studio has been at a low as remaining employees have been rebuffed for their concerns.
Microsoft has also officially agreed to incorporate contract workers into the ZeniMax Workers United-CWA union.
Workers at Experis Game Solutions, a quality assurance and testing provider, have also voted to unionize.
THQ Nordic is delaying its Alone In the Dark reboot until next spring, but with the pretenses that the studio hopes to avoid crunch.
And somehow, Ubisoft’s Skull and Bones has made it out with a more definitive release date this time.
Alan Wake 2, Comes Away with Three
Alan Wake 2 won 3 awards, taking the accolades for Best Game Direction, Best Narrative, and Best Art Direction.
A live performance based on an in-game sequence by the Old Gods of Asgard, as performed by the band, Poets of the Fall, was part of the programming in full display on The Game Awards stage.
Baldur’s Gate 3 Sweeps With Six Awards
Baldur’s Gate 3 went home with 6 awards: Best Community Support, Best Roleplaying, Best Multiplayer Gam, the Player’s Voice award, and Best Performance by Neil Newbon for his role as the character Astarion. in which audiences sounded by voting online. Ultimately, Larian Studios’ heavily Dungeons and Dragons‘-influenced game won the coveted Game of the Year (presented by famed Xbox controller modder, Timothée Chalamet).
The fervor for Dungeons and Dragons shows no signs of stopping, and 2024 will mark the 50th anniversary since the game’s creation, and PAX Unplugged has unveiled several key releases that will mark this major milestone, including a new Vecna: Eve of Ruin adventure that will likely mark the game’s major transition from 5th Edition to One D&D.
The United States Postal Service will be releasing a line of new special commemorative postage stamps in 2024, which includes a series dedicated to Dungeons & Dragons in time for its anniversary.
Matthew Mercer, voice actor and Dungeon Master of the popularly-acclaimed liveplay D&D series Critical Role—and who also made an appearance during The Game Awards to promote his role in a sequel to Asgard’s Wrath—came full circle to expressing that he would be open to a Critical Role video game.
Grand Theft Auto VI
It has been almost more than 10 years since the release of the last mainline entry in the games series, Grand Theft Auto V, and Rockstar Games finally debuted a proper trailer for Grand Theft Auto VI. The game’s current slate for release will be in 2025.
The trailer video has broken YouTube viewership records, breaking the record for first-day views on a non-music video by accumulating more than 46 million views within 12 hours of its upload, and accumulating more than 100 million views within 2 days.
Twitch Ends Service in Korea
In a rather sudden announcement, Twitch will be ending operations and services in Korea. Twitch CEO Daniel Clancey states that continuing to operate in the region is “prohibitively expensive” and that network fees are “10 times more expensive than in most other countries.”
South Korean law requires content providers to pay high-volume fees in older to distribute their services through the country’s local providers. Netflix was previously embroiled in a lawsuit with one of the country’s largest Internet service providers due to said stipulations.
Viewers based in Korea will no longer be able to make any purchases from February 27, 2024, and affiliates and partners will be offboarded on June 4, 2024.
Nintendo Live 2024 Tokyo is Canceled
Following “persistent threats” that have been going on for some time against the potential safety employees, Nintendo has canceled a major upcoming fan event gathering that was to take place in Tokyo. As a result, the future tournaments such as Splatoon 3 World Championship 2024, the Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Online Challenge Final Stage, and the Mario Kart 8 Deluxe World Championship 2024 are postponed.
In other news…
Founder of Softimage, Daniel Langlois, was found murdered with his spouse in Dominica where they have been taking residence since 1997. Softimage’s software and tools were an instrumental trailblazer in leading the way to the modern visual effects industry, used in works like Jurassic Park and The Matrix. Two men have been charged for their deaths before the Dominica chief magistrate.
Among the huge deluge of other game released announced at The Game Awards, Hideo Kojima is developing a new, immersive horror project called OD. Actor and filmmaker Jordan Peele also made a surprise appearance during the awards show to further discuss his involvement in its production.
Bethesda and Arkane Lyon revealed that they have been handed the mantle to do a game adaptation of Marvel’s Blade.
Sega released fast-paced sizzle reel teasing several titles up their sleeve, featuring the new and old, revisiting familiar territory with Jet Set Radio and Streets of Rage.
Disney Lorcana next set, Into the Inklands, is slated to drop across mass retailers on February next year, which will include the addition of new mechanics and characters, such as Scrooge McDuck.
Among Us and Vampire Survivors are getting a crossover.
Fortnite and Rocket League also collaborated to form a new, arcade racing mode for the former called Rocket Racing.
Daniel Mullins Games, creator of Inscryption and Pony Island, teased a Pony Island 2 in the works.
The Dead by Daylight team unveiled a cinematic of an upcoming single-player experience called The Casting of Frank Stone, which will share the same universe as the asymmetrical online game.
As one of the final exclusive premieres at The Game Awards, Capcom revealed Monster Hunter Wilds, the next mainline Monster Hunter game slated for 2025.
Life is Strange developer DON’T NOD announces a new game in development called Lost Records: Bloom & Rage.
And confirming the authenticity of several leaks days prior, Elphelt Valentine is confirmed to return to Guilty Gear with a new design as the latest character to be added to Strive.