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Car Crash: Why VGAs are in a serious need of change

Monday, 12 December 2011 06:54 GMT By Johnny Cullen

The 2011 Spike VGAs were meant to celebrate the year’s best games and hype future releases. Instead, Johnny Cullen argues, they played to stereotypes in the worst possible way.

For every step Sunday night took forward – Miyamoto, Blizzard, some of the unveils – the VGAs took 20 back. We’ll still be getting up in the middle of the night for the announcements next year – every games news journalist will – but there needs to be change. A re-run of this year’s show would be less than welcome.

On Saturday night – early hours of Sunday morning UK time – Spike held its annual Video Game Awards in Santa Monica, promising its usual mix of world premieres and accolades.

It delivered on the former. The awards themselves? Not so much.

Given previous form this isn’t much of a surprise, but 2011′s VGAs took stereotypical stupidity to an entirely new level. Put it like this: I don’t want to see Felicia Day doing some silly gimmicks; I don’t want to see some dude who ripped at last year’s awards on YouTube turn up and trash talk at a Spike exec as if he was cutting a WWE promo; and I don’t want to see a bunch of kids from some unknown TV show shout about what they won before showing a new game (the group I’m referring to introduced Alan Wake’s American Nightmare).

I don’t care about how much LL Cool J likes Mass Effect, and I sure as hell don’t care about teabagging live on stage. Was there any need for it? If there was one thing that stood out, that played right into mainstream gamer stereotype. We don’t need these things in a gaming awards ceremony. A bit of humour in a show is fine, but this was beyond cringeworthy.

Hollywood Invasion

Do we need celebrities in game award ceremonies? Do we really need Hulk Hogan, will.i.am, Charlie Sheen and others presenting awards and unveiling games?

On the one hand, we want to see the developers get their 15 seconds of fame rather than those who’ve had it for most of their lifetime. On the other hand, the majority of the VGA audience probably isn’t that well versed in the industry. They won’t know – and in all likelihood, care – about the Ken Levines, Hideo Kojimas or Cliff Bleszisnkis of the world as much as the hardcore does.

I’m still undecided on the subject, but there needs to be at least some sort of balancing act. On Sunday, we didn’t get it.

And what about the actual awards? This was a shambles. Very few of them got handed out on stage. By my count, there were only three: Rocksteady appeared for Batman; Infinity Ward and Sledgehammer for Modern Warfare 3; and Bethesda Game Studios for Skyrim to pick up GOTY. For everything else, it was held either pre-event or shown in a quick edit.

Fair enough; there won’t be time to do all of the awards on stage. That’s the reality of it, as is the case for most ceremonies. But you have a big gaping problem if you go through a majority of them before and during the show and have them run in a montage to secure more time for announcements and stupid antics. The “awards” part of this year’s Video Game Awards was an afterthought.

In fact, it was something picked up on by Batman: Arkham City VOs Mark Hamil and Tara Strong. Both nominated for their roles as Joker and Harley Quinn in the Best Performance by a Human Male and Female categories respectively, the pair lost out to Stephen Merchant and Ellen McLain of Portal 2 for their roles as Wheatley and GLaDOS.

Hamil said in one tweet: “Weird VGAs! Don’t mind losing but I’d like to know when it happens. Did I miss something? Award given off-camera? Tara and I in lousy seats – BOO!”

Spike Video Game Awards

Saturday marked the eighth VGA event since its debut in 2003.

The show is fronted by US journalist and GameTrailers TV host, Geoff Keighley.

Skyrim, Batman: Arkham City, Uncharted 3 and Portal 2 were the big winners this year.

Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us, Metal Gear Rising from Platinum Games, Epic’s Fortnite and BioWare’s Command & Conquer: Generals 2 were the major announces.

Strong then added in another: “I’m sorry, but to have @HamillHimself sit way up in the bleachers and not even MENTION his nomination? Shame on VGA…”

But here’s the kicker: Strong’s category – which McLain picked up in person – was awarded at the pre-show, streamed online on Spike’s website. Meanwhile, Hamil’s nomination was mentioned in a quick montage.

It’s an awards show. It’s in the name: Video Game Awards. You either do the awards or you don’t.

Or here’s a better solution, seeing as the ceremony itself seems to be a event for unveils and trailers rather than awards: hold a separate showcase. One weekend in December, hold two separate events and air them on Spike and online.

On the Saturday, have the Video Game Awards, but without the announcements. No celebrities; just let the developers host the awards, categories and let them do their speeches. Let them have their limelight for creating the best games of the year.

A great example of that is Machinima’s Inside Gaming Awards. Held the night before the VGAs, the mainly YouTube-fronted network focussed on awarding the games rather than make a song and dance about other things. OK, there weren’t any developers to MC each category – only Machinima personalities – but the IGAs format of focussing on awards clearly works.

And then on a Sunday, hold a showcase for announcements and trailers. Have a mix of developers and celebrities. Satisfy more people in the process.

The only genuine moment of decency on the night was Miyamoto’s appearance for Zelda’s Hall of Fame induction. I don’t think anyone was expecting him to appear personally. Considering the recent retirement speculation, it was lovely and heartwarming to see him on that stage with all his trademark enthusiasm.

Unfortunately, just as we were building a rosy glow, we realised Shigeru Miyamoto, the creator of some of the best-loved characters, franchises and games in history, was sharing the same stage as Charlie Sheen.

Professional courtesy

And there were Blizzard’s three co-founders – Mike Morhaime, Frank Pierce and Alan Adam – getting their Gamer God award. No doubt deserving. Why am I griping with this? It was presented by American Pie’s Jason Biggs and Shaun William Scott, who appeared to punch Biggs in the balls after signaling Morhaime, Pierce and Adam to the stage. Stay classy, guys.

Given we had ball-punching, it was no surprise the press was also sidelined. It’s just a shame that 25 of America’s most prominent games journalists – including Brian Crecente and Stephen Totilo of Kotaku, Chris Grant of Joystiq, Andy McNamara of Game Informer and OXM US EiC Francesca Reyes – picked the best games of this year, only to have their work overshadowed by teabagging, reenacting Fruit Ninja and too many unveils.

The saddest thing? This is all being organised by one of those 25 journos. Geoff Keighley has said countless times that this is a serious awards show for gamers. If that’s the case, I sure as hell didn’t see it on Sunday morning.

Just no.

I met Geoff briefly at gamescom earlier this year on the way to the Sony press conference, when myself, Alex Donaldson and ex-VG247 contributor Joe Anderson were chatting to him about the work he’d done on The Final Hours features with Portal 2 and Metal Gear Solid 2.

Don’t let the awards fool you: Keighley is certainly worth his weight as a journalist. He can write some astonishing stuff, as you’ve probably seen with the Final Hours of Portal 2, can be hard-pressing in interviews – as you’ll see in this interview with Reggie Fils-Aime of Nintendo at E3 about Wii U – and he is, obviously, a well known face in PR circles.

How else could he get exclusives for GameTrailers? How else was he able to get the unveil of Naughty Dog’s new IP? How else was he able to get Kojima to announce Metal Gear Rising was now in the hands of Platinum Games? And BioWare with C&C: Generals 2 and Epic’s Fortnite?

Yet, for all his worth, Keighley organises an event that fails at its most basic level.

We need mainstream ceremonies that take games seriously. Do you see teabagging at the Golden Globes?

For every step Sunday night took forward – Miyamoto, Blizzard, some of the unveils – the VGAs took 20 back. We’ll still be getting up in the middle of the night for the announcements next year – every games news journalist will – but there needs to be change. A re-run of this year’s show would be less than welcome.

[Miyamoto Pic]

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30 Comments

  1. Ireland Michael

    The Spike VGAs have *always* been a lowest-common-denominator “awards” show aimed at the dreaded “casual” gamer. The kind of people whose entire knowledge of gaming extends to the release schedules for the FPS and TPS games, and little else.

    As long as it continues to pander to that kind of an audience, it will never be taken seriously. How can Geoff even try to suggest that it’s a serious awards show when one quick glance at the nominee lists shows nothing but gross lack of acknowledgement for the wider breath of games in the industry?

    Yes, Geoff can be a great journalist, no denying that. The problem with Geoff is that he’s almost a complete whore merchant. The guy is either a genius when it comes to generating hype, or he doesn’t actually realise he’s doing it. I’m veering towards the former though.

    #1 3 years ago
  2. Bam007

    I agree with this article. While they tried to be funny and make the show enjoyable to watch, it was not about the awards. Can’t remember exactly which award it was (maybe for Portal 2?), but in between that and the previous award was a good 15-20 minutes of nothing.

    This is the night of nights for video games and complete randoms (as noted in the article) take the stage.

    #2 3 years ago
  3. OrphanageExplosion

    Keighley doesn’t organise the event and his input into the tone and content is limited – his unenviable job is to get the “premieres” and to sell the event to the industry – and in a truly credibility-challenging task, to sell it to gamers. If you want to understand Keighley, watch his brilliant event coverage where nobody – and I mean, nobody – does it better.

    To understand the VGAs you need to spend some time watching Spike TV and to see how it fits into the schedule. It’s almost exclusively retarded, adolescent nonsense aimed at mentally sub-normal teenage boys. In this respect, the VGAs are masterpieces.

    It’s down to developers, publishers and sponsors to realise that video games are now a mainstream property not compatible with the Spike demographic, and to withdraw support from this horrific spectacle.

    #3 3 years ago
  4. KAP

    Your right it was all over the place, that’s the Americans, they must of loved that format.
    It’s not aimed at us low key, tea drinking, soccer playing, people such as our selfs right? Lol

    I for one liked it, apart from the awards bits. Lol

    #4 3 years ago
  5. WFMMK

    No wonder the awards were undeserved half of the judges are Xbox fanboys…

    #5 3 years ago
  6. ASBI

    @5 I wouldnt say undeserved :/

    lets just say there were far too many good games that were overshadowed by batman + skyrim + portal 2 :/

    #6 3 years ago
  7. mathare92

    Yup. Like someone tweeted yesterday, it’s a legitimate shame that someone like Charlie Sheen was invited to speak on the same stage Miyamoto had just occupied.

    Alex Navarro pretty much summed up everything that was wrong with the show in his scathing Giant Bomb piece.

    Nothing’s going to change. If you want a real video game awards show, I can only recommend the Tim Schafer-hosted GDC awards. The sad thing is, a show like that would never make it to tv.

    #7 3 years ago
  8. Freek

    For all of those things to happen it needs to be NOT on TV. If it’s on TV it needs to be low brow MTV bullshit to justify it’s existance.
    And those awards actually exist already. Peer reviewed and classy. They’re handed out during GDC and nobody knows or cares about them.

    #8 3 years ago
  9. SplatteredHouse

    Interesting you mention Jason Biggs in your article. He was responsible for one of my low-lights from the VGAs. To suggest that guy was just there to collect a cheque would be too complimentary. He was utterly vacant and disinterested. At least Scott took the effort to turn up in character. I got the impression even he wasn’t too impressed with his co-star’s attitude that left him having to save their appearance.

    #9 3 years ago
  10. mojo

    i dont like to be so stereotypical but what do u expect?
    its the american way of artificialy bloating events to the point where u need to be super-mainstream to enjoy them.
    just look at theirs sports events.
    ur going to a show, not a match. and ur also going to a show, not an award cerenomy.

    #10 3 years ago
  11. Erthazus

    Hardcore-mainstream?

    LOL. There is no hardcore-mainstream. There is mainstream and there is Hardcore. Nothing in between.
    Just because you played Skyrimn for 4-15 hours does not make you a hardcore gamer.

    Show is trash and thats why we have GDC. End of story.

    Besides, VGA is actually better than E3. Why? Because there are more surprises than at E3.

    #11 3 years ago
  12. mojo

    u misunderstood me.
    i didnt use it in a gaming related context.

    edit: i changed it

    #12 3 years ago
  13. DSB

    Really, the most futile thing you can do is critisize one of these things.

    An awards show is not made to be fair, or tasteful, and it’s not made to pay tribute to it’s medium or it’s artists, it’s purely an industry putting in a little extra for an evening of high exposure. It’s the same as the Oscars or the Grammies, where good movies and good music also mean absolutely nothing.

    I think those priorities are more than obvious. Especially once they start adding showcases for future products to the mix. How can there be any doubt? I don’t watch any of that crap for the same reason – it’s advertising, not tribute – but this sounds absolutely par for the course.

    Quite obviously they’re doing everything they need to do to gain exposure. They’re going for a young audience, and they’re paying for every pseudo-celebrity under the sun. Like the MTV awards.

    #13 3 years ago
  14. mongbatstar

    Oh Erth, your desire to cause controversy where there is none never ceases to amaze. I think it’s pretty obvious what “hardcore-mainstream” meant in this context. He has a valid point too.

    #14 3 years ago
  15. WFMMK

    E3 has way more surprises than VGAs. At least for Playstation fans it does.

    #15 3 years ago
  16. YoungZer0

    Why did you people even watch this? That’s the big question.

    #16 3 years ago
  17. absolutezero

    WORLF EXCULSUIVE.

    that and so bad its good. Kojima, Miyamoto being kicked off stage and Seth Greens sheer disgust at everything made it worthwhile.

    I enjoy the industry making fools of themselves, reflects the majority of games rather well, also pretty well relfects what they still think the main audeince for games is.

    Actually thinking about it most games are developed with a teenage male audience in mind anyway.

    #17 3 years ago
  18. freedoms_stain

    Lets be honest now, gaming has risen from a profitable niche hobby 10-15 years ago to a gigantic mega-business. and when you become a gigantic mega-business you have to crowd yourself with a load of bollocks, because that’s what the fat cats who’re now running the mega-business think the mindless plebs they’re looking to bleed cash out of want.

    And maybe that IS what the lowest common denominator want, they’re where the money is so they will always be pandered to while the rest of us who don’t fit into that category will feel ostracised because we’re no longer being pandered to.

    #18 3 years ago
  19. viralshag

    I didn’t watch it… was this worse than the Grainger Games debacle a few months ago?

    #19 3 years ago
  20. Johnny Cullen

    Oh good god no. I think I can safely nothing will EVER top the GMAs. EVER..

    #20 3 years ago
  21. TD_Monstrous69

    All I can say about this is what’d you expect from a network owned by Viacom? Most of the programming on their network is complete shit, that playcates to the stereotypes of douchebags, “angst-ridden and sex-crazed” teens, and glorifies problems that many people face everyday, without network money backing them from behind the scenes. I don’t mind the celebrities too much at these shows, but I can’t say that they’re needed (though I will say, the people who were there at this year’s VGA’s were better than last year). Though after watching this, all I can say is that though games have come a far way into the main-stream pop-culture subconscious, they still have a way to go until they’re truly taken seriously by network TV (outside of G4 that is).

    #21 3 years ago
  22. IL DUCE

    @Johnny Those guys who announced Alan Wake aren’t unknown to most Americans (especially young males prob 15-30)…they were relatively big on the net before they got the show Workaholics which is a Comedy Central show that is actually funny as hell…so give the guys some credit, no need to randomly take shots @ people for no reason…

    And while Felicia Day’s gimmicks were stupid…she looked fine as hell when she announced that new BioShock Infinite trailer…

    The whole VGAs were completely underwhelming though…reveals and trailers weren’t even that big or impressive whatsoever besides The Last of Us and the Mass Effect 3 trailer…and while the Rainbow 6 Patriots trailer was cool also, the Hitman trailer on the pre-show was probably better than the rest of the trailers shown…no surprises and was therefore, very disappointing

    And maybe they should focus on actually giving out some more awards…I feel like they gave out 2 or 3 awards on stage the whole night

    EDIT: Ok, finished reading…as a whole great article and I agree with pretty much everything said

    #22 3 years ago
  23. HeavyD-Love

    I actually kinda enjoyed this years show. Thought they did a decent job given the subject matter and target audience.

    #23 3 years ago
  24. fearmonkey

    How can anyone be shocked at what SpikeTV has done with the VGA’s?
    The VGA’s have always been like this. I watched the first or second VGA’s, and it made me feel embarrassed as a gamer, and I have never watched it again.
    What can we expect from a channel that has Manswers in it’s lineup, they are catering to the low brow demographic, and so is G4TV with a few exceptions.
    I miss the days of TechTV and G4 when it really was about games and serious about them, not about sex, Ninjas, wrestling, and titillation.

    #24 3 years ago
  25. Ireland Michael

    @19 The sad thing is, the GMAs themselves are infinitely better when it comes to genuinely awarding the industry for its efforts and achievements. The Grainger Games debacle was just a very unfortunate situation.

    #25 3 years ago
  26. HighWindXIX

    Any chance they’ll start streaming the GDC awards online so we can have an actual awards show that non-industry folk can enjoy?

    #26 3 years ago
  27. Phoenixblight

    @26

    No because that is how the company that does the show gets money is through the tickets and the attendees.

    #27 3 years ago
  28. Johnny Cullen

    @26, @27 GameSpot streams the GDC awards every year.

    #28 3 years ago
  29. Phoenixblight

    Hmm must of not saw them when I was volunteering because the rules were said that no one can record any of the conferences or sessions, guess that rule doesn’t apply to the awards.

    #29 3 years ago
  30. bluemanrule

    First off, Johnny, great write-up. Secondly, @ #3, Keighley has been the producer the last two years and has petitioned that he does, in fact, organize the content on the show. I really agree with Johnny and seems like I caught the only three award presentations of the night by chance.

    I really like the DICE awards and hope that, one day, its format will expand beyond G4-only broadcasts. I’ll take that show over this one any day.

    Again, great article Johnny. I’m also really impressed with level of maturity on these comment threads. Well done.

    #30 3 years ago

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  • This video teases contents of Resident Evil: Revelations 2 – Episode 3

    A teaser video and images for Resident Evil: Revelations 2 – Episode 3 have been posted by Capcom. The assets can be considered potential spoilers, so just be aware of that before having a look. The game’s Season Pass costs $20, and the disc version releases March 17 in North America and on March 20 […]

  • GTA Online Heists teaser video is extremely short

    With Heists coming to GTA Online next week, Rockstar has released one of the shortest teaser videos we’ve seen in ages. Hopefully you didn’t blink. Heists, along with Daily Objectives and Adversary Mode, arrive next week on March 10. The PC version of Heists will arrive on April 14 when the PC version of the […]

  • The Division rumors claim Dark Zones support up to 100 players – video

    With the recent leak of older, pre-alpha footage of the The Division, rumors over the game’s contents have been swirling, and today we have a video for you discussing said rumors. Once of the rumors pertain to the game is that it contains 50-100 Player Dark Zones, which are PvP areas. Supposedly, these areas also […]

  • Here’s a look at MGS5: The Phantom Pain emblem creation, limited edition bionic arm

    A look at how to create your own emblems in Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain was demonstrated in the latest Kojima Station broadcast, along with a look at the bionic arm replica included in the limited edition. A Venom Snake emblem will come with the limited edition version of the game, parts of […]

  • Elite: Dangerous coming to PS4 once Xbox One exclusivity period ends

    Elite: Dangerous was announced for Xbox One at GDC 2015 yesterday, and those disappointed over the lack of a PlayStation 4 announcement will be pleased to know it’s in the cards. According to Frontier boss David Braben the space-sim will head to PS4 at some point, once the console exclusivity deal with Microsoft has expired. […]

  • Here’s two new The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt screenshots to salivate over

    Two new screenshots from The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt have been released, and they are gorgeous as always. The screenshots follow the two released over the weekend. You can look at the new images in full HD glory over on Only Single Player. CD Projekt Red is at PAX East this weekend showing off the latest […]

  • Microsoft looking into streaming PC games to Xbox One

    With Windows 10, Xbox One users will soon be able to stream their games to PC. Microsoft is also looking into streaming PC games to Xbox One, according to news out of GDC. Speaking with Polygon at GDC 2015, Xbox program director Mike Ybarra said the company is also looking into the ability to stream […]

  • Free! Vindictus Lann Revamp codes worth €25

    We have 400 Lann Revamp codes worth €25 to giveaway for free to VG247 readers. All you need to do is enter your details in the box below and you’ll be given a code to redeem in game. The codes are for warrior character Lann and offer a 7 day unlimited Inner Armour pass, battle […]

  • US eShop update: Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars, OlliOlli, more

    Nintendo has updated the North American end of the eShop with Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars, OlliOlli and a demo version of Azure Striker GUNVOL. Your full update is below. eShop Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars – Wii U, 3DS – Cross Buy OlliOlli – Wii U, 3DS – Cross-Buy Proun+ – Proun+ […]

  • Rock Band 4 confirmed for Xbox One and PS4: supports old instruments and 2,168 songs

    Harmonix has lifted the lid on the long-rumoured Rock Band 4, stating it will support 2,168 previously released tracks and last-gen instruments on PS4 and Xbox One. The game will be out this year. Harmonix has yet to reveal specific features for the game, but it has been built with a completely new engine. As […]

  • First run of Rodea the Sky Soldier copies on Wii U come with Wii version

    The first print run of Rodea the Sky Soldier on Wii U will come with the Wii version packed in, NIS America has confirmed. The publisher confirmed today in a press release that anyone who buys the first run of the retail version of Rodea the Sky Soldier on Wii U will find the Wii […]

  • Unreal Tournament 4 lets modders sell cosmetic items to players

    Unreal Tournament 4 is a game built with the help of the modding community. So it’s only natural that it will feature a marketplace where all cosmetic items can be sold. Epic Games has confirmed that it will allow modders from the community to sell the cosmetics items they’ve created on the game’s marketplace. The […]

  • D4: Dark Dreams Don’t Die is coming to PC – rumour

    SWERY 65 has shown off D4: Dark Dreams Don’t Die running on PC at GDC this week, teasing that a possible port may be on the way. D4: Dark Dreams Don’t Die is SWERY 65′s latest project. An episodic detective affair, D4 came out on Xbox One last September and utilised Kinect as its main […]

  • Valve’s Lighthouse, VR controllers and more explained

    Valve’s less-talked about prototype VR controllers and its Lighthouse technology have been shown in more detail. When HTC announced Vive, the VR headset it’s working on with Valve, it mentioned “base stations” and ergonomic controllers. Now we know what they meant by that. The controllers are still in prototype phase, and will look better when […]

  • Listen to two professional Counter-Strike players explain why Dust2 is so popular

    Hear what makes iconic Counter-Strike map Dust2 one of the most popular maps in shooter history from two former eSports players. Sal “Volcano” Garozzo and Shawn “FMPONE” Snelling are both retired professional Counter-Strike players who are currently working as designers. At GDC this year, the pair hosted a panel titled “Community Level Design for Competitive […]

  • Core Morpheus hardware locked in, no plans for wireless version

    Sony has finalised the core hardware for its VR headset Project Morpheus, and does not currently plan on releasing a wireless version. SCE Worldwide Studios president Shuhei Yoshida spoke to Gamespot at GDC and confirmed that the core hardware of Morpheus is “pretty much done” but that “lots of tweaks and improvements” are still being […]

  • Watch the full Phil Spencer keynote from GDC 2015

    The full GDC 2015 keynote of Xbox boss Phil Spencer is now available to watch. In case you missed last nights’s Phil Spencer keynote at GDC 2015, the whole thing has been made available to watch on YouTube. The address is titled “The Future of Gaming Across the Microsoft Ecosytem,” and it’s where Spencer announced […]

  • Elite: Dangerous won’t be “dumbed down” for Xbox One

    The Xbox One version of Elite: Dangerous will in fact be the same as the PC one. Elite: Dangerous developer Frontier came out on stage last night at GDC to announce the game making its console debut on Xbox One. Some have feared that the port would not provide the same experience as the PC […]

  • Virtual reality: by gum, it’s really happening

    Virtual reality has exited the realm of peripheral gimmick and turned into something that just might go mainstream. VR has an uphill battle ahead of it. The tech is going to be expensive, and there are a number of problems that need to be solved before it could be considered an inclusive technology (motion sickness, […]

  • Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor takes Game of the Year at GDC Awards 2015

    And the winner is: Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor. Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor beat out Alien: Isolation, Bayonetta 2, Destiny, and Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft to win Game of the Year at the Game Developer’s Choice Awards 2015. Elsewhere in the awards, Ustwo’s mobile hit Monument Valley was a stand-out favourite, with wins in the Innovation, […]

  • Alien: Isolation was prototyped in third-person – video

    Alien: Isolation is one of the most effectively scary triple-A games in years, but it didn’t start off a perfect creation of pure terror. Creative Assembly prototyped Alien: Isolation in third-person perspective before they nailed down the final approach. The developer revealed this during a GDC 2015 presentation, and it’s a good reminder that games […]

  • Madden 15 added to EA Vault

    Madden 15 is now included in EA’s all-you-can-eat subscriber service. Madden 15 is the ninth game to be added to the EA Vault, a stash of games available on demand for EA Access subscribers. It's still Madden Season for EA Access members – Madden NFL 15 is now in The Vault for all members. Go […]

  • Source Engine 2 doesn’t have hidden costs or royalties – but is Steam exclusive

    Three major engines went free at GDC 2015, and each of them is monetising in a different way. There’s been a heck of a lot of discussion about development tools and the costs associated with them during GDC 2015. First Epic announced that Unreal Engine 4 would be free, bar royalities on successful releases. Then […]

  • Final Fantasy creator hates sequels

    Final Fantasy, a byword in prolific franchises, was created by a man who hates sequel. Final Fantasy games are famous for being reinvented with each core release, and it was not until series creator Hironobu Sakaguchi began to withdraw from the franchise after Final Fantasy 9 that we started seeing regular sequels and spin-offs. Speaking […]

  • Guardian complaints led to the closure of Destiny’s Loot Cave

    Destiny players are to blame for the shuttering of the much loved Loot Cave. Early in Destiny‘s history, many players got hugely excited about the “Loot Cave”. Accessible shortly after starting the game for the first time, this high-volume spawn point allowed players to stand in one place, taking out waves and waves of low-level […]

  • Xbox and PC games boss Phil Harrison to leave Microsoft – rumour

    Microsoft Interactive Entertainment Business VP and EMEA head of games Phil Harrison is rumoured to have thrown in the towel. Microsoft has not issued a statement on Harrison’s alleged departure, despite repeated questioning by press at GDC 2015. Instead, word comes via multiple sources speaking to GamesIndustry at the show. According to the rumours, Harrison […]

  • Metal Gear Online commentated trailer explains stuffed dog – but not invisibility

    Metal Gear Online developer Kojima Productions has provided significantly more insight into how the multiplayer side of The Phantom Pain works. Metal Gear Online is the online multiplayer component of Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain. Konami hasn’t shared a great deal about it yet, but we did see a very cool Metal Gear […]

  • Elite: Dangerous Xbox One trailer shows off space MMO

    If Elite: Dangerous looks this good on Xbox One we have nothing to complain about. Microsoft revealed Elite: Dangerous is coming to Xbox One this year during its GDC presentations today. We don’t know very much about the port, but I suppose we ought to have expected it; Frontier Developments has a very close relationship […]

  • Battletoads to appear in Shovel Knight Xbox One

    A Battletoads remake must be on the horizon. Right? Right?? The Battletoads will appear in the upcoming Xbox One version of Shovel Knight, Yacht Club Games revealed today. The Battletoads drop in for a fight! Shovel Knight is headed to Xbox One and meets up with @RareLtd brawling trio! pic.twitter.com/OCQIuWbH3W — Yacht Club Games (@YachtClubGames) […]

  • The Division pre-alpha footage leaks, Ubisoft says it’s well out of date

    The Division fans finally got a look at Ubisoft’s MMO this week, but the publisher has said the footage is not in any way representative. Pre-alpha footage of the The Division was leaked this week, but has since been thoroughly smacked down by takedown notices. All that remains are a few screenshots and a GIF: […]

  • Microsoft HoloLens designer killed in hit and run accident

    Very sad news out of Redmond this week, as Mike Ey was killed in a tragic accident. Ey, 30, was one of the key project designers on Microsoft’s HoloLens AR headset. He was killed on Saturday morning in a rear-end collision. The driver of the second vehicle fled the scene but was tracked down by […]

  • AMD throws support behind VR with new low-latency anti-nausea tech

    GPU manufacturer AMD has released a new SDK compatible with “a broad set of VR devices”. Called LiquidVR, the tech is designed to “bring better content, comfort, and compatibility to VR applications” including games, simulation, entertainment, education, social media, travel, medicine, real estate and ecommerce, apparently. AMD said maintaining comfort and realism in VR environments […]

  • Danganronpa 3 in the works, but a long way off yet

    A new Danganronpa is happening. Danganronpa 3 is in the very, very early production stages, writer Kodaka Kazutaka has confirmed. Nothing about the project is “set in stone”, Kazutaka told Polygon, so there are no details to share yet; the characters and story may change several times before being finalised. The writer said he’s weighing […]

  • Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare MLG Pro League 2015 schedule announced

    Major League Gaming has announced the full schedule for the 2015 Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare MLG Pro League. The eSpots firm revealed two more seasons of Pro League, a live Relegation tournament for Season Three, and a season ending World Championship with $250,000 up for grabs You can watch all the action on MLG.tv […]

  • Happy Birthday PlayStation 2, you are almost old enough to drive

    Amidst all the GDC 2015 hoopla today, we forgot to wish PlayStation 2 a Happy Birthday. The system turned 15 years old today, going by its March 4, 2000 launch date in Japan. It was released in the west that autumn, and had shipped 100 million units in less than six years post launch. PS2 […]

  • Here’s what the final version of Valve’s Steam Controller looks like

    A look at the updated Steam Controller has surfaced via a hands-on post from Polygon. Valve said what you see in the images below is the final version of the controller. The controller has gone through numerous revisions since it was first revealed, but it seems Valve has decided on two touch pads which work […]

  • The Sims, SimCity developer closed down

    The Sims 4 developer Maxis has been shuttered, EA has confirmed. The Sims, SimCity and the rest of the Sim franchise has traditionally been helmed by Maxis, which had its flagship studio in Emeryville, California. Now EA has confirmed with Kotaku that this studio is being closed. “Today we are consolidating Maxis IP development to […]

  • Gigantic MOBA coming to Windows 10 and Xbox One with cross-play

    Today during GDC 2015, Microsoft announced that the new IP from Motiga called Gigantic will be cross-play enabled. Slated for Windows 10 and Xbox One, the five-on-five third-person battle arena game allows the player to select from an array of heroes with distinctive powers and play styles. Players will then make their way through areas […]

  • Here’s a look at Unreal Tournament DirectX 12 gameplay

    Epic Games is creating Unreal Tournament using Unreal Engine 4 running on DirectX 12, which Microsoft says “sets a new bar for visual fidelity.” DirectX 12 is a single API developers can access across Windows devices, which can result in a 20% improvement in performance over DX11 running on the same machine. The Unreal Tournament […]

  • Wireless adapter for Xbox One controllers out later this year

    Microsoft announced at GDC 2015 today it will that all wireless Xbox gaming accessories will be designed for and supported on both Xbox One consoles and Windows 10 PCs moving forward. Later this year, a wireless adapter will be released, allowing current Xbox controllers and future devices to be used wirelessly on PCs. This will […]

  • Microsoft offers up more details on Spencer’s GDC 2015 talk

    Microsoft has provided more details on Cross-Buy functionality between Windows 10 and Xbox One as well as the Xbox Live SKU and other announcements made during Phil Spencer’s talk today. During the session, the head of Xbox shared “the next step” in the company’s plans for a unified platform across all Windows 10 devices which […]

  • Wasteland 2 is coming to PlayStation 4 this summer

    Wasteland 2 is coming to PlayStation 4 as a Game of the Year Edition. inXile Entertainment announced the news on the PS Blog, noting the edition contains enhancements and improvements. The game has been ported to Unity 5, which was announced over the weekend, providing upgraded visual effects, “improved character models, upgraded environments, and Unity […]

  • Cross-Buy detailed for Windows 10 and Xbox One; Elite: Dangerous coming to Xbox One

    During Xbox boss Phil Spencer’s session at GDC 2015 today, it was announced Elite: Dangerous would release on Xbox One. Spencer also outlined cross-buy functionality across Windows 10 and Xbox One. Spencer’s talk started off with Frontier Developments announcing Elite: Dangerous for release this summer as a console debut on Xbox One, suggesting the Elite: […]

  • Longbeards Culture Pack available now for Total War: Attila

    The Longbeards Culture Pack is now available for Total War: Attila and it comes with three new playable factions. The Langobards, the Burgundians and the Alamans can be played in both single and multiplayer campaign modes as well as custom and multiplayer battles. A new feature called The Lay of Ybor is also included. It […]

  • Nvidia unveils Titan X as world’s “most advanced GPU” – video

    Nvidia revealed Titan X as “the world’s most advanced GPU” during Epic founder Tim Sweeney’s State of Unreal session a t GDC 2015 today. Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang took the stage during the panel stating it contains “8 billion transistors,” and has 12GB of RAM. Pricing wasn’t announced, but it was rumored back in January […]

  • Steam sale discounts titles announced for SteamOS

    With many of the year’s most popular games heading to SteamOS, Valve has decided to host sale in celebration. Here’s a short list of titles on sale. The full list of PC, Linux, Mac and SteamOS discounts can be found through the link. The Banner Saga Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor Batman: Arkham […]

  • PayDay 2 announced for SteamOS, celebrating with franchise sale

    PayDay 2 is coming to SteamOS, Overkill has announced. Still under development, a release date will be announced at a later date. “Making sure PAYDAY 2 is available on SteamOS felt like a no-brainer,” said Bo Andersson Klint, CEO of Starbreeze in the press release. “With PAYDAY 2: Crimewave Edition coming to the next generation […]

  • Magicka 2 has a release date and a crazy new trailer

    Magicka 2 has a release date for PC and the PlayStation 4, and Paradox Interactive has released a trailer featuring “Vlad’s latest lyrical triumph,” which is his rendition of the Game of Thrones theme. Magicka arrived on PC and PS4 May 26 and the game can be pre-ordered on PC beginning today, with PS4 pre-orders […]

  • Nintendo eShop schedule: Don’t Starve: Giant Edition, Never Alone, others

    Nintendo has sent over a list of titles heading to the eShop in 2015. The schedule contains titles such as Affordable Space Adventures, Runbow, Swords & Soldiers 2, Don’t Starve: Giant Edition, Never Alone and Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars. Below a preliminary list of games scheduled to launch in the Nintendo eShop on […]

  • Week 8: Can you win the weekly VG247 GTA Online playlist? Play tonight at 8pm UK time!

    We’re hotdogging tonight. I don’t even know what that means. Eight weeks of ridiculous death. Such a brave, true milestone. We’re going to celebrate two entire months of playing weekly GTA Online playlists with VG247 readers with Hotdogging, a set of six jobs I named completely at random. This one ends with a straight-up border […]

  • Puzzle platformer Four Sided Fantasy coming to PC, consoles in early 2016

    Curve Digital and developer Logan Fieth’s studio Ludo Land are bringing puzzle platformer, Four Sided Fantasy, to PC all major consoles in early 2016. Ludo Land are developing the PC version, with Curve Digital handling the console and Vita versions. Four Sided Fantasy tasks players with venturing across “dreamlike levels” by controlling and manipulating the […]

  • Tropico 5 arrives on PS4 in April – video

    A release date for Tropico 5 on PlayStation 4 has been announced. This is the franchise’s first foray onto PlayStation consoles. It arrived in Europe on April 24 and in North America on April 28. A Limited Edition has also been announced, and it includes The Big Cheese DLC and the Bayo Del Olfato sandbox […]

  • Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain Limited Edition PS4 releasing in Asia

    A limited edition Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain PlayStation 4 system will be released in Asia. The system and its DualShock controller were designed in collaboration with Konami Digital Entertainment and targeted for the Asia region, per Gematsu. It will be released as part of PS4 Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain […]

  • This video shows Sid Meier’s Starships being played on iPad

    Sid Meier’s Starships will be released on iPad alongside Mac and PC, and to give you an idea on how it plays on the tablet, a new video has been released. Watch below as Pete Murray and lead producer Stuart Zissu show off the iPad version. The 4X space-strategy releases on March 12.

  • Wolfenstein: The Old Blood announced as standalone prequel to Wolfenstein: The New Order

    Wolfenstein: The Old Blood, a standalone prequel to The New Order, will release May 5 on PC, PS4 and Xbox One. The game takes pace in 1946, and and players take on the role of B.J. Blazkowicz as he embarks on a two-part mission in Bavaria. Part one, Rudi Jäger and the Den of Wolves, […]

  • Observer Mode coming soon to Evolve as a free update

    Observer Mode will be released for Evolve as a free update for all platforms, 2K and Turtle Rock have announced. The community feature was designed to give Evolve players the ability to observe and add commentary as well as livestream, allowing a sixth user to “passively enter a custom game” with the ability to switch […]

  • Dragon Quest Heroes and PS4 top Media Create charts in Japan

    The PlayStation 3 and PS4 skus for Dragon Quest Heroes were the top sellers on the Media Create charts in Japan, moving a combined 594,749 units. Elsewhere on the chart, The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D was in third place with 39,751 units moved, and last week’s top seller, God Eater 2: Rage Burst, […]

  • Watch Hideo Kojima answer lots of your burning Phantom Pain questions

    What’s better than learning the official release date of MGS5: The Phantom pain? Hideo Kojima talking more about it, of course! Hideo Kojima has decided to answer a few fan questions about Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain, to help boost everyone’s hype to insane levels. He talks about the game’s story, his relief […]

  • MGS5: The Phantom Pain Day 1 and Collector’s Edition revealed

    Konami has officially revealed the release date of Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain alongside the game’s Day 1 and Collector’s Edition. Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain will release September 1, worldwide, as previously leaked. It will be available on PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One. The PC Steam […]

  • EU Club Nintendo: Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds soundtrack back in stock

    Club Nintendo members in Europe can once again pick up The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds soundtrack. For 3000 Stars, members of the program will receive the double-CD soundtrack which features 89 tracks with liner notes from Ryo Nagamatsu and 12 sheet music excerpts. It also comes with 16 Milk Bar Musician pieces. […]