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The 2020 Game Awards: Is Your Favorite Video Game a Contender?

Arielle Busetto

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Gamers around the world all know that “The Game Awards” are nearly upon us. 

 

On December 10, at 3.30 P.M. Los Angeles Time (December 11, 8.30 A.M. JST), The Game Awards will be streamed on 45 different online platforms. 

 

The event has been gathering fans and growing in popularity over the years. Since it first started in 2014, the audience has virtually doubled every year, with a record-breaking 49 million live streams registered in 2019, almost double the 26 million of the previous year. 

 

This allowed the event to surpass the Academy Awards, which hit 29.6 million views in 2019, for the first time in history. 

 

The Game Awards, much like the Academy Awards, recognizes achievements in different categories in the world of gaming, like Best Narrative, Best Director, Best Art Direction, Best Mobile Game. The most prestigious award, of course, is the “Game of the Year” Award. 

 

This year, “Game of the Year” Award is full of anticipation for Japanese game lovers due to the content produced by Japanese companies. 

 

One contender is Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE), which is headquartered in California, but is the subsidiary of Sony Corporation which was founded in Japan. 

 

SIE has helped to produce some of the most popular games among the nominees, including one video game that has taken the world by stormー The Last of Us Part II. The game is the sequel of a story with two characters in a post-apocalyptic America. It was produced in collaboration with the Sony-owned company Naughty Dog, and was one of the most awaited games of this year. 

 

Still produced by Sony in collaboration with Sucker Punch Productions is the game, Ghost of Tsushima. It tells the story of samurai warrior Jin Sakai in a clan struggle in feudal Japan, gaining an impressive following. 

 

Ghost of Tsushima even gained the Player’s Voice Awards announced on Twitter by Geoff Keighley, the creator and producer of The Game Awards. 

 


The title recognizes fans’ votes on their game preferences, after three rounds of voting. 

 

While all categories in the The Game Awards take into account the votes of judges and players (90 percent and 10 percent respectively) the Player’s Voice award is chosen exclusively by fans, once more demonstrating the popularity of the game. In the last round of voting, Ghost of Tsushima won with 47 percent of the vote according to IGN, beating runner up The Last of Us Part II.

 

Finally, another game hailing from Japan is none other than Animal Crossing: New Horizons, produced by Kyoto-based company Nintendo. Allowing players to build customizable cute islands and interact with other online communities, it was one of the main social phenomena during COVID-19. The success was even more surprising considering that Nintendo Switch consoles, where one can play the game, were suffering supply chain issues due to COVID-19. 

 

In Japan, the game became such a household name, the shortened version of the title was chosen as one of the top 2020 buzzwords of the year.

 

Finally, we shouldn’t forget Square Enix’s Final Fantasy VII The Remake. Although fans in Japan got a taste at Tokyo Game Show in September 2019, the game was released in 2020 and has been a huge hit blending the traditional 90s Role Playing Game (RPG) with a new approach. 

 

The other two games nominated for Game of the Year are Doom Eternal, produced by Bethesda and Id Software, and Hades, published by Supergiant Games. 

 

For Japan fans, there are also other things to look out for, including Yakuza: Like A Dragon produced in collaboration between Ryuga Gotoku and SEGA, and Resident Evil 3 produced by Capcom. 

 

Quite apart from the Japan angle, the event promises to deliver a real show, with a performance by the London Philharmonic Orchestra making a special appearance from its studios in London. In addition, according to IGN Japan, the lineup of presenters is set to include appearances by VIPs such as Tom Holland, the actor who played spiderman in Spiderman: Homecoming (2017), and Brie Larson, who played Captain Marvel in the Marvel Franchise. 

 

According to IGN Japan, there are also several expected announcements including news on massively popularーespecially mobileーAmong Us, and new updates on the game part of the Fall Guys seriesThere is also rumored to be “big news” regarding Hood: Outlaws and & Legends. 

 

It seems clear though that in a world hit hard by COVID-19, the popularity of videogames is here to stay. 

 

Find more information on how to follow The Game Awards here

 

Author: Arielle Busetto


Arielle Busetto is a journalist at JAPAN Forward. She has finished the intensive Japanese course of the Inter University Center For Advanced Japanese Studies in Yokohama in summer 2018, and is originally from Siena, Italy.