Well, VGX is over. Thank Cthulhu am I right? This year's Video Game Awards show, now titled VGX because anything with an X in it is automatically supposed to be good apparently, was an immense disaster that will join previous years of garbage awards shows falling under the banner of Spike's Video Game Awards.
Production values were non-existent, band performances were pitiful to the point of being an even bigger waste of time than usual, youtube celebrities (a problem all on their own needing no further clarification), and Joel McHale's cringeworthy performance as host.
This blog will seek to explain to SpikeTV why they need to either hand over these Video Game Awards to another network entirely that will be willing to put actual effort into making them good, and end Geoff Keighley's stranglehold over them all whilst explaining why gamers hate the VGA's or VGX's or whatever you want to call them.
SpikeTV: I don't know what kind of market research you use, but clearly it doesn't involve actual gamers. I'd say it involves drunken frat boys, but even in an inebriated sense and what is supposed to pass as an education in their systems they would have more sense than to give a pass on what you think people want to see at these awards shows.
The name of this program is Video Game Awards Show. That means your target demographic has to be people who know games, play them regularly, absorb information on them, and would be genuinely interested in this kind of program. That means the format of your show has to focus mostly on games and game awards, NOT filler garbage like band performances and an annoying Let's Player who has more success than he should, or Smosh (again, a problem on their own requiring no further explanation). I guarantee you that the casual audience you think is your demographic will watch for PewDiePie, then change the channel immediately.
Gamers are the ones that stick through the garbage filler (if they can) to watch the world premiers, the new trailers, and the award winners. The name of your game is ratings, yet all you're doing is trying to push away the people that WANT to watch your program the most by catering to the dudebros of the world that couldn't possibly care less about the show. It's clear you have little to no passion in the area of gaming, which is why you didn't bother to put the program on your actual television station and why VGX had such terrible production values. If the Video Game Awards are no longer an interest of yours, then hand them over to someone who will do them justice.
Geoff Keighley: Just stop. I'm serious. Everything you're doing, stop it right now. You make gamers cringe, you are made fun of, no one takes you seriously. I'm not joking. You need to stop. You've been in charge of the VGAs for years and there hasn't been a year where the majority of gamers can say "You know, the VGAs were really good this year, I enjoyed every minute."
Every year you hype up the VGAs and talk about some major, surprise announcements. Every year gamers say the same thing about your hype and how they are always left underwhelmed because what you think is so major, such a big surprise, always turns out to not be anything big at all. Cranky Kong being a playable character in Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze is not what anyone wanted to hear, or considers to be a major announcement. People wanted to hear "Smash Bros." people wanted to hear "Metroid", they didn't want to hear "Irrelevant character for an ok game."
Stop making the format of these awards shows seem like some college kegger. You only succeed in making gamers continue to look like immature douchebags with a childish hobby. If I hadn't already told you to stop, and now adding that you need to move on altogether, I would tell you that you need to actually read some REAL feedback online about the VGAs. Every year when the VGAs are about to come around, you can hear the collective sigh of disappointment coming from gamers all over the world. We know what the VGAs will be about, and you can read "I'm only going to watch for announcements" on literally every site that has anything to do with gaming news anywhere.
Your part in the VGAs is annoying enough as it is because, like I said, you're a big joke to most gamers; but you clearly have also lost touch with what gamers enjoy and would want to see and so you allow such poor/fake hosts and such unnecessary filler tripe to go on unchecked and that just makes us feel completely turned off on the concept of the show.
Unless you're willing to take your lips off the behind of corporate sponsorship money, stop being a sellout, and actually pay attention to the gamer ecosystem online, you don't deserve to be anywhere near a video game awards show or even any part of gaming news altogether actually.
Celebrity Hosts: Turn down any offer made to host shows like these unless you can prove you have a passion for video games. Your phony "love" of gaming is immediately spotted by any real gamer and we don't care what show you've been on or how successful you think you are. There is nothing that drags down a show more than a terrible host that you know doesn't want to be there, so do yourself and us a favour by NOT being there.
These shows should be hosted by people within the industry with a REAL passion for gaming. Some have suggested personalities like AngryJoe (which could be fun for awhile, but he'd definitely be unprepared for the scope of this), Adam Sessler and Morgan Webb (could work, though I'm not a real fan of Madam Sessler), and I would personally want Victor Lucas and, if possible, Tommy Tallarico just because they invoke the old school gaming journalism goodness that I grew up with and they would definitely take it seriously.
Youtubers, stay on youtube. Just because you have some success on a video sharing social network site doesn't mean you can hang with the network television big boys. I've always thought PewDiePie was annoying as hell, and don't get me started on Smosh.
In the end, Video Game Awards shows will always appeal most to the core gamers that follow every aspect of the gaming industry. Core gamers are what maintain the industry's success with their devotion and long period of interest. Casual audiences in any medium are always fickle and prone to move on, so targeting them is the same as taking a crap shoot.
What do the core gamers want from an Awards show like this? Quite simple really. Announcements that are actually worth the hype, NEW trailers instead of rehashed E3 or TGS trailers with improved graphics or an explanation about why the graphics of the game will look better, World Premiers that will make us salivate, USEFUL information instead of the standard "we'll have more soon" comments, and awards that have had some actual thought put into who should win them and why.
Personally speaking, the actual Awards part has always seemed more like a sales/popularity contest to me. It's rare that I feel a game has actually earned the right to win the award. For example, Assassin's Creed 4 should not have won best Action game. The game pretty much just came out and, quite frankly, isn't better than The Last of Us in my opinion. The panel of judges has always been a questionable lot for sure. Kotaku has too great a presence as well as Polygon. More objective judges are definitely needed.
This is just my opinion though. If anyone has any criteria as to what would make the VGAs better feel free to post them in the comments. I intend to tweet this blog, if it passes approval, to Geoff Keighley and Spike themselves and you can feel free to do so with your suggestions in the comments below. It's time for the VGAs to actually be about the games and not the filler.