The Game Awards: Here’s How The Nominees Are Chosen

The gaming industry’s biggest annual awards show is right around the corner, with The Game Awards 2019 gearing up for a showing on December 12, at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. Show producer Geoff Keighley announced the list of nominees for all 29 categories in a video premiered on YouTube yesterday. As is always the case in matters of opinion, fans are likely to take issue with some of the picks.

For instance, Kojima Productions’ maiden title, Death Stranding, despite having divided the community over its reception, leads the pack in total number of nominations alongside the likes of Control, Resident Evil 2, and Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. Some may be wondering how exactly these nominations were made. The answer can be found tucked away on the event’s official website.

Nominees for most categories of The Game Awards are chosen by an international jury of over 80 global media and influencer outlets, selected for their history of critical evaluation of video games.

A complete list of the aforementioned media outlets can be found linked within the website’s FAQ section and includes publications from over 20 regions, including the United States, United Kingdom, China, Australia, Brazil, France, Germany, Japan, Russia, South Korea, Spain, and the Middle East. Big names include Newsweek, The Guardian, ESPN, IGN, GameSpot, PC Gamer, and the like.

A ballot is held within each publication and the result is submitted as a “collective opinion of an entire outlet.” Unlike certain film and TV award shows, The Game Awards does not have a submission fee. In fact, it doesn’t have a submission process at all. All ongoing games and titles released during the year are “automatically eligible for nomination.”

Developers may, however, contact The Game Awards staff toward the end of September to be given the list of voting outlets. They may then choose to send these publications review copies of their games. Campaigning of any sort for the awards show is explicitly forbidden, however, and may result in the disqualification of the offending publisher’s eligible titles.

In order to ensure the credibility of the voting process, The Game Awards maintains a strict “no campaigning” policy. Publishers and developers are asked to avoid any communication that could be interpreted as “campaigning” for nomination.

Winners are be chosen by a “blended vote” wherein the collective votes submitted by publications will have a 90% weightage versus the 10% of fan votes. Explaining why a blended vote was thought necessary, the FAQ section mentions the advantage multi-platform titles would have in a public-only vote, with “social engineering” also a concern.

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