Game Awards 2023
Image: The Game Awards

The Game Awards 2023: Glitches and Grumbles – A Developer’s Eye View

The Game Awards 2023 have come and gone, leaving behind a trail of glittering trophies, celebrated winners, and… developer discontent. While Elden Ring rightfully basked in the golden glow of Game of the Year, a different narrative simmered beneath the surface – one of frustration and unmet expectations among game creators.

Awards or Ads? The Developer Dilemma:

This year’s ceremony felt less like a celebration of games and more like a commercial break extravaganza. Awards were squeezed between lengthy ad segments, celebrity appearances, and musical interludes, leaving precious little time for developer voices to be heard. The frustration was palpable, with many devs taking to social media to express their disappointment at the lack of focus on their craft and the communities they serve.

Beyond the Spotlight: A Call for Recognition:

It’s not just about ego. Developers pour their hearts and souls into creating the games we love. They toil for years, battling crunch time and creative challenges, all for the joy of delivering worlds and experiences that captivate us. Yet, at The Game Awards, their contributions often felt like an afterthought, reduced to fleeting moments between product placements.

A Future-Proofing Vision:

The Game Awards have an opportunity to reimagine their purpose. They can evolve from a flashy awards show into a platform that truly honors the diverse voices and talents shaping the gaming landscape. Imagine dedicating more time to developer showcases, in-depth discussions about game design, and awards categories that celebrate not just commercial success, but also innovation, artistry, and community impact.

Building Bridges, Not Walls:

The Game Awards can be a bridge between developers and players, fostering understanding and appreciation for the hard work that goes into every game. It can be a space where passionate creators are celebrated, their stories are shared, and the future of gaming is explored with open minds and collaborative spirit.

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  • Many developers expressed disappointment with the focus on advertising and celebrity appearances at The Game Awards 2023.
  • They called for a shift towards recognizing the diverse voices and contributions of game creators.
  • The Game Awards have an opportunity to become a platform for celebrating not just commercial success, but also innovation, artistry, and community impact.
  • This can be achieved by dedicating more time to developer showcases, in-depth discussions, and awards categories that reflect the full spectrum of game development.

Let’s work towards a future where The Game Awards truly honors the people who power the games we love, where the focus is on the art, the passion, and the communities that make gaming such a powerful force in our lives. Let’s make it a celebration of the journey, not just the destination.

Ceremony Critiques: Key Developer Concerns

Specific issues cited about The Game Awards 2023 approach included:

Minimal Creative Spotlights

Only fleeting game footage and creator cameos left little room for meaningful artistic recognition.

Surface-Level Conversations

Brief award recipient interviews lacked substantial discussion of development processes, challenges and innovations.

Advertising Overload

Excessive brand promotions and product reveals drowned out space for assessing creative contributions.

Narrow Winner Pool

Focus on blockbuster mainstream titles excluded artful indies pushing gaming forward.

Skewed Nominee Criteria

Emphasis on sales figures and popularity discounted groundbreaking attributes like diversity, accessibility and technological leaps.

Reimagining the Awards: A Developer Wish List

There are many avenues to transform The Game Awards into a more substantial, inclusive celebration:

Designer Masterclasses

Let visionaries share their creative process and hard-won lessons in intimate workshop settings.

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Accessible Game Expo

Spotlight innovations making gaming more inclusive through special demos and talks.

Experimental Gamecase

Dedicate stage time for upstarts pioneering new genres, technologies and experiences.

Postmortems from History

Have developers of classics retrospectively unpack development journey highs and lows.

Next Generation Incubator

Seed fund to support student and independent talent realizing tomorrow’s breakthroughs today.

The Road Ahead: Games for Good

As games influence broader society, The Game Awards can spotlight positive change-making through entertainment. By showcasing studios tackling pressing issues like sustainability or accessibility, the ceremony educates while honoring impactful work. Just as innovative developers push creative boundaries, so too can this platform set aspirational benchmarks across dimensions of ethics and social responsibility. Ultimately, a caring lens transforming worlds virtual and real may be the highest honor of all.


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