January 18, 2022

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What to expect from The Game Awards: Lots of Hollywood and some awards


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The Game Awards air live tomorrow evening, and we know quite a lot about what to expect. As part of an effort to hype up the event, organizer and host Geoff Keighley has teased a number of participants. And some developers, who want to make the most of the publicity, have begun buzzing about their plans for the show. So here’s an accounting of what you can expect from the annual marketing blitz that occasionally hands out an award.

On Thursday evening, Keighley will take the stage ostensibly to celebrate the last year in games. But the grease that makes this event go ’round is commercials for upcoming releases. And yet, Keighley is broadcasting live from Los Angeles, and he will also display his adjacency to Hollywood.

The Game Awards will feature a number of movie trailers and movie stars including the following, confirmed appearances:

  • Halo (TV show) — Paramount+ and Microsoft will debut a first-look trailer for the narrative show.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (movie) — Fans will get a new trailer for the sequel that is due in theaters April 8, 2022.
  • The Matrix Awakens: An Unreal 5 Experience — Epic Games will reveal a software experience related to The Matrix Resurrections.
  • Confirmed celebrity presenters:
    • Guillermo Del Toro
    • Ming-Na Wen
    • Keanu Reeves & Carrie-Anne Moss
    • Simu Liu
    • Jim Carrey and Ben Schwartz

Of course, that’s only what Keighley and his team have made public. Maybe this is where we see new trailers for upcoming video game-related movies like Super Mario Bros.Uncharted, or Minecraft. Or maybe Sony show’s up to promote HBO’s The Last of Us show.

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After all, The Game Awards attracts nearly 100 million viewers, and that is a massive, engaged audience that cares about games. If you have something to sell to that audience, this seems like the ideal venue.

What about games?

Hollywood’s desire to capitalize on The Game Awards audience won’t come at the exclusion of video game announcements. Keighley knows where his bread is buttered, and the 100 million tuning in are much more likely to care about playing games than watching a show or a film.

So far, here are the game-related projects that The Game Awards or its partners have publicly confirmed:

  • Sonic game — Sega will show a new game alongside the new movie trailer.
  • Xbox Game Pass for PC — Microsoft is announcing new games coming to Game Pass for PC.
  • New Aaryn Flynn game — Former BioWare boss Aaryn Flynn is revealing the new game he directed at Improbable.
  • Ark Raiders — New game from Embark Studios, which former EA studios boss Patrick Soderlund cofounded.
  • New games from Saber Interactive — The World War Z developer plans to announce a new game and reveal a new trailer for a previously announced title.

For his part, Keighley has promised 4 or 5 game reveals that are equivalent, in terms of excitement, to the Elden Ring trailer he showed at his Summer Game Fest event in June. But that will largely depend on whether you care about those games, of course.

Beyond what developers and Keighley have confirmed, there are quite a few things that we’ve heard rumblings about. Hellblade 2 from Xbox Game Studios is an open secret at this point. And recent rumors suggest maybe we’ll get BioShock 4. The details about that game’s setting are accurate, but that doesn’t mean a reveal is imminent.

To find out what is coming, though, we’ll all have to tune in for ourselves.

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