The Game Awards is back for its 2023 edition, signalling that time of the year when the industry and fans gather together to celebrate the best in video games. Marking the 10th iteration of the Geoff Keighley-hosted show, the annual event is held in high regard by developers worldwide, who will be competing in 31 categories that acknowledge games across genres. As usual, the ceremony will be spruced up by big announcements and trailers for upcoming titles, backed by a dedicated musical orchestra conducted by returning composer Lorne Balfe. There haven’t been as many leaks this year, so anticipation is high as gamers keep their fingers crossed hoping for the biggest reveals.
Given how the trailers and awards are spaced out, host Keighley once again expects The Game Awards to run for around three hours, albeit this year, Valve isn’t giving out free Steam Decks every minute to online viewers. Instead, the company is doing a sweepstake to hand out 100 Steam Deck OLEDs (1TB models) to the lucky few — residing in North America, Europe, and select Asian regions — who can all enter once the show goes live. There aren’t any big changes to the nominations this year, but Keighley has confirmed that the creators are moving away from using the ‘World Premiere’ card at the start of their announcements to treat every trailer or first look as ‘great game content.’
Security is also getting tightened, as we’ve seen two instances of stage crashers walking in to interrupt good moments and making absurd comments — the first one occurred during The Game Awards 2022 when Elden Ring lifted the trophy for Game of the Year, while the other occurred at Summer Game Fest, earlier this year. Understandably, Keighley hasn’t gone into the specifics of the beefed-up measures.
The Game Awards 2023: Date and time
The Game Awards 2023 kicks off on Thursday, December 7 at 4:30pm PT/ 7:30pm ET, just like last time. For India, this translates to early morning Friday, December 8 at 6am IST with plans to end at 9:30am — not the most comfortable time to catch up on the biggest gaming event of the year. The first thirty minutes of that runtime will be dedicated to a pre-show, hosted by Sydnee Goodman, serving as a way for smaller developers to showcase their games and content creators to talk about what they’re expecting from the show.
So if you’re only planning to watch the main show, tune in at 5pm PT/ 8pm ET in the US and 6:30am in India.
The Game Awards 2023: How to watch?
The ceremony will be held live from the Peacock Theatre in Los Angeles with an in-person audience, but as always, there’s a simultaneous livestream planned. You can watch The Game Awards 2023 for free on its official Twitch and YouTube channels, in addition to major platforms such as X (formerly Twitter), Facebook Live, Steam, TikTok Live, and Instagram Live. Of course, one could also watch it through other gaming livestreamers’ channels, who will have registered to co-stream the event and react to it. Viewers in India can also stream the show live on Disney+ Hotstar, MX Player, Voot, JioTV, and Loco, and can tune into YouTube Gaming for a Hindi-language feed.
Or you can just watch the embedded stream below:
In case you happen to miss The Game Awards live, a VOD will be published soon after the event ends and there are always 4K uploads of the trailers and biggest moments, available individually on its official YouTube channel.
What to expect from The Game Awards 2023?
One of the biggest reasons players tune into The Game Awards is to learn about any upcoming games and have their unrealistically high expectations checked. Larian Studios will finally unveil when Baldur’s Gate 3 will be coming to Xbox, which is still on track for release this month, as promised. The studio was initially facing trouble with incorporating split-screen co-op on the Xbox Series S due to its technical limitations, so it will be interesting to know whether the team decided to ditch it or maintain content parity. There’s also some exclusive Xbox reveals in store for us at The Game Awards, which many are hoping is a tease for Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II news.
Meanwhile, SEGA has been sending letters to fighting game content creators around the world with the quote ‘New Era New Energy,’ promising some exciting stuff. Supermassive Games — best known for the choice-based horror titles like the Dark Pictures anthology — is collaborating with Behaviour Interactive to develop a single-player game based within the universe of Dead by Daylight. Staying with the horror theme, The Outlast Trials developer Red Barrels has planned an ‘important broadcast’ for us. Then, Epic Games prepares to show a trailer for Rocket Racing, a car racing game mode built within Fortnite, featuring all the exaggerated mechanics from Rocket League such as boosting and taking flight. The mode is expected to launch for free on December 8, but the publisher plans to show something at the awards show.
Xbox players, we hear you’re looking for more news on Baldur’s Gate 3. The game is on track for a December release.
We’ll see you at The Game Awards for the World Premiere™ of the exact release date.
— Larian Studios (@larianstudios) November 15, 2023
The Game Awards’ official Twitter account briefly teased a Hideo Kojima announcement using a side-eyes emoji, before getting deleted. This could very well be a trailer for Death Stranding 2, which was revealed at last year’s event via a cryptic teaser with returning leads Léa Seydoux and Norman Reedus. So yeah, its game director Hideo Kojima is also expected to make an appearance, having arrived in Los Angeles earlier this week. Fans also expect FromSoftware to drop a trailer and release date for the much-awaited Elden Ring DLC ‘Shadow of the Erdtree,’ announced last year, with hints pointing at a new explorable region and the presence of the Empyrian Miquella. While it was initially believed that the expansion would be out in early 2024, an interview from last week suggests that it’s ‘a little ways off’ but promises new battles and characters.
Reports claim Arkane Studios will showcase its next title at The Game Awards 2023, which is expected to be Dishonored 3 — details of which emerged from the Microsoft v US FTC court proceedings in September. We might also get another glimpse at Final Fantasy VII Rebirth, Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth, the untitled Mass Effect game, Tekken 8, Hades 2, and more.
The Game Awards 2023 presenters
To honour the winners, Keighley loves mixing things up by inviting both game industry titans and Hollywood actors. Christopher Judge, who played Kratos in the God of War reboot games, is returning to the stage to present an award this year — presumably for Best Performance, given he was the winner last year. Other standout presenters include Anthony Mackie, whose show Twisted Metal is also competing in the Best Adaptation category; Respawn Entertainment CEO Vince Zampella; and famous DJ and EDM artist Zedd. Besides them, the lead cast of the Fallout series will be making an appearance at The Game Awards 2023 — specifically Ella Purnell, Walton Goggins, and Aaron Moten.
Alan Wake 2 fans are in for a treat as the Poets of the Fall band will be performing a musical piece live on stage, under its in-game alter ego Old Gods of Asgard. And as we all know, Keighley’s love for Muppets knows no bounds, so The Great Gonzo will also be around as a presenter.
The Game Awards 2023 nominees
As mentioned before, The Game Awards 2023 plays host to 31 categories, from which Baldur’s Gate 3 and Alan Wake 2 are tied for eight nominations each, in addition to competing for the prestigious Game of the Year trophy. Other GOTY nominees include The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, Marvel’s Spider-Man 2, Resident Evil 4 remake, and Super Mario Bros. Wonder — Keighley is strictly sticking to his six nominations rule, despite an extremely strong year for gaming. There are some strong contenders for Best Adaptation as well, with favourites being HBO’s The Last of Us and The Super Mario Bros. Movie.
The nominee list also sparked some debate on what constitutes an ‘independent game’ when people online noticed that Dave the Diver, the pixelated roguelike about deepsea fishing and selling sushi, was nominated as ‘Best Independent Game.’ The thing is, despite its aesthetic, the game is developed by Mintrocket, which belongs to a massive South Korean publisher Nexon — making it technically not indie. Keighley addressed these concerns in a live Q&A stating that the word ‘indie’ could mean different to different people — “Does independent mean the budget of the game? Does independent mean where the source of financing was? Is it based on the team size? Is it the kind of independent spirit of a game, meaning kind of a smaller game that’s different?”, he said (via Kotaku), adding that the concern is justified.