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The Game Awards, expecting a stronger show, return for a second year

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The Game Awards, the extravaganza Geoff Keighley created to succeed the old VGAs he once hosted, will return for a second show, on Dec. 3 at 6 p.m. PT, following last year's strong inaugural perormance.

Keighley, in an interview with The New York Times, said he expects 4,000 people to attend The Game Awards, up from the 3,000 or so last year. The 2015 Game Awards will be held in Los Angeles at the Microsoft Theater. Last year's show was in Las Vegas and was not a sellout, though Keighley touted other strong viewership numbers shortly after it ended.

The show, again, won't be broadcast by any television or cable network but will be streamed via Twitch, YouTube, and the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live services. Keighley said last year's streaming platforms delivered 1.93 million viewers, a more than 75 percent increase over the 2013 finale to the Spike TV awards gala.

Keighley told the Times he used $1 million of his own savings to finance the first show, and that even with strong industry sponsorship he still lost "a little bit of money." According to The Game Awards' official website, another all-star cast of industry figures are supporting the show on an advisory board.

The top executives for Activision's publishing division, Xbox, Nintendo of America, Sony Computer Entertainment America, Ubisoft and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment all are on the board, as well as Peter Moore, the chief operating officer of Electronic Arts. They are joined by Hideo Kojima, the creator of Metal Gear Solid.

Notably, Kojima is listed with no industry affiliation. He has parted ways with his longtime employer, Konami, though the publisher claims he's still with the company and merely taking vacation.

Hideo Kojima is on the awards show's advisory board.

The advisory board is "not involved in voting on nominees or winners," notes The Game Awards site, nor does their inclusion mean any of its members will also appear on the show. Nominations and voting are handled by a panel of 35 voters drawn from publications covering the gaming industry. The statuette winners receive (pictured above) was designed by Weta Workshop.

In a debrief of last year's show shortly after it aired, Keighley told Polygon he wanted to see more awards presented on stage and perhaps fewer new game premiere videos, which were staples of the winter awards shows he hosted for Spike, if not the main draw for viewers. He said he also wanted to see it run a shorter time.

"We had to prove that the show is the right venue again for publishers," Keighley said at the time. "We made The [first] Game Awards in about 3 months, so a lot of dev teams just weren't ready."