The Game Awards, Geoff Keighley’s annual awards and game celebration event, will return on Thursday, Dec. 10. The 2020 version of this year’s show will, understandably, differ from years past, as a result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
In 2020, The Game Awards will stream live from three locations: Los Angeles (the show’s usual home), London, and Tokyo. There will be no in-person audience, but the annual awards show’s award presentations, musical performances, and world premiere game announcements will return.
Don’t expect a virtual audience, on par with some professional sports leagues’ attempts to inject fans and viewer reactions; Keighley says that, like previous years, fans who co-stream the awards on platforms like Twitch and viewers on social media will offer that sense of excitement instead.
This year’s show will also introduce a new award: Innovation in Accessibility. According to an official announcement, the award will recognize “software and/or hardware developers that are pushing the medium forward by adding features, technology and content to help games be played and enjoyed by an even wider audience.”
Keighley said in an interview with Polygon that the new award “came about pretty organically.”
“We’ve been thinking a lot about accessibility of our show, and I think we’ve seen a trend of developers focusing on accessibility with their games over the past couple years,” Keighley said. “And Steven Spohn [COO and spokesperson for The AbleGamers Foundation], he won our Global Gaming Citizen, and he’s become a friend. I’m obsessed with the idea of games being accessible to as many people as possible so it grows the [audience] of people who play games.
“It felt like this year there’s enough developers doing that, and we feel that we should recognize that effort, and who’s innovating how games are made more accessible.”
The Game Awards 2020 will be streamed online across 45 worldwide video platforms. Alongside the show, The Game Festival will return, offering fans limited-time playable demos on upcoming titles from major game studios and independent developers.