It's been an interesting few days when it comes to controversy and The Game Awards, specifically when it comes to the game Death Stranding. Every year, without fail, social media has a bit of a heart attack over someone's nomination. Most of them being over the idea that there are people who believe there are games out there that deserve a nomination over another. You know, the usual "what makes that game so great" conversation. Cut to this year's nominations, which were released back on Tuesday, and the one drawing the most attention this time is Death Stranding, but for different reasons. The game was released just 10 days prior to the nominations coming out, and yet, it managed to snag nine nominations, including one for Game Of The Year.
Which has lead a lot of people to criticize the show's producer and host Geoff Keighley, claiming favoritism as 10 days is a very small window to be considered for half the nominations it received, while others have pointed out Keighley's friendship to the game's creator and director Hideo Kojima as the reasoning for the nominations. On Friday, Keighley responded to the criticism through Kotaku. Here's a snippet from the piece.
"I respect and appreciate the concern," Keighley told Kotaku via email when asked about this appearance of conflict. "This is why we have the FAQ right at the top of the website to make the process clear. It's also why I don't vote on the nominees or winners. In my role as show producer I work closely with game publishers and developers on a number of levels, so [I] leave the judging to media outlets that provide a wide critical assessment."
The Game Awards is structured as a mix between critics choice and people's choice. Nominees are selected solely by the jury, which is comprised of 80 press outlets including Eurogamer, IGN, and Polygon. (Kotaku does not participate because the timing doesn't work for us.) Once the nominees are revealed, the jury and viewers both vote on the award, with the fan vote counting for 10%.
The role of the advisory board, on which Kojima sits, is less clear. While the board plays no part in the voting process or jury selection, it does help "guide and advance the mission of the Game Awards," Keighley says. When asked about the board's specific duties, he said: "Functionally, this typically includes a few in person meetings every year to solicit general feedback on the show's direction. These are broad stroke discussions."
So the short version: Keighley doesn't have a say in the matter, and has left it up to the members of the media who are a part of the awards committee. (Which, for the record, Bleeding Cool is currently not a member of.) So if anyone is seeking to criticize Death Stranding's nominations, it's all the participating media outlets who put gave the game the nod that you need to vent to. The Game Awards will take place on December 12th.