This week, Geoff Keighley, creator and host of The Game Awards, unveiled the games in contention for prizes at his December showcase. With over 30 categories encompassing dozens of games, it leaves us wondering what, or who, didn’t make the cut?
The year 2023 saw an extraordinary influx of new game releases, with the broader video game industry undergoing significant changes amid more layoffs. The competition was fierce, and although calls were made to expand the Game of the Year category, Keighley stood firm with a six-entrant limit. The lineup included surefire contenders such as Baldur’s Gate 3, The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, and a latecomer, Alan Wake 2. Surprisingly, even a remake, Resident Evil 4 Remake, managed to secure a spot in a year that has been among the best in terms of new games. It’s noteworthy that Bethesda’s highly anticipated space epic, Starfield, failed to clinch a nomination.
The Game Awards nominations are determined by 120 global media outlets, shaping a diverse pool of selections. Notably, Kotaku refrained from participating in the nominations process. The nominations reflect the games that people managed to play and more often than not, time constraints prevent everyone from experiencing each game fully. Many deserving smaller games face a perpetually uphill battle against industry giants’ polished blockbusters, as evidenced by categories like Best Indie Game, Best Debut Indie Game, and Games for Impact.
Moreover, the ambiguity surrounding genres further muddles the nominations. Categories such as action games, action-adventure games, and RPGs blur the lines, with games like Final Fantasy 16 being placed in the RPG category despite having more in common with titles like Devil May Cry. The noteworthy absence of Octopath Traveler II and the neglect of titles like Armored Core VI raises questions about the selection criteria.
What’s your take? Share your thoughts in the comments below and make a case for the game you believe was unjustly overlooked in the 2023 Game Awards nominations across any category, and we’ll feature it in our round-up.