The Game Awards 2018 Set to feature performances by Ariana Grande, The XX, Blood Orange, and many more

The Game Awards is back, and it’s going to be a fashion show, literal and figurative. It’s every publisher’s dream – and probably all their players’ as well. Well, almost everyone.

Walking us through the planning process, awards show director Geoff Keighley said that he pitched this game as a featured presentation at the show five or six years ago. It was envisioned as having two roles: an array of demo showcases from various studios and then another one for technical demos of possible titles that will be announced at the show. “The whole approach is to get a new game in the hands of players,” he said. “Newness and immersive, with real feeling.”

The presentation began with confirmation of this format that Keighley, who is also the executive producer for Viacom-owned CNET, though the actual show will be made up of performances by artists from all over the music industry. Among those announced so far are The XX, Ariana Grande, Halsey, Big Sean, Pentatonix, The Chainsmokers, Blood Orange, Kehlani, Martina McBride, BTS, SZA, Bebe Rexha, Deep Cover, Moneybagg Yo, and a wide variety of acts. Adding to the entertainment the awards will feature are a handful of comedians and a panel of TV and film industry representatives.

The ceremony includes a number of nominations and awards for both game and technical achievements. Keighley said about 80 percent of the nominations went to game developers, and the rest to video game makers, while 60 percent of the technical achievement categories were dedicated to manufacturers of devices and services. Ten of the categories for game developers went to independent games while the remaining 30 made up studios within the two biggest console and PC publishers. Keighley’s own company, Viacom, is making its first official showing of the show; the live broadcast will be hosted by Katsuhiro Harada, the popular actor and stuntman, and will include a number of celebrities. Past presenters include Aiden Gillen, the voice of Ned Stark on Game of Thrones, as well as Garcelle Beauvais and director Tim Miller.

Much like last year’s show, Keighley said, the problem at the earliest stages was that publishers weren’t pushing titles out with enough time for NDA’s. That’s an unfortunate oversight as the show is designed to be a techie’s paradise, with non-technical headliners speaking about the future of games (Keighley’s co-producer Stu Sjouwerman insisted that there would be less ego in terms of showmanship). “They realize how important this is for their audience,” said Keighley. Still, Keighley says he’s most pleased with how the show has wound up. “It’s played to sold-out audiences – obviously I’m biased. It’s fun for the awards, we want to be a part of change, and give people that can’t watch the show on television something else to see about games.”

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Originally appeared on Brain Pickings.

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