Geoff Keighley is a Canadian video game journalist turned presenter. His work spans online, print, and TV outlets. He is most known for hosting the video game show GameTrailers TV and co-hosting the now-defunct G4 show G4tv.com. Keighley is also a freelance writer whose work has appeared in Kotaku, etc. As of January 2008, besides hosting GTTV, Keighley can still be seen as a correspondent on another G4 show, The Electric Playground, and his work can be read in monthly columns on the GameFly website. Keighley is also the executive producer of the Spike TV Video Game Awards.
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My short bio: Hi I'm Geoff Keighley, producer of The Game Awards. We just wrapped up our 2015 show last week in LA so I thought I'd jump on Reddit to answer any questions about the show.
Do you know anything at all about NeverBeGameOver? What's your opinion on it? Do you think its worth it?
Not familiar with it no, tell me more?
What led to your decision to announce the reason Kojima was unable to go? Has Konami contacted you about it? Has Kojima? And were there any repercussions for it?
Also just have to say, it was awesome you did that, IMO the best part of the awards.
It just broke my heart that he couldn't be with us - something had to be said. I didn't tell anyone on the show team what I was going to say and it wasn't rehearsed.
Was Kojima really watching the show? And did you talk with him after the show? Thanks Geoff!
Yes he was watching it live in Tokyo with friends. He tweeted a bit during the show.
Hi Geoff! Congratulations for the event.
Why did you post so many tweets about Kojima just a couple of hours before TGA, even though you knew he did not travel? A flight from Japan to LA takes a bit of time.
I wanted him to know that we were thinking of him. I was trying to do all I could to make him feel connected to the show, even if he couldn't be with us physically in LA. Heartbreaking situation.
The show turned out great this year but what are some things you might already be looking at changing for next year?
I would like to do an eSports tournament around the show -- in the afternoon leading into the awards. Generally I'm pretty happy with the show and format now.
How did you handle being called The Doritos Pope for so many years? Do you find it funny, or does it sting a little?
It stung initially, now I'm pretty much over it....hopefully one day I'll be known for more than that interview though. Honestly that whole incident just inspired me to want to do bigger and better things so my legacy would be more than that.
What mistakes did you learn from the first Game Awards that you corrected in the second Game Awards?
There were three main areas we focused on this year.
1.) Show Length. Last year's show was 3 hours, we wanted this year to be 2. (We ended up at about 2 hours 4 minutes).
2.) More Awards on Stage. The feedback from fans and industry was clear: We should present more awards, and not do the "side stage" award presentations. So that's what we did.
3.) Tighter Production Technically. There were some issues last year with the audio and other production issues, we wanted to smooth those out. And we did. It also helped that we had fewer musical performances.
Hey Geoff! Really enjoyed Chvrches' performance, and I wanted to ask why they in particular were chosen to perform at the awards?
I love CHVRCHES. Big fan personally -- seeing their show again next week. Those guys are huge gamers. I saw they went to GamesCom in August and immediately realized we needed to get them on the show. They had a crazy tour schedule and actually flew in Scotland (and right back) just to do the show. It was a huge honor to have them on the show and all three of them couldn't have been nicer.
Can you shed any light on TotalBiscuit apparently not receiving his award last year?
We had a production delay at WETA Workshop on the final statues - we only just received them. So all the Awards for last year + this year are going out now. Just the challenge of ramping up production on a new statue, and we wanted to get it just right. All good now.
Geoff, one simple question regarding The Phantom Pain..
Is it over yet?
I don't know. A few years ago Kojima drew me a little timeline on a scrap of napkin to explain The Phantom Pain's timeline and how Ground Zeroes would fit into it at the beginning. But he never talked about the other side of the timeline...then he ripped up the paper :)
Well done on the Game Awards! It was an awesome show!
With all your experience being involved with games at various levels, has being a game developer ever appealed to you?
Honestly not really. I got a taste of game design early on when I volunteer beta-tested the early Sierra adventure games (like Gabriel Knight). I think my efforts are best put toward elevating the medium in different ways with things like the Awards. I'm honored to work with ALL the game companies, so it would be hard to just work on one game or at one publisher.
Hey Geoff, well done this year. I have a question about the game nominations, one game in particular:
Xenoblade Chronicles X. Did it come out too late in the west to be considered for awards, if so will it be considered for next year? Or was it already considered since it came out months ago in Japan, and simply not nominated for anything?
Good question - Xenoblade will be eligible next year.
What did you think about Greg Miller's speech? I thought it was amazing that he focused on the developers more than himself.
Great speech from a great guy.
How were you informed about the Kojima situation? Did they not give advance notice about him being prohibited?
I'm curious what those communications were beyond what you told us on the live feed.
We found out in advance, but there was an ongoing dialogue for quite a while. Hideo did watch the show in Tokyo and enjoyed it -just wish he could have been with us.
What are you hiding in relation to Kojima and Chapter 3? Spit it out!
Not hiding anything in that regard, but Kojima does love to surprise us (including me)!
Hey Geoff, any word on what the surprise announcement was at the end of the show?
I'm not sure, did we have a surprise announcement?
Hey, I love what you've done with the state of Gaming awards and turned them from a bit of a 'joke' in years past into the much better state they're in now under your leadership.
Was just hoping we could get a sneak peek into any potential changes coming for next year?
Thank you, it's a little early to know what 2016 will look like. The key is to keep building the show but also stay true to the original vision. I'm really proud of the response so far to the show.
What was your favorite world premier that night?
Great question. I was psyched about the Psychonauts 2 announcement. I tried to get Tim to announce last year but he wasn't ready. I've been waiting for YEARS for him to do that game, and I was thrilled we kept it a total surprise.
Really enjoyed your show, but as you can imagine there are people out there that had legitimate problems with it. I was wondering if you watched Totalbiscuit's Co-Optional channel where they talked about some of the problems? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9gCv4BVoemE Starts talking at 1:11:26.
Hope you give it a watch, cause although I really enjoyed the show, I want you to have better success next year and they had some good advice!
P.S. Still a bit miffed that bloodborne wasn't at least nominated for best soundtrack, but whatever :)
I haven't listened to it but I will now. Thanks!
Hi Geoff, is it true Donny Burke asked to perform Sins Of The Father at the TGAs, and what we're your reasons for having Stephenie sing Quiet's Theme instead?
Yeah Donna was there and helping Stefanie. Loved having her join us too!
Hey, Geoff! I think you should be able to do this by editing your post to include a link to the tweet you just sent about the AMA. ^(It's how I got here!)
Yep I just did that.
Geoff, why we're others allowed to represent MGS5 but not Kojima?
I'm not sure, that's a question better asked to Konami.
How did the jury decide on nominations?
One thing I'm proud of is that we don't charge any kind of entry fee for the awards -- the publications on the jury just vote on their favorites in each category. It's pretty simple.
What sort of role did the Advisors play in putting the show together?
There is no formal role for the advisors. They are just supporters of the show and my vision. I will often ask them for advice or guidance, but the final decision always rests with me.
What are your thoughts on the sponsored content (I mostly remember Battlefront) and do you plan on following the same format for next year? Any changes in sight?
We had a lot of great sponsors this year -- I'd almost call them partners. I'm really proud of the documentary shorts we made with Unity, and the team at Go90 (our title sponsor) couldn't have been nicer to work with. We're inventing a new model of how to finance and create these events -- so we learn as we go. But so far so good.
Good job at the award show, Geoff - looking forward to next year's. Love your work, admire your career, and am a huge fan.
I have a comment, followed by a question: everyone can squabble over one game "snubbed" over another, but my one major critique of your award show is that I feel the "best art direction" category was overwhelmingly mis-nominated. With the exception of the winner (Ori and the Blind Forest), all other nominees featured art styles that exemplified long, long (long) running industry standards. I would genuinely hope that the point of an award is to send a message that a game accomplished something noteworthy, rather than reinforce very basic standards (brooding, realistic, dark, muscular people, etc etc etc)
My question: what the heck were you looking down at over and over again during the whole show?
I wasn't looking down at anything - probably just nervous. Either that or I am used to looking down at my phone :)
Good point on art direction. It was a new category this year but I liked it.
Love the direction you are taking the awards show. I enjoyed your Gameslice podcast you did earlier this year with Gabe Newell. Any chance you will continue it?
Yeah I want to get back to the podcast. This has been a long year for me but hopefully it's something I can get to in 2016. Hard to top Gabe as a guest. Who would you like to see?
Is there a place where we can give feedback to you directly for possible future imporvements?
Right here is a good spot.
What was up with Jade Raymond dissing Kiefer Sutherland on stage and then announcing the wrong game and winner for Best Performance? Were you angry? Did you say anything to her afterwards?
This is the segment of TGA 2015 that I am referring to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6DBWVBz3d24
Definitely wasn't angry at Jade - I felt terrible. We gave her the wrong envelope it was entirely our fault. Jade is amazing and she flew all the way in from Montreal to be a part of the show.
Hey Geoff! I thought the game awards this year was a big improvement from last year. My question is how do you think the game awards will change and grow in the next coming years? Any big goals you want to see from it?
I just want to keep growing the show and awareness of gaming. Hopefully with more lead time we can strike other partnerships that build the brand throughout the year. Excited to see what's next. Thanks for watching.
Hey Geoff, In what ways do you want to move forward with The Game Awards next year?
Were there any close calls with the event or award winners this year?
Can't really disclose the margin of victory on awards unfortunately.
How do I want to move forward with them? Well, first I want to make sure we can do another show next year. That's what the next few months is about: Figuring out the plan for 2016.
Got to meet you here in Austin at SXSW a few years back and have been a fan for awhile thanks to GAF. Have you considered doing some sort of "offseason" TGA event as a part of SX (or something around E3 for instance)? Or do you plan to just keep your game events a once yearly thing.
I do a fair amount at E3 every year. E3 and Game Awards are the two big touchpoints. There will be some announcements early next year on other fronts, but I'm very passionate about bringing the gaming community together as often as possible. When I decide to do something I try to make it really big and worth your time.
Congratulations on a great Game Awards.
What do you think are the next steps to ensure the continued growth and popularity of the awards? What plans do you have to make it gain recognition?
And if I may suggest as some others have to make sure the hosts and guests are respectably dressed next time. Coming that casually undermines the awards and hurts its image.
I hear you on the dress code. Hopefully it's something that will correct itself naturally based on all the feedback.
The next steps are to firm up our plans for 2016 a lot sooner this year -- and hopefully build more partnerships to broaden the reach of the show. I'm also thinking a lot about the eSports scene and mobile gaming and how to really invite those audiences to be a part of the Game Awards experience.
Congratulations on The Game Awards 2015.
My question is that while you have completed your 2nd time of this event, I thought that some companies/games who won/nominated shouldn't have been (as is the normal gaming opinion). Now you are a panel of experts so I'm not arguing any of your opinions etc but I can't shake this view point of rigging/per-chosen winners and it annoys me. So I was thinking is there a way next year you could do something which shows of the transparency with what game was voted for each category and why they won? Or even have a public vote which runs along side the judges votes?
What are the chances you could make Hideo can co-host with you next year? ;3
I've toyed with public voting. The challenge is that a popularity contest isn't really fair to first party games. Those titles naturally have a smaller addressable audience base. We do include fan voting in some categories but not all of them.
I'm not sure we'd ever release the ballots, but I do think there's more that could be done to give context on the winners. I liked that our pre-show included commentary from our voting publications.
Great TGAs this year! Even better than last year, and I can tell you took feedback like mine (https://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/2p52pr/iama_geoff_keighley_producer_of_the_game_awards/cmtpral?context=3) to heart. It has become a real showcase for how great the world of games can be.
Greg Miller's acceptance speech touched on something I've long thought myself: that while we credit studios and often more high-profile individuals, we don't often dive in deeper to recognize individual contributions to art, sound, engines, modeling, etc. that can make these games great. Giving awards to score, narrative, and performance seems like a step in the right direction, but do you think future TGAs could breakout some award nominations for more specific technical achievements, too?
The closest analogy I could give is how there are Oscars for cinematography, visual FX, sound editing etc. I realize having too many awards presents its own challenge, and figuring out where to draw the line does too. But perhaps each year could focus on a core area of game design and rotate in subsequent years so there aren't too many awards given.
It's a tough nut to crack, but there are some real innovative games out there with some real innovative people behind the scenes. How can we bring out some of these people and put them in the spotlight too?
It's a great point. Part of me wants to just scrap all the "genre" awards and move more toward crafts. The challenge is that we might then see the same 5-10 games nominated across all the categories. So right now we have a bit of a hybrid model. I want to make sure the Awards recognize a wide variety of games. But I do think about this.
I really enjoyed and loved the game awards this year. I watched it live from my phone and I even brought it up on the Tablet for my little brother to watch,and he was so excited to hear that Splatoon and Nintendo got some awards and recongnition. And we ESPECIALLY loved the moment ya gave some love to Satoru Iwata :] And my question to you is,will you be doing any kind of events over here in Austin,TX? I would be great to participate in something really big,especially if you're gonna be in it.
I usually come to SXSW! And thanks.
You blocked me on Twitter for calling you the Doritos Pope, I'm sorry.
Can you unblock me please?
Did you say it just once? Let me know your twitter name and we can try to be friends again.