Hello, and welcome to purgatory. I’m your guide, Virgil, and– wait, bugger. No. Welcome to The Game Awards 2020, which just feels like purgatory. For the next few hours I’ll be heading up the PC Invasion liveblog of the event. Everything PC-related in The Game Awards will be posted up right here, as it happens.
I’ll also probably be posting up a lot of things that aren’t PC-related, because a fair few of them are going to deserve me glaring at them. That’s what I’m here for, after all. Our crack team of news writers will also be on the case, posting up the big announcements as they happen, and I’ll try to remember to link those stories as and when I get time. They will probably be slightly less snarky than me, if that’s more your thing.
Please note: there’s no auto-refresh on this page. You’ll have to manually refresh to read my latest exasperated thoughts, expressed via keyboard. Alternatively, you can keep an eye on our main page to see the news as it gets posted, or you can just check in every 30 minutes or so and read up on what’s happened since. It’s up to you! Finally, all times below are in US Eastern time, and the latest updates will be at the bottom of the page rather than the top. Without further ado, the liveblog:
6:33pm – And we’re off. Sydnee Goodman has kicked off the pre-show, which, if past Game Awards are anything, is going to be full of awards and announcements. At this point I’m not quite sure what qualifies it as a pre-show, honestly.
6:35pm – Sydnee has claimed that the reason we’re all here is for the awards. I do not think that’s true. Anyway, Final Fantasy VII Remake wins Best Score, so there we go. One award given away already, and we’re 30 minutes before the start of the actual show Game Awards.
6:37pm – Nina Struthers of Devolver is here for a bit, so that’s something for us all to be happy about because Devolver generally have the best E3 show.
It’s the Devolver Digital Game of the Year 2021, everyone! Devolver is truly ahead of everyone, giving out awards for things that aren’t out yet, which is definitely not something that The Game Awards will be doing later on tonight. And the winner is… Loop Hero, by Four Quarters. If you don’t know what that is, that’s because it was unannounced until this exact moment.
6:39pm – While we’ve got a moment as a world premiere for Tchia has just ended (which looks neat), can I just point out how patently ridiculous it is that we’re 6 minutes into the pre-show and we’ve had two reveals, and we’re now on the second award? It’s not like it’s a minor award, either: this is Best Action/Adventure Game. What the hell is the difference between this and the actual show except that Geoff Keighley is presumably still in the dressing room? Why is this the pre-show?
Oh dear, the winner was The Last of Us Part II. I’ll refrain from comment.
6:41pm – Sea of Solitude is being reworked for Switch.
I’m assuming the reworked version will probably also come to PC. (Never mind, the trailer says it’s only on Switch). Anyway, there’s a trailer for that now, so I’ve got a few minutes to think about all the mistakes I made that brought me to this point.
6:47pm – Shady Part of Me trailer, which is actually out now, apparently. And I think we have a review of that coming soon, but– oh gods, three awards? Right now? They’re really rushing these out, aren’t they? Good thing this show is definitely all about the awards, and they aren’t rushing through those to get to the trailers and reveals.
Okay, Best Family Game is Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Best Community Support goes to Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout, and I have no idea what that award actually means. Finally, Best Debut Game goes to Phasmophobia, which should surprise basically nobody.
6:48pm – “That’s five trophies down and The Game Awards haven’t even officially started yet!” says Sydnee. No shit, Sydnee. It makes me wonder why this is a pre-show.
Reddit thinks Ghost of Tsushima is the best game of the year. Thanks, Reddit. And then Sydnee says we’re taking a break… before immediately cutting away to Rand Miller talking about Myst for the Oculus Quest. I’m not sure that’s what a break is. I think that’s a segment, not a break.
Anyway! Lyn and the Persona Music Band are here (well, in an internet sense; I think they’re actually in Japan) to perform Last Surprise from Persona 5 Strikers. So we can sit and enjoy some good music for a bit.
6:54pm – Nier: Replicant ver 1.22474487139 gameplay trailer! And I’m utterly horrified that this has, for some reason, been relegated to the pre-show. I mean, as noted I really don’t know what the pre-show means, except that it’s probably “all the stuff we didn’t think was worthy of the proper show”. But welp. That’s out on the 23rd of April.
6:57pm – Right. Another musical break, and now… five Esports awards in a row? Well, at least I agree this can be safely relegated to the pre-show. Best Esports Game is League of Legends, and I’m not touching that one. Best Esports Coach is Zonic. Best Esports Event is League of Legends World Championship 2020. Best Esports Host is Sjokz. Best Esports Team is G2 Esports. Finally, sports personality Stephen A. Smith is here to announce Best Esports Athlete and talk about how great Esports is. The winner is… Showmaker of Damwon Gaming.
I’m not quite sure how you judge these. I mean, I think most of these players play different games. So how do we define the best athlete? Oh well.
7:01pm – A reveal trailer for Century: Age of Ashes, which appears to be free-to-play multiplayer game about dragons fighting dragons. Which… okay, that actually sounds pretty cool. I mean, if you’re going to do air combat, I’m all for adding dragons into it. I’m curious how it’ll fit into the gut-busting amount of free-to-play games that are out already, though. It’s not exactly an underserved niche. In any case, that’s out in February, with beta signups on Steam now.
And now, we’re off to the actual show. So that’s 11 awards before the show starts. Is this a new record?
Hour one: The Game Awards begins
7:07pm – Sephiroth is coming to Smash, which is completely irrelevant to us. I was kinda hoping this was a bait-and-switch, but I’ll at least admit that the silhouette of Mario impaled on the Masamune was amusing.
7:08pm – And now, Brie Larson is here on Zoom, with a very laggy connection. She’s here giving out Best Performance.
7:09pm – Laura Bailey wins it for Abby in The Last of Us Part II. Laura Bailey does at least seem very emotional to win this, and that’s legitimately nice to see. If only these awards were actually the focus of the show.
Also, I’d like to note that despite everyone being connected via Zoom (or at least, appearing remotely), I’m pleased that everyone’s all dressed up. It’s a touch of class.
7:11pm – Breaking news: I think Laura Bailey just received a text message.
7:16pm – A little talky bit and a trailer for The Initiative’s game, which is Perfect Dark. We kiiinda knew this was coming already. I think it’s an Xbox exclusive, but that also means it’s probably coming to PC too. And now, right into another game announcement, because room to breathe is for other people.
It’s Turtle Rock and Warner Bros, so I think this is Back 4 Blood? Which is definitely not Left 4 Dead. Don’t get those confused.
7:17pm – Yeah. Definitely not Left 4 Dead. You can tell, because the zombies that immobilise people, or attract people to them, or explode, or are huge murderous bullet-sponges? They’re controlled by worms.
Snark aside, I’m intrigued. I mean, Left 4 Dead was a Turtle Rock game, so hey.
7:19pm – We’ve got the gameplay reveal for Back 4 Blood, but I’ve just noticed Geoff Keighley’s shoes and now I’m never going to be able to un-notice them.
7:20pm – Swarms of zombies, automatic weapons, “special” zombies, and the co-op characters are all actual characters with voice lines and reactions. Yep, this feels very Left 4 Dead, and I don’t mean that in a bad way. We’ve even got the melee knockback to briefly stun enemies in range. There’s some serious Resident Evil in the design of some of these enemies, though, with glowing red weak spots and… oh. Huh. Some quite brutal deaths, it seems. Alright, color me intrigued; I’ll post the trailer here when I get a sec. Release due on June 22, 2021, with the closed alpha starting on 17th December. You can sign up for that now.
7:22pm – I’m still haunted by Geoff Keighley’s shoes. They do not go with that suit.
7:23pm – Scavengers is on now, to announce the PC closed beta starting… right now? Huh, neat. For the unfamiliar, that’s a “co-opetition” game, which is not a real word. Think battle royale, but with some working together required, I think.
7:25pm – Hood: Outlaws & Legends trailer. PvPvE stealth/action thing. Could be fun, but I’ll hold off on judgment. In any case, now we have a random trailer thing for the Switch, which I can tune out of and once again contemplate the mystery of why Geoff Keighley thought those shoes worked with that outfit.
7:27pm – My contemplation of Keighley’s shoes has not been aided by us going back to Sydnee Goodman talking about how The Game Awards has teamed up with Instagram for filters. I need an actual distraction, Sydnee. This is haunting me.
7:28pm – Time for the award for Best Ongoing Game. Mercifully, the cameraman cut away from the wide angle so we only saw Keighley’s shoes for a brief moment.
No Man’s Sky wins it. And I will admit this: it has improved massively since its launch, which was… definitely… a launch. Of a game. That’s about the nicest thing I can say about it.
7:30pm – World premiere time! We’ve got something that looks like a jail cell. A man in a prisoner outfit. He’s got a green thingy on the back of his neck, and there’s a hologram, and something scuttling outside. The Callisto Protocol, coming 2022. Looks like it might be a sci-fi survival-horror thing, with a bit of Dead Space in there? I’m intrigued. But even this isn’t a terrifying as Geoff’s shoes.
It’s supposed to be the “single most scariest game”, and it’s a single-player, third-person survival-horror game set on Jupiter’s moon Callisto. I’m not judging anything based on a trailer, but I will at least be paying attention to this.
7:34pm – Warhammer 40,000: Darktide gets a quick trailer, and it looks fun. But now more awards! Very quickly! Best Art Direction goes to Ghost of Tsushima, which is unfortunately not on PC. Best Action Game goes to Hades, which is on PC and probably deserves it. Best VR/AR goes to Half-Life: Alyx. Best Sports/Racing Game goes to Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2. Most Anticipated Game goes to Elden Ring.
I don’t think Keighley took a single breath while giving out those five awards. It’s a good thing we’re very focused on the awards here, right? In The Game Awards, the show that’s very much about game awards and not trailers? Maybe they wanted to call it something else, but “The Game Trailers” would’ve resulted in a trademark violation.
7:38pm – Global Gaming Citizens, focusing on people in games around the world. Latinx In Gaming, for this one. A group of people supporting Latinx people in gaming: developers, streamers, students; everyone. A good thing. This is the sort of thing I’m actually happy to see in The Game Awards, but I wish it got a bit more to it. Because immediately after that, we’re right over to Valorant, without even getting a moment to pause and think on that.
7:42pm – Ooh. Disco Elysium: The Final Cut. Full voice acting for every single line, with new quests that will impact the game in more ways. I know we were expecting something from Disco Elysium, but I wasn’t expecting this. Due out March 2021, as a free upgrade for all players. Shit, that’s cool.
In case you’ve forgotten, Disco Elysium is the RPG that murdered me with a ceiling fan.
7:44pm – Dragon Age time. We knew this was coming, so let’s see what we’ve got. A new hero, with no magic hand and no ancient prophecy. The city in the trailer looks weirdly cyberpunk, with neon signs that are presumably created by magic. And… it might just be called Dragon Age, unless that’s simply the working title? That’s all that was in the trailer, anyway.
Oh good grief, another new game announcement. This one’s a tactical rogue-lite in the Endless universe. Can I have a moment to breathe? Please?
7:45pm – Never mind, I’ve just remembered Keighley’s shoes again. Don’t give me any room to breathe. Or think. Or anything.
7:46pm – It’s called Endless Dungeon, and I have no idea what it is. But that’s okay! No time to think! Crimson Desert! More games! More! Slam them into my eye-sockets! Alas, Keighley’s shoes remain the brightest thing on the stage.
7:50pm – Well, Crimson Desert looks stupendously fucking pretty and has some utterly sumptuous visual effects. If there’s one trailer that’s worth watching solely for the visuals so far, it’s this one. Gameplay looks sort of like Assassin’s Creed combat with a bit more of a fantasy bent to it, but seriously, I cannot overstate just how pretty this is. Let’s just hope the game lives up to the graphics. I’ll embed the trailer here once it pops up… although I’m stunned it’s still going on, because it’s basically been several minutes of nothing but combat so far. Considering it’s from Pearl Abyss, I’m not surprised by the prettiness, I suppose; they’re the lot responsible for Black Desert Online, after all. Let’s just hope I didn’t miss something, and this isn’t an MMO.
Winter 2021 for that one. I will be paying attention.
7:53pm – John David Washington now, presenting Best Narrative. It goes to The Last of Us Part II, and once again I’m not going to comment on that. Still, this is at least one they’re paying attention to and not rushing through — we’ve got a speech and everything.
7:55pm – The Swedish Chef is here! Complete with an award made out of tin foil!
Geoff has shattered his dreams by telling him that he didn’t win an award, but that he’s meant to be announcing a co-op game containing Swedish Chef.
Oh. Overcooked: All You Can Eat with Swedish Chef as a free character. But it’s console, so welp. Moving on.
7:59pm – Alanah Pearce is here telling me to stop vaping. Which is probably a good idea, but it’s helping me keep my sanity through this endless purgatory, so I’m not doing that for the next… oh no. Have we really got two hours of this left? Help me.
Hour two: Vin Diesel Power Hour
8:01pm – Now for the reveal of the Epic Store freebie. Which… seems to be a mashup of Warframe and Unreal Tournament? Shock Rifle, Flak Cannon, Rocket Launcher, and the old Unreal Tournament sounds. Aha, yes. Get a free Unreal Tournament bundle for a limited time if you nab Warframe on the Epic Store. That’s kinda cool, but slightly underwhelming considering this was held off as a big reveal for tonight.
8:03pm – There is something deeply, deeply ironic about Call of Duty using the anti-war song “War Pigs” in a promotional trailer for the Black Ops Season 1 trailer. That’s coming on the 16th of December. But, as with so many things tonight, I find myself asking: who thought that was a good idea?
Oh well. London Philharmonic Orchestra with a medley of Mario songs now.
8:07pm – A PlayStation game reveal, now. I’d normally say I can ignore this, but the problem with these shows is that PlayStation stuff is often also coming out on PC, but that’s not actually mentioned in the show itself. Let’s find out.
8:09pm – Okay, it’s Season. I’m… fairly sure that’s actually coming to PC, but we’ll find out for sure a bit later. Right now, we’ve got Gal Gadot giving out the award for Games For Impact. The winner is… Tell Me Why, by Dontnod. I have yet to play it, but I’m all for trans representation in gaming. Actual trans representation, that is. Giving you a side-eye here, Cyberpunk.
8:12pm – Now for another game announcement! Because that’s what this is really all about! There’s a chap who looks a lot like Vin Diesel in prehistoric-looking gear, fighting with what might be an orc, or something. And then a dinosaur appears and starts eating people, and… okay, that has to be Vin Diesel. It has to be. That, or someone’s getting sued for likeness rights. And now we’ve got holograms, so… Horizon: Minus One Dawn? Or possibly Turok.
Okay, yes, that’s Vin Diesel. The voice makes it clear. I breathe a sigh of relief on behalf of any lawyers nearby.
It’s Ark 2. Ark 2, starring Vin Diesel. I may have finally lost my mind.
8:17pm – Aaaand we’re also getting Ark: The Animated Series, with a whole list of big names. Karl Urban, Elliot Page, Malcolm McDowell, Russell Crowe, Vin Diesel, and a shitload more I missed. That’s coming in 2022.
8:23pm – Right, I’m back, and I have been assured that I have not lost my mind and Ark 2 starring Vin Diesel is a real thing. In the intervening time, we had a Fall Guys season trailer, and a look at the Elite Dangerous: Odyssey DLC/update/what-have-you that lets us wander around the world. Which means it’s now basically Star Citizen, but A) actually released, and B) doesn’t charge you $500 USD in real money for a ship.
We’ve also had another Global Gaming Citizens segment, with a medical doctor talking about gaming and mental health, and more specifically the group CheckPoint. This is something that is actually near and dear to my heart. “It’s okay to be struggling at the moment.” Indeed, it is, and there is help out there.
Finally, we’ve had a look at Outriders, coming in February 2021. Cover sucks, kill to heal, think aggressive, use powers. Sounds alright to me, and People Can Fly is good at making exciting shooty things.
8:29pm – Tom Holland is here to talk about how he played Uncharted so that he could play Nathan Drake in the Uncharted movie. And, more importantly, to introduce Nolan North, who is complaining a lot about how bad this year is and how bitter he’ll be when Tom Holland is the first result for “Nathan Drake” on IMDB. I like Nolan North.
North is also giving out Best Multiplayer Game (presented by Instagram, because of course), which goes to Among Us. Which, I’d like to remind everyone, came out two years ago. Still, I suppose if people are playing it more this year then I shouldn’t nitpick that too heavily. It doesn’t say much for everything that came out in the intervening two years, though…
Once again, the dev team is super emotional about this, and that’s really nice to see. I’m glad some people are taking these awards seriously, even if it’s not The Game Awards.
8:30pm – Huh. Evil Dead: The Game, coming 2021. Which I guess means we’re supposed to forget about the four or five other Evil Dead games that have come out since the early 1980s.
8:34pm – Time for another slew of awards. Best Indie Game goes to Hades. Best Audio Design goes to The Last of Us Part II. Best Role-Playing Game goes to Final Fantasy VII Remake, which… you know what, I’ll rant about that later. We’ve still got awards. (No I won’t, I don’t have time.) Best Sim/Strategy Game goes to Microsoft Flight Simulator. Finally, the fan category, Players’ Voice, with players voting for their favorite game goes to Ghost of Tsushima.
I say finally, but now we’ve got Best Fighting Game, presented by Ralph Macchio and Yuji Okumoto of Cobra Kai. The award goes to Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate. Or, to put it another way, a game-plus-DLC package for a game that’s a year and a half old.
Please tell me we’re nearly done, and we’re not actually only halfway through.
8:40pm – No, I still haven’t forgotten about Geoff Keighley’s shoes.
8:46pm – Uh oh. Josef Fares is back to talk about how his next game is going to break the entire world, and that this isn’t just a world exclusive, but an extra exclusive. Yep, it’s It Takes Two, which was revealed last year and we had no idea what the hell it was. I have just seen a giant spider, though, and that means I’m probably not playing it.
So it looks like a couple in the midst of a relationship breakdown were turned into dolls, and they need to work together to get back to being human. Third-person… platfom/shooter/puzzler thing? Well, that wasn’t what I was expecting from last year’s insane announcement.
It’s coming out on the 26th of March, and if you buy one copy you get another for free so you can play this a friend, so that’s neat. And at least Josef Fares didn’t shout “Fuck the Oscars” this time.
8:49pm – Reggie’s here to present the first award for Innovation in Accessibility, which I would argue is an important category, if only because pushing for accessibility isn’t exactly a bad thing. I’m always happy to see more color-blind modes and the likes pop up in games.
The award goes to The Last of Us Part II. I will comment this time: that game did actually do a hell of a lot for accessibility in gaming, and it probably deserves this award. Not a PC game, but something that’s very, very relevant to PC users.
8:51pm – A new expansion (probably) for The Elder Scrolls Online. If this is prefixed with “Shadow” like every other MMO expansion lately, I’m going to lose my shit.
8:52pm – Nope, it’s Gates of Oblivion. We’re safe. It’s not Shadowblivion or something like that, which I was genuinely half-expecting.
8:55pm – It’s a little bit worrying if a trailer for something in The Game Awards contains multiple quotes from Geoff Keighley, host and producer of The Game Awards. But I suppose that’s just how Western Digital rolls when it comes to releasing trailers for their hardware.
8:58pm – And now, an award for Best Mobile Game. Do I actually have to write this one up? Is it just going to be Among Us again anyway?
8:59pm – Haha, of course it is.
Hour three: Roll for Sanity damage
9:02pm – If it wasn’t for the timestamps to the left I would firmly believe I’ve been here all year.
9:10pm – Troy Baker came on to talk about how great Neil Druckmann is and introduce Eddie Vedder, who played a song. And then we get a trailer for Flying Wild Hog’s Evil West, which looks kinda neat. I like Weird West themes, and Flying Wild Hog tend to do good stuff. Can you tell I’m losing the will to live?
9:12pm – A very anime for Bandai Namco’s Scarlet Nexus, which may or may not be coming to PC. Xbox, again, so it probably will be.
9:14pm – What the fuck was that Omen laptop trailer? That wasn’t real, was it? It can’t have been. Please send help. I’m losing my grip on reality.
9:17pm – New map for Among Us, and it’s… the Airship. Lots of new gameplay features here: ladders, shortcuts like hovering pads, and the ability to choose the room you start in after a meeting. Plus lots of new tasks. Also, you can apparently get a Geoff Keighley mask as a drop on Twitch for the next 30 minutes, and I’m not sure how I feel about this. If it’s a mask it won’t include his shoes. His haunting, haunting shoes.
9:19pm – Content creator JackSepticEye is here to tell us how, during this terrible year in which many of us have been separated from loved ones, it’s okay; the best content creators were still around for us. Valkyrae wins it. I am somewhat out of the loop and don’t know most of these people, but I will say they probably could have chosen better clips. Anyway, congrats to Valkyrae and to the nominees. I don’t know enough to snark, here. Those clips might have horribly misrepresented them.
9:21pm – Continuing on with things I don’t give a shit about, it’s Fortnite. However, Master Chief from Halo is joining Fortnite, so I’m sure a bunch of people will give a shit about that — including people who don’t care about Fortnite. Master Chief is apparently available tonight, and there’s more Halo coming to it too. As of tomorrow at 10am Eastern, you’ll be able to play Capture the Flag in Blood Gulch on Fortnite. On the plus side, this was introduced with a Red vs Blue clip, so some entertainment there!
Huh, still not done with Fortnite. Apparently, Daryl Dixon and Michonne from The Walking Dead are showing up Fortnite next week.
I have now typed Fortnite so many times I can’t see it as a real word anymore. Not that it is a real word (spelled like that, anyway) but you know what I mean.
9:33pm – A trailer for Ruined King: A League of Legends Story, coming 2021. As a side-RPG thing, it actually looks kind of okay! But more importantly, Keanu Reeves is here now.
It’s funny how Keanu Reeves is somehow just the physical embodiment of walking charisma even when he’s sat down on a chair in what I suspect was a pre-recorded video if only because of the quality. Anyway, he’s here to offer up the Best Game Direction award, which goes to The Last of Us Part II. I’ve held my tongue on TLOU2 so far and I’ll largely continue, but I can fairly safely say I disagree with this particular choice.
Only one award left. Game of the Year, presented by Christopher Nolan. It’s nearly over. My prayers are answered. The spotlight is shining directly on Keighley’s shoes and I think the people in control of the lights are doing this to spite me.
But it’s still not over, so first, a GTA Online update with… submarines. Or something. The Cayo Perico Heist, coming December 15.
9:37pm – WAIT FUCK I MISSED SOMETHING VERY IMPORTANT. This was just barely covered over in one of the trailers that were full of stuff we already know, but Yakuza Remastered Collection and Yakuza 6 are both coming to Xbox Game Pass, Windows 10, and Steam next year. Which means every mainline Yakuza game will be available on PC. This is the best news of the night. How dare they try to hide that?
9:41pm – “We’ve got one last world premiere to share with you,” says Geoff. Millions cry out in joy. My soul weeps for the mercy that the Doritos Pope has seen fit to show me.
9:43pm – Mass Effect is continuing. That, or EA has actually lost it and the next game is called Mass Effect Will Continue, which I’d actually approve of. In any case, we knew there was more Mass Effect coming at some point so that cinematic tease really didn’t do much for me. If that was Liara at the end then that might be an interesting point, but that brief glimpse wasn’t enough for me to say for sure if it was her or another Asari. And no, I’m not going to go back and analyse it.
Finally — and I pray this is “final” — Christopher Nolan is here for the last award of the night.
9:46pm – A rather excellent performance from the London Philharmonic here, paying tribute to the Game of the Year nominees.
9:49pm – And Game of the Year goes to The Last of Us Part II. I’m back to biting my tongue, but at this point I’m just happy that this might actually be over.
And we’re done. It’s nearly 3 AM here in UK-land, and I want to go to bed. But first, some stats. From a quick glance — and I may have missed a few in my addled haze, made up of both exhaustion and seething fury — there were around 31 awards given out. Of those, around 13 went to games that are on PC (14, if you count Elden Ring). Some, like Best Esports Everything and so on, weren’t really stuff that PC games were eligible for anyway. Off the top of my head, Hades and Among Us were the two PC games that probably did the best.
And now, a dreadful truth: I mentioned Geoff Keighley’s shoes 13 times, if you count this sentence. Is it a coincidence that the same number of mentions I made are the same number of awards that the PC managed to garner, assuming my count is correct? Yes. Yes it is.
I’ll check the numbers more carefully when I wake up, but: I’ve been at this for nearly four hours, it’s late, and I’ve written 5000 words about The Game Awards, which is a show that I dread every single year. If you read this far, thank you. I’ll be cleaning this article up a bit tomorrow and adding in some links and other bits we may have missed, but for now, goodnight!