Once again, it is time to raise a glass and acknowledge this year’s more notable and outlandish ‘achievements’ in the word of gaming. Can we top last years winners which included a prize to EA for renaming loot boxes as “surprise mechanics”, WWE 2K20 claiming the Best Bugs trophy, and the coveted Best Use of Poop award going to Death Stranding? What awards are up for grabs this year? Well… let’s find out!
Hottest New Game Streaming Service Award
A returning category from last year, which shows just how popular game streaming services are. Google Stadia picked up the win last year and has since gone from strength to… er, well it still exists. It’s not exactly caught the imagination of the general public, but this year’s winner certainly won’t fade in to obscurity as it’s Amazon Luna!
Hello? Is this thing on *taps mic* Amazon Luna? Anyone? Launched in September with a hundred games? Anyone? Anyone remember that? Oh dear.
Most Common Reason For Delays Award
This year the ‘It just needs a little more polish’ excuse has been replaced by the one thing that has affected every single person on the entire planet: Coronavirus! Who would have guessed that one?
The dratted pandemic delayed everything from the PC Engine CoreGrafx Mini console to Destiny 2’s Beyond Light expansion. Iron Man VR, The Outer Worlds, Monster Hunter World, and even the behemoth that is Fortnite could not escape the pesky Miss Rona, but just for a change, even the most rabid gaming fans could understand why the games were delayed.
On the upside…
Best Excuse To Stay Home & Play Video Games Award
Cornavirus gets a second win! With lockdowns across the globe forcing billions of people to stay at home (and there only being so much Netflix anyone can stand), sales of video games and consoles have rocketed. Revenue is expected to soar 20% to $179.7B for 2020. That’s more than the revenue of both sports and the movie industry combined, even on a good year.
For the most part mainstream media still views video games for children but things are changing, the Cyberpunk 2077 fiasco made the BBC One O’Clock news, a ground breaking event for which CD Projekt RED are surely very proud.
Biggest Outright Lie In The History Of Video Games, Like EVS, Award
CD Projekt RED’s Adam Kiciński talking about the performance of Cyberpunk 2077 on PlayStation 4, on November 25th, fifteen days before the game launched:
PS5 is great. PS4 is still very good. I mean, we had those extra three weeks and we achieved a lot by – within this final stretch. So, we believe that the game is performing great on every platform.
Oddest Promotional Trailer For A Game Award
Chronos: Before The Ashes, a prequel to Remnant: From The Ashes was announced by THQ Nordic with a very odd trailer that made very little sense:
The ‘I Didn’t Expect That’ Plot Twist Award
Bugsnax looks like a cute cartoony game about cute cartoony creatures doing cute cartoony things. Sure, you eat them and parts of your body turn into the snack you’ve just eaten, but that’s just silly childish fun isn’t it? “You are what you eat”, and all that? That’s what we all thought, and then we played it and got to the end.
The Jean-Claude Van Damme Award For Best Movie Based On A Video Game
Something odd happened in 2019: a movie based on a video game was actually good, as Detective Pikachu brought the world of Pokémon to life with an wonderful story and a wise-cracking CGI Pikachu voiced by Ryan Reynolds.
The signs were not good for the Sonic the Hedgehog movie, forcing the film to be delayed for some hefty CGI surgery. In the end, it turned out to be surprisingly OK. Not a classic by any means, but good. As we all know, a good movie based on a video game is a rare thing indeed. Congratulations Sonic!
Best Next-Gen Console That Your Cat Can Eat Award
Suffice to say this year’s next-gen console launches were a mess with pre-orders going online without warning and last minute delays to launch day deliveries.
Other Amazon customers found their shiny next-gen console replaced with a foot massager and a coffee machine. It appears some of the Amazon staff were rather light fingered and saw an opportunity to snag themselves a PS5 and hope no-one noticed. Unfortunately for them it seems a lot of Amazon staff had the same idea. Oops.
Fastest Un-Launch Award
Now you may be thinking Cyberpunk 2077 has this in the bag after it was removed from the PlayStation store just a few days after launch, but as it’s still available to buy physically and on PC and Xbox it is ineligible for this most coveted of trophies. Instead, it’s a hat trick for Amazon as they pick up their third award, this time for Crucible.
The game officially launched on May 20th but by June 30th it reverted back to a closed beta and was removed from sale, meaning the game was available for just 42 days. A few months later in October Amazon announced the game would be shut down in November and everyone who bought it would get a refund.
Weirdest Crossover Of The Year Award
World of Warships decided it would be a good idea to sit Optimus Prime and Bumblebee on top of a battleship, because reasons.
Scumbags of The Year Award
It’s been a crap year for pretty much everyone, but things took a darker turn in the summer when allegations of sexual harassment, racism, and homophobia surfaced at Ubisoft. At first it was a trickle, but soon it became a flood as more and more former and current staff stepped forward to detail their horrendous experiences at the publisher. Within days of implementing an anonymous alert system, Ubisoft had over a hundred cases, ranging from moral harassment through to rape, with half of the cases already known to HR and a quarter of the complaints concerning the editorial team. Senior staff at the publisher, many who well well known to the games industry, were removed including Tommy François, Ashraf Ismail, Maxime Béland, and Serge Hascoët.
It was reported that senior management and the HR department at the publisher turned a blind eye to the ‘old boys club’ who held senior position. It was also highlighted that many of those in power at the company were all part of the Guillemot family and lacked impartiality, but Chief Executive Officer Yves Guillemot pledged to do better in the future.
That promise lasted all of a few days as the publisher released Tom Clancy’s Elite Squad with the Black Lives Matter logo used to represent Umbra, the bad guys in the game. The game was created by Ubisoft Owlient, managed by Charlie Guillemot, Yves son, who graduated university in 2014 and became the studio manager in the same year.
Best Golf Handicap Award
Abby from The Last of Us Part II. Nuff said.
That’s all for this year’s alternative awards. We’ll be returning to our regular programming tomorrow with Best Nintendo game. What game’s going to snag that one? Well that would be telling, wouldn’t it?