Geoff Keighley, founder of The Game Awards, host and veteran game journalist, joined us for [a]list Live to reveal the journey, challenges and brand partnerships that go into making his show the massive success that it has become.
After working for over 20 years as a video game journalist, a TV host and contributor for the SpikeTV Video Game Awards, Keighley still felt that something was missing. “What I found is that there was really never that show that could be the Oscars for this industry,” he explained.
There are so shortages on award shows these days, but what sets Keighley’s apart is the format. “I’d done television work for over a decade and three or four years ago, I began to see this shift for millennial audiences to consume all their video content on digital platforms,” said Keighley. “When I was thinking about creating something like The Game Awards, one path was to go back to television but I said, ‘maybe there’s something new or interesting to do here to with creating an all-digital show.'”
The decision to broadcast The Game Awards digitally has paid off by reaching its target audience right where they live—over 600 million gaming screens worldwide. “It just felt natural,” Keighley said. “If you’re trying to reach gamers, and celebrating gaming awards, why would you force them to go to Cable?”
The awards show is a mix of honoring game titles over the past year, but Keighley also felt it was important to look to the future with exclusive announcements, trailers and even musical acts. “We try and do a lot more than awards on the show.” The 2016 Game Awards will feature virtual reality, transporting viewers to strategic locations around the event.
When it comes to branding, the show’s non-linear format offers a sense of liberation for how to integrate sponsored content. Although brands can purchase traditional, 30-second spots during the broadcast, Keighley has experienced a sense of excitement from potential partners who want to get involved “Almost everyone has said, ‘we want to work with you to figure out what we can do in this space that’s going to resonate and be authentic with this audience.'”