Was the VGX a failure?

Posted December 7, 2013 by Robert Steltenpohl in Video Games


Well the VGX’s are over and the awards have been handed out. Debates have been decided and others are just beginning. The three-hour show had its ups and had many, many downs. While I don’t want to get into the choices of award winners, I do want to discuss the things I enjoyed tonight and the things I didn’t.  Let’s start with the bad things first.

Negative: Lack of Heart

The way this show was advertised, it was supposed to be a celebration for 2013, in gaming. It was supposed to be exciting, fun, and three hours of entertainment. In short, it failed to do so. First of all, why do you air it in a closed in living room? The entire show was filmed like a modern version of Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood. It was Joel Mchale, who sucked and we’ll get to that later, and Geoff Keighley giving almost all announcements and awards. They sat down and interviewed developers and award winners came up with video ways of acceptance. Now, I know that Geoff is a huge gamer and helped create this award show 10 years ago. However, why do you not have the gamers there to celebrate with you? There were no fan reactions to winners, losers, or to announcements. It was flat. That also caused by the fact, it was all streamed online. In the past, the VGA’s were aired on Spike TV and streamed on various sites. This year, it was only streamed and I believe that took away from it as well. Many viewers dealt with lag and inability to connect to the websites. Here’s another reason why we, as a culture, are not ready for online only. Everyone doesn’t have the Internet at home. If they do, that doesn’t mean that they have good enough service to stream for three hours.


Next, what the heck was up with Joel Mchale? The Soup personality and star of Community was sarcastic and he seemed unscripted. It, again, failed. He was dry and his jokes seemed forced. At times, it seemed he had never played a video game before. Maybe it was just bad chemistry with him and Geoff, either way it was a bad call for a host. The show could have benefited from hosts that were energetic and cared about what they were presenting. Joel, at times, seemed like Daria trying to present an award. Next year, let’s try and find someone who knows games, script his/her dialogue, and put it in front of an audience that can react like the many viewers watching.

Negative: Where are All of the Awards?


The show advertised 23 categories of awards. That’s a ton of awards to announce. It was three hours long. That’s plenty of time to air the selections and show us some trailers, right? Nope. How many awards did we see presented? Seven. Yeah, you read correct. Seven. I thought this was an award show. I thought this was a celebration of the year, for gaming awards. You show the most prestigious award in the first hour and a half of the show? What? The awards that were presented weren’t even the most popular awards. Best Sony game, Best Nintendo game, and Best Xbox game were all omitted. This year’s award show started off badly with its choices going in and it continued throughout. I really don’t get it. I understand wanting to show trailers. I even understand wanting to let studios show gratitude in special ways, but why do you cut 16 awards from your show? This show seemed less about celebrating the year’s best games, and more about the number of times studios could say, “next gen.”

Positive: The Awards Given


It was great to see the awards given tonight. Even though we didn’t see every category, we did see many and it was great to see them. GTA, Bioshock, Last of Us, the Lutece Twins, and Naughty Dog all showed gratitude in clever ways to accept their victories. I can say that I don’t agree with every award given, but that didn’t matter. It was about the voting and celebrating.

Positive: Game Announcements


This year’s show gave us many video game announcements. We saw two new Titan classes for Titan Fall. We were amazed by Division’s level lay out and it’s beauty. We were also blown away by announcements that Tell Tale Games will be making a Borderlands game and a Game of Thrones game. Nintendo showed us a new Donkey Kong game and gave us Cranky Kong gameplay. It was great to see that Tomb Raider will be coming to next gen early next year. Dying Light and Quantum Break were probably the coolest announcements of the night though. We were finally able to see game play of both games in more detail prior to tonight. It was a show full of tons of announcements and that is an area they didn’t fail.

In case you were some more details, here is the link to our recap of tonight’s announcements: Click Here

Positive: Next Gen Looks Incredible


The gamer’s future is very bright. Game trailers were bountiful and it was fantastic. We saw Witcher and Division that looks like the epitome of what next gen should be. Thief seems to be a game that will give us a great time. We also saw new material for Destiny and every fan of Bungie jumped up in their seats. It was a great night to see some trailers of games for next year. Over the next few months, it seems people will realize why next gen was so important. It was encouraging to see and it’s so much fun to anticipate.


Overall Grade: D

This year’s show was a let down in many aspects. It wasn’t all failures, but there were so many that showed. Mchale’s apathetic attitude, lack of overall awards, and a stupid concert everyone muted over shadowed the real reason we watch this event. The announcements were good and the game play trailers got us excited, but nothing was able to get the bad taste out of our mouths from the rest of the show. If you were one of the few that waited to see announcements afterwards, then you might have had a better time than the rest of us. I truly hope next year will be stronger and get back to what this show is about, saying thank you to studios for their amazing achievements.

About the Author

Robert Steltenpohl

I'm a teacher from Georgia. I love sports, video games, comics, and movies. I think the Bioshock series tells the best story ever in video games.