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Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Wait for the YEAR TO END! Game of the Year Awards

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - That's what we do.

Suddenly, when it looks good for them, people take garbage like The Game Awards seriously. Whether it be Nintendo themselves or fans, they now have ammunition like "Best Shooter of 2015!" when referring to Splatoon. That's the opinion of The Game Awards, which those same fans (rightfully) deride as a trashy outlet in other years. Just 'cause you agree with my opinion for a year doesn't mean you get promoted out of being trash.

To their credits, a lot of other outlets haven't announced their game of the year awards yet for 2015. We're still waiting for IGN, for example. Giant Bomb, too. On the other hand, Metacritic, that aggregate of reviewers' scores, went ahead and announced the best games of 2015. How can an aggregate do that when not every outlet has announced their own?

There is a whole site dedicated to compiling the counts of how many game of the year awards a game gets from outlets for the year. There's hundreds of awards already given.

The main (though it's still better to wait) problem comes not when you give these awards out the week of Christmas (when new games aren't being released anymore, according to a cursory scan of upcoming game release schedules for each console), but there are a lot of outlets that released their announcements at the beginning of December, like The Game Awards did.

Game of the Year 2015 Kirby and the Rainbow Curse Xenoblade Chronicles X timeline
Timeline not to scale and of no quality whatsoever.

As a result, Xenoblade Chronicles X, out in non-Japan December 4, 2015, hasn't won anything yet anywhere. (It won't win on here, either, but that's besides the point.) Some say it should win something somewhere, but it doesn't even get a chance at many outlets because of its release date. Should the game suffer critically because Nintendo in Europe and America released it after Thanksgiving? On the other side of the year, who even remembers that Kirby and the Rainbow Curse came out in 2015? I almost forgot it existed, much less that it's a 2015 release. It came out right at the start of the year.

The real reason that outlets do these things early is the same reason they release reviews as soon as possible (and sometimes even before): Attention. If you're the first outlet to publish GOTY awards, you're gonna get some attention. "Oh, The Witcher 3 has picked up the first award from anywhere! It's off to a great start!" It's all a big rat race, but that's what gets people's attention. I know from writing an article every weekday on this industry that there definitely isn't a lack of things to publish content about for November and December.

I think the only reason that game of the year doesn't get announced earlier in November (or even sooner) is because the game publishers, which we know usually have a cozy relationship with the mainstream media, would get pissed off at that. Funny how that's the only thing keeping these outlets in check. No perks for you if you do it too soon, before the big games are even out.

Even if all the games of the year have come out already (and KoopaTV's hasn't!), why doom yourself to recency bias? The big releases in November will be fresh on your mind, while whatever came out early will fall out. Take your time and make it look like you actually allowed the dust to settle before you proclaim which game is the best.

Stay tuned for KoopaTV's Game of THAT Year 2015 awards, featuring non-game-related awards as well! See the below "related articles" for previous years. They're probably rigged, but that's part of the fun! KoopaTV isn't beholden to any special interests, besides its own. Notice how all of KoopaTV's GOTY content are published outside of the year they are reflecting on? Who knows what the awards will look like this year when the staff doesn't even play videogames anymore.

KoopaTV's 2013 Game of THAT Year nominations. Published January 3, 2014.
KoopaTV's 2013 Game of THAT Year awards. Published January 6, 2014.
Nominations for 2014 on KoopaTV. Published January 2, 2015.
Awards for 2014 on KoopaTV! Published January 5, 2015.
Case-in-point: KoopaTV releases Capture the Confederate Flag late December 31!
See KoopaTV's 2015 Game of THAT Year nominations, published January 8, 2016! Written after this article!


  1. You are one of the few out there that actually waits until the end of the year, and for that I salute you.

  2. This is probably why the movie industry does its awards during months like February to give time for all the late year releases.

  3. And this is why I decided to wait until 12/31 for my Top 5 Games I Played in whenever posts. Sure, it's a little different, since I look at the games I *played* in the year rather than the games necessarily released that year, but what if I finish something truly fantastic right at the end of the year?

    1. What happens then is that you give respect to respectable things that came out that year and assume it's good. And hide you haven't played it.

      Here's the dirty secret in the gaming media: You know they don't actually have the time to play all those games that came out that year. So don't think for a second they are being objective or even fair.

    2. I prefer to keep mine as honest as possible... especially since my views sometimes go against the norm. I'd hate to declare something a great game, then actually play it and find out I'm one of the few people who dislikes it. Or vice versa.

    3. Well, you can see how much respect I give certain games I haven't actually played with the freshly-published GameFAQs Favouritism Bracket!


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