2023 has undeniably been an incredible year for the quality of games released. However, amidst the celebration of game releases, it is crucial to address the unfortunate reality that this year has been utterly disastrous for the people who made these games. During this year’s Game Awards, Geoff Keighley failed to acknowledge this industry-wide crisis. It is estimated that between six and seven thousand workers have lost their jobs in the gaming industry this year alone, irrespective of studio size or success. As a result, those who are now unemployed are faced with the daunting challenge of competing for a dwindling number of job openings. The International Game Developers Association’s executive director, Jakin Vela, describes this period as one of the most volatile in the past 15 years, emphasizing the urgent need to recognize the plight of game developers.

It is important to note that Geoff Keighley is not directly responsible for these widespread layoffs. Layoffs are unfortunately a regular occurrence in many industries, including gaming. However, Keighley, with his prominent platform, bears a duty to his audience to acknowledge the harsh conditions under which games are made. Keighley has previously demonstrated his awareness of the industry’s issues. In 2021, when Activision Blizzard faced a harassment lawsuit, Keighley publicly announced that the company would not appear at his show. He expressed his commitment to fostering a safe and inclusive environment. Additionally, he acknowledged the power and visibility of his platform, acknowledging the need to work together for positive change.

Throughout The Game Awards, Keighley and developers spoke passionately about the impact of video games on our culture and their ability to broaden perspectives. However, this celebration of gaming achievements failed to pay homage to the countless individuals suffering within the industry. The production crew’s decision to curtail developers’ speeches, and in some cases abruptly cut them off, further exemplifies the lack of recognition and support provided. The Game Awards should be a platform for celebrating the collaborative efforts of those who create games. Without these hardworking individuals, video games would not exist. Therefore, the failure to acknowledge their struggle is, at best, an abdication of responsibility, and at worst, an act of cowardice. This omission is all the more disheartening since Keighley has previously shown his genuine concern for the broader video game community, transcending the mere promotion of “world premieres” and cultivating relationships with industry insiders, including Muppets.

The Game Awards not only missed an opportunity to recognize the hardships faced by game developers but also neglected its duty to address and alleviate their suffering. Geoff Keighley, as the face of the event, has a responsibility to advocate for the well-being of those who make the industry thrive. By disregarding this crucial aspect, he undermines the integrity of the event and diminishes the passion and dedication demonstrated by countless game developers. Moving forward, it is essential for The Game Awards to prioritize inclusivity, support, and appreciation for the individuals who contribute their talent and labor to the vibrant world of video games.

Tech

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