Games Media Awards soured by sponsors Grainger Games
Eurogamer scoops best website award, RPS takes best blog
Intent Media MD Stuart Dinsey has issued a statement apologising for the behaviour of the sponsors of last night's Games Media Awards, retailer Grainger Games.
"I'd like to take this opportunity to apologise wholeheartedly for this - and to make it very clear that Grainger will not be welcome back in any capacity to the GMAs, or any Intent Media events."
Grainger Games, a retail chain founded in 1997 in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, supplied the event with girls in bikinis, midgets, a bright orange Hummer and Grainger branded condoms. They also continually and loudly heckled both the presenter Greg Davies and the award winners.
A number of industry sources reported they had seen the Grainger Games table flick their branded condoms into other attendee's food, interrupt the host and, encouraged by MD Stephen Bowyer, climb onto the stage to dance in front of the winner's lectern.
Their behaviour was commented on by many, and the company name was trending on Twitter earlier today. Xbox LIVE editor Daniel Maher attended the event, and tweeted his experiences with Grainger Games.
"Grainger Games are an absolute disgrace. Complete disrespect for the industry they're supposedly a part of," he wrote.
"Two of them attempted to physically and verbally intimidate me after I'd told them to shut up."
A twitter account in the name of James Gee, a Grainger Games area manager, replied to the controversy.
"What a joke this is! Massively blown out of proportion! Surely all you humans have better things to talk about?"
Grainger Games won the Independent Retailer Of The Year title at MCV's 2010 Industry Excellence Awards.
"Grainger approached us a few months ago and explained that their intention, through association with the GMAs, was to get closer to the games media," continued Dinsey's frank apology. "What they have done, in spectacular fashion, is alienate the entire games media in one night. Good work, guys."
Dinsey also promised that next year MCV will "give the event back to the media."
Grainger Games did not respond to GamesIndustry.biz when asked for comment, but did put out this apology via its website.
"We wholeheartedly apologise if we offended anyone at last night's GMAs. It was never our intention to upset anybody," read the statement.
"We sponsored the awards to show our support for everyone involved in games media and we continue to value and appreciate all their hard work and commitment."
Despite the outrageous behaviour there was still plenty to celebrate at the awards.
Eurogamer won the best website award, while best blog went to Rock, Paper, Shotgun.
The Guardian took the award for coverage in a national newspaper, while Dave Cook took the regional games columnist award for his work for The Scotsman. Best coverage in a mainstream magazine was snapped up by free paper Shortlist, and best print magazine went to Edge. SentUAMessage won best games broadcast/podcast.
Martin Gaston of Videogamer was this year's Rising Star, and Keza McDonald of IGN took the specialist writer online title. Specialist print writer went to Christian Donlan. The industry legend award went to Colin Campbell, who joined IGN this year. Pat Garratt of VG247 presented Campbell with his prize.
Around 350 people attended the event, which took place at Vinopolis near London's Borough Market.