The Game Awards promises greater transparency after No Man's Sky complaints

Show's creator Geoff Keighley encouraging developers to offer 'deep-dive' premieres rather than CGI concept trailers

The 2016 Game Awards Show will once again offer world premieres of product announcements and gameplay footage from upcoming titles, but boss Geoff Keighley said he is keen for these presentations to be more honest about each game's scope and quality.

In an interview with Polygon, Keighley used the 2014 trailer for No Man's Sky as a prime example, footage that many have since used to show how much the game changed between reveal and release. In the footage, which promised everything was procedural and captured in real-time, Hello Games presented impressive creatures and landscapes that some argue are leaps and bounds ahead of the game's final quality.

No Man's Sky released this August to mixed reviews, and several complaints that the title was not what was first promised by the 2014 footage, the 2013 reveal or any subsequent promotion - to the point where ad watchdog the ASA was called to investigate the game's marketing.

"I have thought about the story of No Man's Sky a lot," said Keighley. "Did we create this black hole of hype that the developers couldn't pull themselves out of? Some of that was authored by me. There is a good moral of that story and it's part of what I'm trying to address this year; to have developers be more transparent about the state of their game.

"[No Man's Sky], when it was announced, everyone in their mind's eye came up with an idealised notion of what it was going to be. I knew the team and it was eight guys. The vision was never going to be achieved."

The plan for this year's Game Awards is to include presentations that offer "a little more context about what's there", according to Keighley. Some titles are expected to be presented in the style of Let's Play videos, with developers allocated four to five minutes to explore a more representative gameplay session.

Keighley says he is working with developers to help work out how to better present their games, noting that managing early impressions among consumers is not a problem exclusive to our industry.

"The nature of showing anything in advance is challenging and it's a game of expectations," he said. "When Warner Bros showed the first Suicide Squad [footage], everyone went crazy and the movie ended up being kind of not that great."

The Game Awards 2016 will take place on December 1st. Currently the only premiere known about will be the first extensive look at the gameplay of BioWare's Mass Effect Andromeda.

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Latest comments (2)

Robin Clarke Producer, AppyNation Ltd4 years ago
I'd like to see Keighley stop putting an independent studio through the wringer to drum up publicity for his two hour programme of Christmas adverts.
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Paul Jace Merchandiser 4 years ago
I don't think much blame goes to Geoff, it's more Hello's Games fault for presenting something that many consumers did not feel accurately represented the final product. He's still taking responsibility for that reveal trailer from the show but as more of a cautionary tale for why going forward they won't allow the same thing to happen again. This is something that should also be common place in commercials, where companies shouldn't be able to show what essentially comes down to a target video of what the company "hopes" their game will look and play like. It's a smart move by Geoff Keighley and I have a feeling it will catch on eventually.
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