The Game Awards have quietly become the single most watched awards ceremony in the world over the past few years. While yes, part of this is a global interest in video games, and the work creator and host Geoff Keighley has put in to cultivating the show’s presence, reputation and importance, it’s also about how it’s embraced modern technology in a way other, more traditional award shows have simply failed to match.
Today, it’s been announced that The Game Awards has shattered all its previous viewership records with 103 million total viewers across YouTube, Twitch, Twitter, Steam, Facebook, TikTok Live and Instagram Live. That’s up 20% from last year, and includes 1.9 million peak concurrent viewers on Twitch alone, also up 20% over 2021.
The viewership growth of The Game Awards has been astonishing over most of the last decade, as laid evidenced in previous numbers:
- 2022: 103 Million
- 2021: 85 Million
- 2020: 83 Million
- 2019: 45.2 Million
- 2018: 26.2 Million
- 2017: 11.5 Million
- 2016: 3.8 Million
- 2015: 2.3 MIllion
- 2014: 1.9 Million
This year’s big “success” story elsewhere in entertainment was the Oscars getting up to 16.6 million viewers in 2022, up from a disastrous 10.5 million in 2021. But this of course is exclusive to network TV, drastically limiting the overall reach of the show because you just cannot stream it nearly anywhere, and certainly not on all the various social platforms that The Game Awards has embraced. We see similar, even lower viewership for the Emmys, the Grammys, and so on.
Of course, we don’t have a direct way to compare revenue. TV ads for the Oscars are still likely bringing in more money than Twitch inserts for The Game Awards. Though Keighley’s show also does big brand deals with sponsors, and serves a dual purpose as a launchpad for world premiere trailers and footage for upcoming games. In that sense, it has almost replaced the flailing E3 show in the summer in terms of being the year’s biggest singular event for gaming debuts, in addition to its awards themselves that the industry now has deemed prestigious enough to really mean something, which was not the case back in the SpikeTV VGA era.
But yes, we’ve reached a point where The Game Awards is veering toward having ten times the total audience of something like the Oscars. That means a bigger show, more advertisers and sponsors in the future, no doubt. And as ever, more world premieres. How long will this kind of growth continue? Guess we’ll check back in 2023.
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