The Game Awards 2021 have come and gone, giving fans much to think about and to look forward to in 2022. According to the event’s creator and host, Geoff Keighley, this year’s The Game Awards was the most viewed ceremony in its seven-year history.
Since its inception, The Game Awards has only gotten larger, from the number of reveals and segments to the general production value. After hosting an entirely digital broadcast in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, The Game Awards 2021 was held in person once more, returning to its traditional format. It was a night full of world premieres and first-look trailers like Sonic Frontiers, Slitterhead from the original creator of Silent Hill, and Alan Wake 2. For many though, this year’s ceremony felt more focused on game debut than industry recognition, a bit antithetical to the point of The Game Awards.
Keighley shared in a new Tweet a plethora of viewership statistics regarding The Game Awards 2021, it having the “biggest audience to date.” Keighley writes, “We’re thrilled to share that #TheGameAwards delivered a record 85 million livestreams in 2021,” assumedly across the number of platforms and co-streams where it was available to watch. This is an improvement of 2% over The Game Awards 2020, that show having 83 million livestreams. The Game Awards 2021 also had its largest Watch Time on YouTube to date, with the total viewership bringing in 1.75 million hours.
Keighley also provides some statistics regarding viewer interaction with the show. There was a total of 1.6 million Tweets about the show, and 23.2 million votes submitted in the selection process, new records for both aspects of The Game Awards. With a long list of world premieres at The Game Awards 2021, along with many notable (and perhaps unexpected) wins, there was much for discussion online throughout the show and afterward. After two tough years, The Game Awards 2021 was an outlet for many to look back on the good of this past year while get excited for what’s to come down the road.
While The Game Awards 2021 performed better than The Game Awards 2020, there are still two worrying takeaways that Keighley is likely already considering. First is again, the balance between award show and game presentation, as The Game Awards 2021 is an example of a premiere-dominant show with some awards scattered throughout, making it not much different than E3. Secondly, the viewership improvement is marginal at best despite all the excitement going into it, though any improvement is still a positive.