2016 LIVE DECEMBER 7 D H M S

This FAQ is designed to answer many common questions about The Game Awards. If you have additional questions, please contact us at info@thegameawards.com

Who selects the nominees for The Game Awards?

Nominees for The Game Awards are selected by an international jury of 51 global media and influencer outlets, selected for their history of critically and editorially evaluating video games. The list of outlets is available here.  

Each outlet completes a confidential, unranked ballot based on the collective and diverse opinion of its entire editorial staff, listing their 5 picks in each category. These ballots are tabulated, and the five games that appeared on the most ballots receive a nomination. In the event of a tie, six (or more) nominees will be announced in a category.

A separate esports jury, comprised of leading media outlets focused on esports coverage, determines the nominees in the three esports categories.

Does each voting outlet submit votes in every eligible category?

Outlets are given the opportunity to vote in every category, but also encouraged to leave the ballot blank in certain categories if they are unfamiliar with all the eligible titles.

Why do you use this jury to select the nominees?

Given the sheer number of game released each year, as well as the extended time required to fully evaluate said products, a “voting outlet” approach allows for the widest possible critical assessment. A ballot submitted to The Game Awards represents the collective opinion of an entire outlet, not one individual’s point of view.

Who selects the winners?

The winners in most categories are determined by the international jury (90%) and a public fan vote (10%) across TheGameAwards.com and Google Search Voting. In the categories of Best Esports Game, Best Esports Player, Best Esports Team, Most Anticipated Game, and Trending Gamer, the public fan vote across Twitter DM, Facebook Messenger, TheGameAwards.com and Google Search Voting solely determines the winner.  Fan voting closes on Wednesday, December 6 at Midnight PT.

Are voting outlets given free or advance copies of games for consideration?

At the start of the Awards Season, game publishers and developers are provided with access a list of outlets that will submit nomination ballots. While most of our voting outlets already have access to games through the normal editorial process, publishers and developers are permitted to provide review copies or digital redemption codes to the outlets.

In order to ensure the credibility of the voting process, The Game Awards maintains a strict “no campaigning” policy. Publishers and developers are asked to avoid any communication that could be interpreted as “campaigning” for nomination. Game developers and publishers must take steps to avoid anything that could be interpreted as “campaigning.” This includes, but is not limited to, sending voting publications “swag” or other memorabilia, inviting them to special events or meals/drinks where potential nominations are discussed, or flooding publications with constant e-mails or phone calls related to the awards. Any violations of this policy will be reviewed and may lead to the disqualification of a title or, in extreme cases, disqualification of an entire publisher’s slate from awards eligibility in a given year.

To meet our balloting deadlines, some publishers or developers may provide advance or pre-release access to games for critical evaluation tied to the Awards process.

What is the cut off date for games to be eligible?

Games eligible for The Game Awards this year must be available for public consumption on or before November 17, 2017. Titles that are released after this date will be eligible for The Game Awards ceremony in 2018. (Similarly, games that were released after November 24, 2016 are eligible for this year’s awards). Games released in previous years are eligible for nomination in all categories, if the jury feels the game has made significant creative and/or technical improvements that merit a nomination.

How are “games as a service” titles being handled in the voting?

The Game Awards recognizes that many games are becoming ongoing services that evolve over time with new content, features and improvements. Games released in previous years are eligible in all award categories if the jury feels their inclusion is merited due to new content, improvements or services updates. In addition, a new category, “Best Ongoing Game,” specifically recognizes titles that have continued to provide value to customers.

Are early access games eligible for The Game Awards?

Yes, any games available for public consumption by the deadline are eligible for potential nomination. It’s up to the jury to decide if a title warrants nomination for creative and/or technical excellence in any given year.

I’d like to submit my game for consideration in the future, what is the process?

There is no formal submission process for The Game Awards. Qualified developers and publishers can contact The Game Awards to receive the list of voting outlets and a key contact at each outlet.

Is there an entry fee for nomination?

The Game Awards strongly believe that no game developer or publisher should have to pay to have their game considered for The Game Awards. There are no entry forms or fees required — all games are automatically eligible for consideration.

Do show sponsors have an increased chance of winning (or being nominated) for an award?

There is no connection. The voting on nominees and winners is handled by a jury that is wholly unaware of who is sponsoring or participating in other elements of the program.

Are game companies made aware of the nominees or winners in advance of the public?

No, game developers and publishers, including the Advisory Board, find out the nominees and winners at the same time as the public. The Game Awards does not disclose winners in advance of the live ceremony.