This FAQ is designed to answer many common questions about The Game Awards, rules and the voting process.

The Event

When is The Game Awards?

The Game Awards will air live on Thursday, December 9 from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.

Is The Game Awards a virtual event in 2021?

The Game Awards will be an in-person, invite-only event live from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.

How can I watch the show?

The Game Awards will be available to stream for free across all major streaming services. Stay tuned for a list of all the places to watch live!

Can I co-stream the show?

Yes, we welcome and encourage co-streaming.

What can I expect from the show?

The Game Awards will once again celebrate video games with awards, world premieres, musical performances and a few surprises!

Can I attend The Game Awards in person?

The Game Awards 2021 is an invite-only event. Public tickets will not be sold, but we hope to invite some fans. Stay tuned to @thegameawards on Twitter for updates.

Are you telling the winners in advance?

No, the winners are announced during the live show on December 9. No one is informed of the winners in advance.

The Award Process

How are nominees selected for The Game Awards?

Nominees for most categories of The Game Awards are chosen by an international jury of over 100 global media and influencer outlets, selected for their history of critical evaluation of video games.

Specialized juries also convene for other categories including esports and accessibility.

Each voting outlet completes a confidential, unranked ballot based on the collective and diverse opinion of its entire editorial staff, listing out its top five choices in each category.

Ballots are tabulated, and the five games that appear on the most ballots are put forth as nominees. In the event of a tie, six (or more) nominees will be announced in a category.

Game Awards producer Geoff Keighley is not a member of the jury and does not vote on the nominees or winners.

Why do you use this jury to select the nominees?

Given the sheer number of games released each year, as well as the extended time required to fully evaluate 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.

Who selects the winners?

Winners are determined by a blended vote between the voting jury (90%) and public fan voting (10%). Fans can vote for their favorite games on TheGameAwards.com and also via social media platforms in select categories. In China fans can vote on the winners via Bilibili. Fan voting closes on Wednesday, December 8 at 6 pm PT.

Why don’t fans completely chose the winners?

Creating a 100% fan vote presents several challenges. First, given that some games are exclusive to one platform, a public vote puts single-platform games at an inherent disadvantage over multi-platform titles. In addition, it is important that winners cannot be “socially engineered” in any way. We find that a blended vote is the most credible and authentic way to select winners.

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

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. Any violations of this policy are 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 any given year.

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

What is the cutoff date for games to be eligible this year?

Games eligible for The Game Awards this year must be available for public consumption on or before November 19, 2021. Titles that are released after this date will be eligible for The Game Awards ceremony in 2022. (Similarly, games that were released in December 2020 are first eligible for this year’s awards).

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

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

Are early access games eligible for The Game Awards?

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

Is there an entry fee to submit a game?

The Game Awards strongly believes that no game developer or publisher should have to pay to have a game considered for nomination. Thus, there are no entry forms or fees required — all games are automatically eligible for nomination. There is no submission process.

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

No, 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. There are no exceptions to this rule.

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