The Game Awards 2021: how to watch and what announcements we can expect

The video game Oscars are tonight but what everybody’s really interested in are what new games will be shown for the first time.

The most important preview event of the year is no longer E3 in June but The Game Awards in early December. Because of the time they’re on though they’re not an easy thing to watch in Europe, which is a shame because this year’s is being hyped up as one of the biggest so far.

You can watch the show via the YouTube video above and a whole bunch of alternatives, including Twitch (link here), Twitter, Facebook Live, Steam, and TikTokLive.

The problem, as you’ll see below, is the time it’s on, which is not convenient for anyone expecting to get a night’s sleep tonight. Whether it’ll be worth the effort remains to be seen but the shows have been used to debut increasingly important games over the last few years and this is expected to be no different.

When do The Game Awards 2021 start in the UK?

The show begins on Thursday, December 9 at 8pm Eastern Time in the US, which works out as 1am GMT on Friday morning in the UK (2am if you’re on the Continent!).

There’s also a pre-show event that starts at the equivalent of 12.30am, although that usually only features smaller titles and games that have already been announced.

An official end time hasn’t been announced but last year’s lasted for just over three hours, so for anyone that’s got to be up in the morning it’s a big commitment to try and watch it live.

What is The Game Awards 2021?

The Game Awards is essentially two different events in one. The first is the video game equivalent of the Oscars, where ordinary gamers and journalists from around the world (including us) vote on the best games of the last 12 months in a wide range of categories.

The nominations were announced a while ago and the first winner – of the only 100% public category – has already been revealed. The rest of the winners are announced throughout the course of the night but apart from the hotly contested Game of the Year award there’s no pretending that the primary draw of The Game Awards isn’t the new game trailers.

Over the last few years, The Game Awards has become the preferred venue for third party publishers to unveil games for the first time or to debut gameplay footage of a game that’s previously never been seen in detail. Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo also sometimes use it for the same purpose, given it helps to drum up interest in their formats just ahead of Christmas.

Bethesda’s Starfield, for example, seems quite likely and even the Zelda: Breath Of The Wild sequel is not impossible. Sony hasn’t announced anything new for a while either, and you can’t rule out things like the rumoured new BioShock game or the recently leaked Chrono Cross Remaster.

As with any preview event though the golden rule is to expect as little as possible, so as to avoid disappointment. Also, the thing to remember with The Game Awards is that while they do often have big announcements the games are never shown for very long and often it’s just pre-rendered trailers and not actual gameplay footage.

Me and the @RocksteadyGames squad are getting ready to dive into the #TheGameAwards. Can’t wait to share the mayhem with you all! Good luck @GeoffKeighley! pic.twitter.com/ZTJOhUqbZ8

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