This year, the mix seems especially rich, soaked in a slew of big news, new games, and trailers. We’ve put together both a look at what we expect to win the Game Awards, but also a look at the news most likely to be announced.
Make sure to check out all of our Game Awards 2018 coverage, especially Thursday night as we cover the show live, from the red carpet and inside the awards themselves. You can watch the show live right here.
Ubisoft dropped a teaser trailer this week showing off a tantalizing glimpse of an upcoming “Far Cry” that seems to be set in a post-apocalyptic world. We know we’ll be seeing the full trailer, and maybe even hearing more about that game during the big show.
Epic Games has already had one heck of a week, announcing its own Epic Store Online, a major new mode to “Fortnite” called Creative, and kicking off Season 7. But wait, there’s more. We know something else is happening at the Game Awards, straight from Donald Mustard’s Twitter account.
Obsidian Entertainment is unveiling its next role-playing game, which is set to be published by Take-Two Interactive’s Private Division, during the Game Awards. All we know is that it’s a science fiction role-playing game.
Popular on Variety
Id Software’s official “Rage 2” Twitter account said a new trailer is coming for the post-apocalyptic game.
During Microsoft’s X018 event last month the company announced that it would be revealing its Xbox Winter of Arcade line-up. Expect a slew of unveils, and maybe even a montage or two. The Twitter account for the Xbox Game Pass has also been hinting at some Game Awards-timed news.
Over the past week, a number of influencers are journalists received a prize package in the mail that included an over-sized pair of orange Dice and a note saying “Sliding into the Game Awards on 12/6.” Fans of Crash Bandicoot can’t help but hope this could be a teaser for a “Crash Team Racing” announcement at the show.
This might be a bit of a stretch. “Rocket League” is going to be bringing Twitch Drops to the official Game Awards stream. Who knows maybe they’ll drop a bit of news with the fan rewards.
Nintendo has been calling for fans to watch the Game Awards this week. They’re not giving away a lot publicly but the best guesses include some sort of news about “Super Smash Bros. Ultimate,” and a possible “Metroid Prime Trilogy” port coming to the Switch.
Among the guests attending the Game Awards are “Stranger Things” creators Matt and Ross Duffer. We know they’re there to participate, and that they won’t be presenting any awards, which leaves an announcement. A “Stranger Things” game seems high on that list. Maybe it’s the narratively-driven game that Telltale Games was once set to be a part of.
The official Twitter account for “Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds” has been telling people that they won’t want to miss the Game Awards Thursday night. We don’t know what they might be showing off at the show — if anything — but with the PlayStation 4 version of the game set to hit Friday it seems likely it might be PS4 related.
The timing may just be coincidental but Koei Tecmo has been teasing news of a new game for Thursday. Famitsu may have spoiled the surprise overnight revealing that all of the fire and flame on that tease is about Japanese horse racing game “Winning 9.” So maybe we won’t see this at the Game Awards, or maybe the company is bringing it to North America.
“Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey,” the new game in development by Patrice Desilets and company, will be showing off its first gameplay session during the Game Awards, according to the company.
Electronic Arts’ “Anthem” will be getting a new trailer, according to the official Twitter account for the game.
Rumors have been swirling for weeks that a new “Alien” game might be shown off during the Game Awards, and this one seems like it might be one of the biggest announcements at the show. It’s likely this will be the reason we’ve been seeing that “Worlds Will Change” tagline. It’s likely that the new game, rumored to be named “Alien: Blackout” is what Cold Iron Studios has been working on.
Massive monster hunter “Dauntless” was first announced during the 2016 Game Awards, and the game is promising that the game “is ready to make a thundering leap forward” with the game’s biggest update going live during the Game Awards.
Given the relationship between Hideo Kojima and Geoff Keighley, we’re sure to see more on “Death Stranding” at the show. Hopefully, it will include more throat babies, surprise actor unveils and lots of perplexing moments.
As with the Duffer Brothers, Joe and Anthony Russo are set to present at the Game Awards, and fan-theories hope that means that we’re finally going to get more details about “The Avengers” game publisher Square Enix announced at the beginning of the year.
“Magic the Gathering” noted that there will be an exclusive announcement about the game during the Game Awards Thursday. It’s likely related to Magic Arena, the computer version of the classic card game.
While they may not get all of the attention of the evening, the awards are really what this show is about. For a year, the world is enthralled with the creation of video games. For one night, we get to celebrate the people who spent so much time, so much of their lives creating them. Here’s who we think will be taking how the awards. This isn’t really a list of our personal picks, but who we think will actually win. Drop in your own votes and predictions in the comments.
GAME OF THE YEAR
This is a tough call. It was an amazing year packed with amazing games. “Red Dead Redemption 2” is surely a favorite to win, but I’m betting on underdog “God of War” to take home the prize.
BEST ONGOING GAME
Games, some of the best of them at least, have become living works of art. This award celebrates that ongoing effort. All of the nominees in this list have done amazing work. Some have reinvigorated dying games, others have continued to evolve. I think “Fortnite” though, and it’s approach to story and gameplay evolution, deserves this award most.
BEST GAME DIRECTION
As with the game of the year, the best game direction is a hard call, but ultimately, I feel that the singular vision seen in “God of War” will win the award.
Story-telling in video games is best when its done in a way that can only be achieved in a video game. That’s most true in “Red Dead Redemption 2” which created such a rich, deep set of stories that the end result, not of the story, but the mythology of that world, will be different for every player.
BEST ART DIRECTION
I suspect that “Return of Obra Din” may be a close second, but it’s hard to argue with the painterly beauty of “Red Dead Redemption 2.”
“Celest” is a gorgeous creation, steeped in wonderous music.
BEST AUDIO DESIGN
“Call of Duty: Black Ops 4”
Christopher Judge as Kratos, “God of War”
GAMES FOR IMPACT
“Life is Strange 2: Episode 1”
BEST INDEPENDENT GAME
BEST VR/AR Game
BEST ACTION GAME
“Call of Duty: Black Ops 4”
BEST ACTION/ADVENTURE GAME
“God of War”
BEST ROLE PLAYING GAME
“Monster Hunter: World”
“Super Smash Bros. Ultimate” — not really, it missed the deadline. So, I guess “Dragon Ball FighterZ”
BEST FAMILY GAME
“Mario Tennis Aces”
BEST STRATEGY GAME
“The Banner Saga 3”
BEST MULTIPLAYER GAME
CONTENT CREATOR/STREAMER OF THE YEAR