“What is your next move, Jedi?” Followers of Cal Kestis’ epic journey in a galaxy far, far away will finally get a taste of “Star Wars Jedi: Survivor” in action this week.
Respawn Entertainment, Electronic Arts, and Lucasfilm Games will debut the official gameplay trailer for the highly-anticipated entry in the series at the Game Awards on Thursday, Dec. 8, Variety can reveal exclusively.
“Survivor” picks up five years after the events of its predecessor, “Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order.” While the series’ hero, Cal, has remained a step ahead of the Empire’s pursuit of him, he begins to feel the weight of being one of the galaxy’s last remaining Jedi. With BD-1 by his side, Cal must ally himself with a menagerie of interesting characters and grow his connection with the Force.
“I don’t want to spoil too many details ahead of the show, but I can say that it will be the first time that Respawn will be showing the game in action to the world, so fans have a lot to look forward to,” Game Awards creator, host and executive producer Geoff Keighley says of the big reveal. “We’ve been working with Respawn and EA on this moment for the better part of six months.”
The trailer is one of many special moments planned for TGA viewers, who can stream the ceremony for free across more than 40 digital video networks including Twitch, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram Live and TikTok Live.
“As usual, we’ll have tons of exciting world premieres, special appearances by folks like Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey to promote HBO’s ‘The Last of Us’ series, and performances like Hozier performing ‘Blood Upon the Snow’ from ‘God of War,’” Keighley tells Variety of this year’s programming. “Additionally, we’ve added the best adaptation category this year, which celebrates games-inspired experiences in various forms. We have an incredibly impressive list of nominees spanning 108 different games, individuals, teams and events across a multitude of gaming genres and platforms, so it will be a close race in who takes home awards this year.”
The Game Awards, sometimes referred to as the “Oscars of Gaming,” is the industry’s biggest celebration of video games and their place in pop culture. “God of War Ragnarök” leads the pack with ten TGA nominations, including game of the year and best game direction. It’s followed by “Elden Ring” and “Horizon Forbidden West,” which each racked up seven nods.
As for who may take home the night’s top honors, Keighley isn’t making any guesses. “Always hard to predict – thankfully! As a producer you want a show where anything can happen! Certainly ‘Elden Ring’ and ‘God of War’ seem to be the frontrunners, but I love how diverse our slate of nominees is. A JPRG, an adventure game with a cat and even a first-ever GOTY nomination for Focus Entertainment out of France with ‘A Plague Tale: Requiem,’” he says.
Although a majority of fans have always tuned in remotely, this year will also mark TGA’s return to an in-person ceremony. “We’re proud that the majority of our audience are public guests and real fans who come in from all around the world to be there,” says executive producer Kimmie Kim. “There’s nothing better than hopefully surprising them with some games and announcements – you really feel the community come to life in the room, and we’ve really missed the ‘bonding’ moments that happen in-person, and we look forward to recreating those moments this year.”
The Game Awards have continued to evolve since its inception in 2014, becoming a true destination for both hardcore and casual fans of video games. “When we started in 2014, the idea of only streaming a big live event like this over the Internet seemed ill-advised, some could say we took a leap in the dark,” Kim says. “Since then, the show has evolved from an outcast to an insider in terms of the viewership experience, with over 85 million viewers tuning in across streaming platforms in 2021. The show, and the games industry as a whole, now touches all corners of pop culture – from music to film to sports to television to comic books and beyond, which is incredible to see from an evolutionary standpoint.”