Elder Scrolls 5, Mass Effect 3, Uncharted 3. Spike TV Awards – what’s the connection?

I’ve mentioned a couple of times over the last month or two that various big companies were prepping announcements to be made at the Spike TV Videogame Awards.

And this duly happened.

But why this and why now? What the heck is Spike TV  and why is it better to make announcements at their awards? In fact, what’s the big deal with their awards anyway, is this some huge thing in the US which explains all the palaver?

No, not really. Kotaku even ask the exact same question and as a US based gaming zine, we assume they’d know if it was. It’s just that the marketing bods at the big gaming companies decided that it was a good idea to have a news cycle in December. It’s not an accident that all the games announced are sequels. When a sequel is announced, there’s often an upswing in sales for previous entries in the franchise. Blizzard sold a lot of copies of Diablo 2 and Starcraft when their sequels were announced (including one to me, since I bought a copy of SC myself.)

The thing that puzzled me most about these announcements is that usually – and bear with me here – advertisers try to place TV ads in and around popular shows which will attract a suitable audience. But this seemed more as if the award show was just a forum for the adverts.

(I can’t actually imagine ever having much interest in an award show to be honest.)

Jeff Green has a much better and more informed rant about this. I particularly like the phrase, “the dudebro douchebag contingent” which I think is a bit punchier than Gevlon’s “M&S.”

And sadly, I don’t have the least interest in Elder Scrolls 5, despite it a fantasy RPG. They lost me with their dreadful levelling mechanic in Oblivion, which rewarded you for not putting any points into the skills you actually wanted to specialise in. No thanks, Bethesda. Still, I am amused that as recently as last year they were advising the press not to expect an Elder Scrolls 5 any time soon, and hinting at plans for an MMO.