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The Game Awards 2021 date, time, nominations, predictions, and how to watch

2021 is almost over, so it’s time to pass out the Keighleys.

game awards 2021 statue date
The Game Awards

The Game Awards 2021 returns this December to shine a light on some of the best and brightest video games of 2021. Between the speeches, there will be tons of exclusive reveals to see regardless of whether you’re on PlayStation, Xbox, Switch, or PC. Below, we outline everything you need to know about The Game Awards 2021 including its confirmed date, time, stream links, predictions for what we’ll see, and the status of an in-person event.

When is The Game Awards 2021 date and time?

On September 30, Game Awards host Geoff Keighley announced that The Game Awards 2021 will air on the evening of December 9 in 4K UHD on a wide variety of platforms. While a start time has yet to be publicly revealed, history dictates it will probably be around 6:30 p.m. Eastern, with a pre-show airing 30 minutes before the main event.

Where do I watch The Game Awards 2021?

Geoff Keighley returns for another night of cross-platform game reveals with The Game Awards 2021. The event airs on December 9, 2021.

Charley Gallay/Getty Images for E3/Entertainment Software Association

The Game Awards 2021 is set to air across 40 different video, social, and gaming platforms this year, but all the main ones should suffice for those hoping to keep track of the action. These are the official Game Awards accounts, so they should be streaming in full 4K as long as your device supports it.

In our experience watching and covering The Game Awards over the past few years, we’ve found that each platform, especially when it comes to video, has its own benefits and drawbacks. Twitch, for example, is often a few seconds ahead of the YouTube stream and features an opportunity for viewers to get any free Twitch Drops Keighley may or may not announce over the course of the proceedings. YouTube is generally a hair behind Twitch, but it offers a less laggy experience that functions better on older hardware.

The Game Awards 2021 predictions

While it’s a bit difficult to predict what will be on the slate of exclusive reveals this far ahead of the show, we’ll offer a few educated guesses that sound most realistic to us. We don’t have any inside scoops to share, but these announcements just sound right to us.

Will we see more from The Last Of Us universe at The Game Awards 2021?

Sony Interactive Entertainment
  • Something The Last of Us related: As we inch toward the expected 2022 premiere of The Last of Us TV series on HBO, Naughty Dog should have something ready to hype up a year ahead that will almost assuredly be focused on the outbreak-based drama. Will it be The Last Of Us Part II Director’s Cut with an included Last Of Us remake? Will we get a first glimpse at The Last Of Us Part II multiplayer or even the TV show itself? All of these sound possible.
  • Dragon Age 4: This game was revealed back at The Game Awards 2018, and we have heard little more than a peep from it since. Rumors suggest the project’s been rebooted, but, if that’s the case, I think it’s high time we see some proof of that even if it’s in a CG format.
  • Elden Ring: Geoff has aligned himself pretty closely with Bandai Namco and Elden Ring ever since the game was fully revealed at Opening Night Live in June. We expect that trend will continue in December with even more footage and reveals. To make our prediction a bit spicier, we’ll also say these new details will arrive alongside some kind of delay outside the game’s currently known release date of January 21, 2022.
  • Mass Effect 4: Mass Effect closed out The Game Awards last year, so it’d be appropriate to continue that narrative in 2021. If we don’t see much during N7 day on November 7, it seems all the more likely we’ll see it here.
  • Final Fantasy XVI: Square has insinuated that it intends to show off Final Fantasy XVI sometime in the reasonably near future, and, since the game wasn’t a part of Tokyo Game Show this year, The Game Awards would be the next major stop on the press junket if they did want to show it off in 2021.
  • Other updates on ONL reveals: Opening Night Live featured a ton of supposed 2022 games in addition to Elden Ring that we’ll likely see again at TGA in some way. Games like Saints Row, Marvel’s Midnight Suns, and Horizon: Forbidden West all release next year, so we’ll likely see more from them.
  • Fortnite: There’s almost always some kind of Fortnite reveal at The Game Awards, so why should 2021 be any different? Season 8 is expected to end on December 5, which likely means most major events will have happened in-game before the show, but there’s still plenty of opportunities to show off new skins. Maybe with the launch of Metroid Dread, we’ll finally get that Samus skin we were expecting last year.
  • Splitgate and New World: These two games are perhaps the biggest zeitgeist titles at the time this article is being written, so we’d have to imagine Keighley has something in the works for a Game Awards reveal. Both of these games have live-service elements, which makes them perfectly suited for updates to come in the future.
  • At least one Schick Hydrobot Joke: True fans of The Game Awards will likely remember the Schick Hydrobot from The Game Awards 2016, as their presence continues to loom over the show even years later. Will they be back, or will Keighley just mention them? It has to happen.

What are The Game Awards 2021 nominees?

Each year, a voting jury of high-profile outlets nominate the many games. “Nominees for most categories of The Game Awards are chosen by an international jury of over 95 global media and influencer outlets, selected for their history of critical evaluation of video games,” an official FAQ reads. In 2020, nominees were announced on November 18, which was just under a month prior. It seems likely that 2021’s nominees will similarly be announced in mid-November.

Expect 2021’s biggest games to receive nods. That ought to include titles like Deathloop, Resident Evil Village, Returnal, Scarlet Nexus, It Takes Two, and many others.

What musical performances will be featured during the Game Awards 2021?

So far the only announced musical performance includes Sting performing “What Could Have Been” from the soundtrack to the Arcane League of Legends TV series. More news about musical performances is expected to arrive in the coming days.

Will the Game Awards 2021 be an in-person event?

Yes! There will also be a live audience at the Microsoft Theater watching the event on stage as it unfolds. The in-person festivities will be invite-only, however, which means you likely have to be part of the media to get a seat. For the viewers at home, though, this change in setting will still provide a distinctly different experience from what we watched in 2020.

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