Starting Thursday evening at 5:30 pm PT, The Game Awards 2018 will begin. This year’s show, the fifth iteration of the annual event, looks to be one of the largest and most exciting yet. And given the size and scope of the event, it’s understandably difficult to keep track of the myriad Game Awards announcements and rumors.
For those unfamiliar with The Game Awards, it’s the video game industry’s most watched and hyped end-of-year awards show. Industry personality and experienced event host and media personality, Geoff Keighley, started the event in 2014 after the Spike Video Game Awards show was discontinued. Keighley has partnered with the video game industry’s largest companies, including Activision, AMD, EA, Kojima Studios, Microsoft, Nintendo, Rockstar, Sony, Ubisoft, Valve, Warner Bros., and most recently Tencent to bring about an award show filled with celebrities, surprises, and major announcements.
2018 looks to put prior years to shame, with The Game Awards and Geoff Keighley already confirming some of what fans can look forward to during the show:
- 30 Award Categories – 22 award categories are voted on and decided by a jury of major video game media outlets, while 8 community and esports categories are decided via audience voting.
- Over 15 Celebrity Presenters – The list includes Jonah Hill, Christoph Waltz, the Russo Brothers, Pepe the King Prawn, Aisha Tyler, Joel McHale, Rosa Salazar, Rivers Cuomo, Brendon Urie, Tyler ‘Nina’ Blevins, JackSepticEye, Phil Spencer, Jeff Kaplan, Shawn Layden, and more.
- Over 10 New Game Announcements – Plus several sneak previews and updates for already announced games.
- Several Musical Performances – The Game Awards Orchestra, conducted by Lorne Balfe, will perform several pieces featuring special guests Hans Zimmer, Harry Gregson-Williams, Lena Raine, and Sarah Schachner. A special live performance of “Devil Trigger,” the theme of Devil May Cry 5, will also be done.
With those general reveals to go by, The Game Awards 2018 has already made clear that it’s not an event to miss. But if those reveals are too general, then perhaps a breakdown of all of the currently confirmed game announcements and reveals, as well as a list of rumors, will help make the event all the more enticing.
The Game Awards 2018 will feature at least 10 new game announcements, according to Geoff Keighley. The show will also feature several reveals or announcements from currently available or previously confirmed games. Some of the planned announcements are already known, in part due to planned hints from The Game Awards and in part due to overly excited marketing from game publishers.
- Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey – Patrice Desilets, creator of the Assassin’s Creed franchise, will be showing the very first look at his new studio’s first game, a third-person title that promises a new “twist” on the survival genre. Confirmed by Ancestor‘s official social media account.
- Anthem – BioWare’s upcoming third-person multiplayer game will have a new trailer shown during The Game Awards 2018, though the content of the trailer remains unclear. Confirmed by both Geoff Keighley and BioWare general manager Casey Hudson.
- Far Cry – The official Far Cry Twitter account confirmed that the next title in the franchise would be announced during The Game Awards, teasing a game set after a nuclear war replete with post-apocalyptic sawblade crossbows.
- Fortnite – Geoff Keighley confirmed a special Fortnite announcement and exclusive trailer to be shown during The Game Awards. It’s unclear if the trailer will be related to Season 7, the leaked early creative mode, or something else entirely.
- Nintendo – While no specific Nintendo game or games have been confirmed for The Game Awards, Nintendo of America head Reggie Fils-Aime promised “something special” for the event in a video tweet with Geoff Keighley.
- Obsidian – The latest game from Obsidian Entertainment will be unveiled during The Game Awards, teased with fake advertisements for old-timey medicine and food from Antie Cleo’s and a space western-esque pistol from Spacer’s Choice.
- Rage 2 – The official Rage 2 Twitter account confirmed that a new trailer for the shooter would be shown during the event, insisting Rage 2 would attend The Game Awards even if they had to make their own award for “Post-Post-Apocalyptic Western game.”
Counting these games up, even if we assume Geoff Keighley was referencing these specific titles in his comment, they’ll only make up two of the planned new game announcements: Far Cry, and Obsidian’s new game. The other confirmed games are all for previously announced titles. Which means there are many, many surprises remaining for The Game Awards 2018 show itself. There are plenty of rumors to help fill that gap, however.
With regards to the following rumored announcements for The Game Awards 2018, keep a healthy amount of skepticism with regards to all of them. Some rumors are much more substantial than others, but given the history of extravagant false rumors for The Game Awards nothing is reliable until it’s spoken aloud on-stage. Nevertheless, most of these rumors are so fun that it will be a challenge not to get a little (or a lot) excited for each of them.
- Alien: Blackout – A successor to the surprise hit Alien: Isolation has been known about since FoxNext was founded in early 2017. But this rumor only started after inactive social media accounts for Alien: Blackout featuring the FoxNext logo were discovered recently. There’s a chance Alien: Blackout is something else entirely, maybe even a mobile game, but the timing is too perfect not to stir up rumors.
- Ashen – This highly anticipated indie game, heavily showcased by Xbox during past conventions, may be nearer to launch than expected. A sudden change to the game’s listing on the Microsoft Store says the game could launch December 7.
- The Avengers – Square Enix is working on an Avengers game, but the state of development of that game remains a mystery. Excited fans hope for its unveiling at pretty much every major event, so when the Avengers: Infinity War film directors were announced to present at The Game Awards, rumors escalated. That said, there’s no other substance to this rumor and the Russo brothers’ celebrity alone explains their attendance.
- Borderlands 3 – Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford loves to have fun with his followers, but him dropping several “3” related hints all while official Borderlands social media becomes suddenly active is either great build-up to a Borderlands 3 announcement at The Game Awards or a cut to the heart of fans hoping to hear more about their favorite franchise soon.
- Crash Team Racing – Gifts including Crash Bandicoot cookies and orange fuzzy dice have hinted at a Crash-related Game Awards announcement over the past week, only to be confirmed as a Crash Team Racing remaster by Eurogamer. Since Eurogamer only cited anonymous sources, this one still has to be considered a rumor.
- Death Stranding – There is no specific rumor hinting at Death Stranding appearing at The Game Awards this year. However, Kojima being on The Game Awards advisory board, his relationship with Geoff Keighley, and a history of appearances by Kojima and his celebrity friends is all the hint needed.
- Dragon Age 4 – When BioWare GM Casey Hudson slipped a message about new Dragon Age announcements coming soon into an Anthem-focused studio update, people turned their heads. When an unconfirmed report dropped soon after that Dragon Age 4 would be BioWare’s next major project after Anthem, Dragon Age fans collectively shouted in excitement. The sequel is rumored to be announced at The Game Awards, perhaps capping off the Anthem trailer, but is said to be several years of away.
- Metroid Prime 4/Metroid Prime Trilogy – Nintendo is known to be planning something “special” for The Game Awards and Metroid Prime may be that something. Various industry professionals have been hinting at a Metroid announcement during the show, which many have guessed to be our first look at Metroid Prime 4. However, a recent retail listing for the Metroid Prime Trilogy on the Nintendo Switch may be the true reveal.
- Mortal Kombat 11 – Heavily rumored to be announced during E3 earlier this year, The Game Awards 2018 appears the next best option for the fighting game franchise’s latest sequel. Compound that with a voice actor confirming Mortal Kombat 11‘s development, then it’d be surprising if NetherRealm didn’t take this opportunity to make a big announcement.
- Prey – The official Prey Twitter account is teasing something, with fans expecting news regarding the free Typhon Hunter update announced at E3. This could be Prey‘s social media team taking advantage of the rumormongering, or it could be a sneaky Game Awards announcement. [Update: The Typhon Hunter DLC was announced Thursday morning.]
- Counter-Strike Battle Royale [Added Thursday morning]: The official Counter-Strike Twitter account appears to be teasing an event of some sort on Thursday. Some believe it may be related to the datamined battle royale assets found months ago.
There are some additional loose end rumors that aren’t specific enough to register as anything other than a footnote. An Assassin’s Creed Collection listing was spotted a few days ago, but given Ubisoft is teasing the new Far Cry announcement, it’s doubtful any of their other properties will be featured at the show. Xbox is a big mystery, with Phil Spencer presenting at the show. Ashen, an Xbox console exclusive, is low-profile so Xbox could have something bigger. Sony is similarly positioned, but with their recent move towards less press as the PS4 dwindles down they might sit The Game Awards out.
Tune in for a worldwide reveal at #TheGameAwards on December 6, at 5:30PM PST/8:30PM EST.
— Far Cry 5 (@FarCrygame) December 5, 2018
Tencent invested heavily in The Game Awards over the past year or two and now has a seat on the show’s advisory board. Last year the company clearly went out of its way to improve the visibility of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds at the event but what Tencent has planned for 2018 could be the show’s biggest surprise. Tencent specifically acquired the rights to stream The Game Awards in China, so it must think there’s money to be made from the event.
Lastly, it’s worth noting what companies will not be at the show. CD Projekt Red and Cyberpunk 2077, Naughty Dog and The Last of Us 2, Rocksteady and its not-Superman game, and WB Montreal and its rumored Batman: Court of Owls game are all confirmed not to be appearing.
To learn just what The Game Awards 2018 has in store, tune into the show on December 6 at 5:30 pm PT or a half-hour earlier for the pre-show. The awards show will be available across over many platforms, including YouTube, Twitch, Twitter, Facebook, Mixer, Steam TV, Caffeine.tv, and on both PS4 and Xbox Live.