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Spike TV’s Video Game Awards have become the forum for introducing the biggest titles of the coming year. The eighth annual show aired tonight from the LA Convention Center in downtown Los Angeles, featuring celebrities such as host Neil Patrick Harris and footage from 13 upcoming video games.
Since Spike TV (the Viacom property that is viewed in 99.4 million homes) caters to young males and the show features the biggest stars of the video game and entertainment industries, game marketers have found it an irresistible forum for debuting the latest game trailers. The video game industry starts with a teaser showcasing every major game. It releases a cinematic trailer to whet the appetites of the crowd and slowly unveils more details. Roughly a year later, the game debuts and all of the heavy-duty marketing pays off — or it’s a dud. If you want gamers to think your game has potential, then the VGAs are becoming a must for debuting a trailer.
When you watch the VGAs, you get a sense of who wants to reach video gamers. Big advertisers from Burger King to Dell sponsored the show. The show also featured the use of augmented reality, conceived by Done and Dused. Among the stars present were Olivia Munn, Guillermo Del Toro, Nick Fillion, Nick Swardson, Tony Hawk, Danny Devito and the band My Chemical Romance. Rockstar Games’ Red Dead Redemption walked away with four awards, including Game of the Year, Best Song, Best Original Score and Best Downloadable Content.
I’ve been clicking away on all of the links for the trailers myself, since I expect a lot of these games to be the most interesting titles of the coming year. Of the 13 trailers below, I think the most effective one is the Batman one (pictured above), since it has a lot of action and divulges something about the story. Many of the others are just too cryptic. Here are links to the biggest debut trailers of the evening:
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Bethesda Game Studios shows the sequel to Oblivion. The new role-playing game will debut Nov. 11, 2011.
Mass Effect 3
BioWare’s next piece in the acclaimed sci-fi space series will be released during the holidays in 2011.
Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception
Developer Naughty Dog plans to bring back Nathan Drake, who starred in what I considered to be the best game of 2009, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves. The next adventure will be in the desert and will be released Nov. 1, 2011.
SSX: Deadly Descents
Electronic Arts took the wraps off its latest snowboarding game.
Insomniac Games says its third edition of the sci-fi series will launch Sept. 6, 2011.
Director Guillermo del Toro teams up with THQ and Volition Inc for inSane, a horror game that won’t debut until 2013.
Developer Radical Entertainment shows off its next version of Prototype, due in 2012.
The God of War game’s main character, Kratos, will appear in the latest remake of Mortal Kombat.
Batman Arkham City
Dr. Hugo Strange will be the bad guy in Batman’s latest adventure in Arkham City.
Forza Motorsport 4
The Xbox 360 racing game just gave us a little tease of some of the cool-looking cars for its next installment, due in fall 2011.
Valve released a trailer of goofy-looking robots that will appear in the sequel to the indie shooter hit, Portal.
Thor: The Video Game
Marvel plans on making a big splash with a Thor movie next year. Accompanying it will be a Thor video game. Let’s hope it doesn’t suck.