The Game Awards today announced that its 2018 broadcast more than doubled its viewership to over 26.2 million global livestreams, up 128 percent from 2017’s record-setting performance of 11.5 million livestreams.

The Game Awards hosted by Geoff Keighley has become a celebration of the popularity and culture of gaming, which has become a $135 billion global business, according to market researcher Newzoo.

The awards were held before a live crowd at the Microsoft Theater in downtown Los Angeles on December 6 and had strong metrics for viewer voting, social engagement, and co-streaming. The show had some sweet moments, like when the leaders of Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo showed up on stage together to promote the common interests that they and all gamers have.

The Game Awards program became one of Twitch’s biggest livestreams to date with over 1.13 million concurrent viewers watching the program on Twitch at its peak, nearly doubling last year’s Twitch viewership.

Above: Geoff Keighley is creator and host of The Game Awards.

Image Credit: The Game Awards

In total, peak concurrency for the show is estimated to have reached over 4 million global viewers, including more than double the number of concurrent viewers on YouTube compared to the 2017 broadcast.

“Five years in, it’s amazing to see The Game Awards continue to grow both domestically and internationally,” said Keighley, in a statement. “These results further validate our focus on an all-digital, no-friction approach of sharing this show globally across more than 45 video platforms, not to mention the growing interest and passion for video games around the world.”

On social media, The Game Awards was the No. 1 worldwide trend on Twitter for the fourth year in a row, trending faster than ever before. #TheGameAwards hashtag usage was up 1.6 times over 2017 and overall conversation was up 1.9 times from a year ago, with more than 1.8 times the number of unique authors.

In addition, the livestream on Twitter reached 1.3 times more unique viewers compared to 2017. On the Chinese social platform Weibo, Game Awards related posts achieved more than 56 million views from 310,000 unique individual postings.

Above: Sunny Siljic (left) and Christopher Judge — the voices from God of War — at The Game Awards.

Image Credit: The Game Awards

My favorite moment was when actor Christopher Judge, the voice of Kratos in God of War, used his booming and low voice to tell his co-presenter, Sunny Suljic, who plays Kratos’ son, to disclose the winner of an award.

“Read it, boy!” Judge said in his Kratos voice. God of War went on to take Game of the Year, delivering an upset to Red Dead Redemption 2.

On Twitch, The Game Awards Extension gave creators and their audiences a chance to predict winners in all the main show categories, with “Cellbit,” a popular creator in Brazil, winning the prediction game alongside his viewers. All told, more than 3,300 Twitch creators co-streamed the program live (up over 140 percent from last year), with many translating the show in real time for their fans.

Online authenticated fan voting for The Game Awards delivered a 50 percent increase to more than 10.5 million logged-in votes, with fans selecting their favorites across The Game Awards website, as well as on a Discord server, Twitter, Facebook Messenger, via voice on Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, and in China via a dedicated voting hub on Bilibili.

More than 10 new games were announced during the program including Mortal Kombat 11 from NetherRealm Studios and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment; Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order from Nintendo; CTR from Activision; #TheDreadWolfRises from BioWare and Electronic Arts; and Far Cry New Dawn from Ubisoft.

Talent appearing during The Game Awards included Jonah Hill, Christoph Waltz, The Russo Brothers, Rosa Salazar, JackSepticEye, Ninja, Pokimane, The Duffer Brothers (Stranger Things), Pepe the King Prawn from the Muppets and Joel McHale, in addition to The Game Awards Orchestra, conducted by Lorne Balfe and featuring special guests Hans Zimmer, Harry Gregson-Williams, Lena Raine (composer, Celeste) and Sarah Schachner (composer, Anthem).

Each year, the show has grown. Here’s the numbers from earlier years:

  • 2018: 26.2 Million (Up 128 percent)
  • 2017: 11.5 Million (Up 202 percent)
  • 2016: 3.8 Million (Up 65 percent)
  • 2015: 2.3 Million (Up 23 percent)
  • 2014: 1.9 Million

Kimmie Kim is executive producer of the show, alongside Keighley. LeRoy Bennett is creative director, and Rich Preuss is director.