The Game Awards has become a staple showcase each year, celebrating the year’s games while looking forward to new and surprising things to come. It’s relevance as a fundamental piece of the games industry is apparent in its growth. With more than 45 streaming platforms and partners around the world, The Game Awards 2020 had a staggering 83 million viewers, an 84% increase over 2019’s 45.2 million (which itself was doubled over the previous year). Keep in mind, too, those are just tracked live stream numbers, and there were likely multiple people watching many of those streams together.
These stats were revealed by The Game Awards creator and host, Geoff Keighley, who also shared a number of other interesting numbers around the event.
This year #TheGameAwards viewership grew over 83% to more than 83 million livestreams.
This is beyond our wildest expectations; I was just happy we could even produce the show this year.
Thank you for watching and being a part of this global community. pic.twitter.com/gAKIb68jHp
— Geoff Keighley (@geoffkeighley) December 17, 2020
The Game Awards 2020 peaked at 8.3 million concurrent streams at once, with overall watch time more than doubled (up 129%) across Twitch, Facebook, and YouTube. On Twitch alone, concurrent viewers peaked at 2.63 million. More than 9000 people co-streamed the event on Twitch. Usage of The Game Awards hashtag also increased by 107% year over year.
Keighley also shared previous years’ numbers to show the enormous growth of The Game Awards since its inception in 2014.
- 2014 – 1.9 million
- 2015 – 2.3 million
- 2016 – 3.8 million
- 2017 – 11.5 million
- 2018 – 26.2 million
- 2019 – 45.2 million
- 2020 – 83 million
Geoff Keighley continues to position himself as the Master of Ceremonies around the celebration of games throughout each year, culminating in The Game Awards which has become the industry veteran’s pet project. Developers and publishers are taking notice of the event too, with massive reveals and surprises taking place at the show, arguably the element that drives a major part of the viewership numbers.
Some criticism has been levied at the show which ultimately gets used as an enormous advertising platform, focusing more heavily on the “world premieres” and reveals over the awards portion of the the event. Some awards get given out during the pre-show or aren’t even announced during the event at all.
The Game Awards 2020 took the usually in-person event to an entirely digital platform in the face of the ongoing COVID pandemic, which could have contributed to the significant increase. With the tentative plan to return to an in-person awards show next year, we’ll see if it can continue its rapid growth with however Keighley chooses to continue evolving the year’s biggest celebration of gaming.