Boss Rush Banter: Does Geoff Keighley’s Game Awards Tend to Snub Nintendo Titles?

It’s that time of year, and the 2022 Game Awards nominees were announced this week. The annual show put out by Geoff Keighley airs December 8th, and there are some outstanding titles this year to celebrate. However, it’s become glaringly clear once again–not many Nintendo games were nominated. From there, who knows how many, if any, will actually win.This isn’t the first year this has happened, and sometimes you have to wonder if this first party publisher tends to get pigeon-holed into Best Family without being taken seriously in other categories. So, does the Game Awards tend to snub Nintendo?

Let’s look at the most nominated games this year:

It was a pleasant surprise to see some love for Xenoblade Chronicles 3, but that is the only Nintendo title representative in this list. Looking at the larger picture, Splatoon 3 was nominated for Best Multi-Player and Family game. Xenoblade Chronicles 3 was nominated for best RPG, along with Pokemon Legends: Arceus, Best Score/Music, and Game of the Year. Of course, Nintendo dominated the Best Family category, with three out of the five games listed (Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope is technically Ubisoft):

  • Kirby and the Forgotten Land
  • Splatoon 3
  • Nintendo Switch Sports

And finally, Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom has made it back to Most Anticipated Game.

Let’s quickly look at 2021. The only Nintendo game that actually won an award was Metroid Dread for Best Action/Adventure. Nintendo had four out of the five nominations for Best Family, only to get beaten out by It Takes Two by Hazelight Studios.

While the number is still nothing to sneeze at, Nintendo fell short of number of nominations as a whole as well. Xbox/Bethesda obtained 20 nominations, EA and Square Enix had ten nominations, and Nintendo only had seven along with Capcom. To put things into perspective, “indie” developers AnnaPurna Interactive and Developer Digital both had five nominations each.

In 2020, Nintendo only walked away with Best Family with Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

While I cannot prove a level of bias against Nintendo-made games, the optics are not great. Is Nintendo doomed to be viewed only as a developer for kid/family games? Is Nintendo truly snubbed from proper recognition or is this a sign that Nintendo should consider making more mature titles? Maybe graphical fidelity and performance mean more to the voters than gameplay (Nintendo is synonymous for prioritizing gameplay). Perhaps the last question is, does this even matter? Please share your thoughts with us on our Boss Rush Facebook Group or our Boss Rush Discord.

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The Boss Rush Podcast is the flagship podcast of Boss Rush Media and The Boss Rush Network. Each week, Corey, LeRon, Stephanie, Edward, and their friends from around the internet come together to talk their week in games, entertainment, and more while also bringing topics for conversation, answer listener and community questions, and cover major news and events happening in the video game industry. Watch The Boss Rush Podcast live on Wednesday Nights on Twitch at 8:30PM ET / 5:30PM PT or on Friday mornings at 7AM ET on YouTube and podcast services everywhere. Thanks for listening! You can also get this episode one week early on Patreon.

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SourceThe Game Awards

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