The numbers are in for The Game Awards 2014, and for the most part, they make show producer Geoff Keighley quite happy.
“I am absolutely stunned by the results,” Keighley said of the 1.93 million viewers who tuned in to last Friday's award show in an interview with Polygon. “We didn't have any marketing budget or TV spots for the show. I'm used to having a lot of support resources–a promotional team, a digital media team, a PR team. All we had was the support of the game publishers and fans to spread the word and on social media.”
The nearly-two million viewers mark a whopping 75% increase in viewership compared to last year's VGX, produced by cable network Spike TV. The average watch time was 28 minutes, which may have been impacted by the three-hour length of the show. Keighley also said he wished more awards were presented on the stage, instead of as an aside during sideline chats.
One set of numbers surely took away some of Keighley's gleam: the financials. Of the Axis Theater's 4,000 available seats at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino, only 3,000 of them were filled. Of those filled seats, only half were bought and paid for; the rest were various comps for industry, nominees, and VIPs.
“I didn't make money on the show, but I always knew it would be an investment,” admitted Keighley, who financed the entire show on his own money. “If I'm going to invest in anything it's going to be to support the industry which has given me my whole career. This year was about earning the respect of the audience and proving that this 'open source' distribution model can work.”
Readers who missed The Game Awards 2014 can check the recap out along with a full list of winners by clicking here.