Guests for September 20, 2020
Keighley’s foray into video game reporting and presentation had been through Cybermania ’94: The Ultimate Games Awards, the first video game awards show broadcast on television. Keighley was fourteen at the time, but was brought in to help write lines for the celebrity hosts to read. The show was not considered successful, aimed more for comedy than celebration, but from it, Keighley was inspired to develop some type of equivalent of the Academy Awards for video games in his career.
In addition to GTTV, Keighley has been involved in many other video game-related projects on television. On Comcast’s G4 network, he appeared as the network’s lead anchor for its E3 press conference coverage, interviewing CEOs from companies like Sony and Electronic Arts. For MTV he created the concept and produced (with LivePlanet) “Gears of War: Race to E3” and “Gears of War: Race to Launch”, two specials that took viewers inside the development of the hit Xbox 360 game from Microsoft. And in 2007, the Discovery Channel aired a five-hour documentary on releases including those of such companies as World of Wonder Productions, based on a treatment by Keighley, who also served as consulting producer. Geoff has also hosted and co-produced a number of video game launch specials for Spike TV, including “Madden NFL 08 Kickoff” featuring a performance by Ozzy Osbourne and “Halo 3: Launched!” featuring a performance by Linkin Park. He was also interviewed on what became a controversial Fox News’ segment on Mass Effect, and was later praised by gamers online for being the only one on the show who had actually played the game.
Keighley was invited by the producers of Spike’s Video Game Awards program to help with the programming from 2006 onward. In 2013, Spike changed the format of the show and rebranded the awards as the VGX Awards. To Keighley, the format became more commercial and promotional rather than a celebration of video game achievements, and subsequently left the show. Through 2014, he funded his own efforts to put together a new awards show, gaining the support of Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo as well as major publications and industry leaders. Keighley thus established The Game Awards which were first presented in December 2014, and which Keighley remains the primary host.
Keighley is known for writing reviews and previews and going behind the scenes of the game industry for in-depth business profiles and lengthy feature pieces. While initially a writer at GameSpot from around 1998, Keighley wrote the site’s column “Behind the Games”. This column evolved into a series of articles “The Final Hours”, where he has in-depth access to the various studios near the end of a development period and write in depth about the process as the game is nearing completion. In more recent years, these articles are released as mobile apps. In a July 2008 interview on The Jace Hall Show, Keighley spoke about the importance of this process, stating “There’s such a lack of investigative journalism. I wish I had more time to do more, sort of, investigation. Really dig into some of these bigger issues, so I could look at like, the ‘Red Ring of Death’ problem. That’s never really been properly reported about, like what really happens.” However, he has faced criticism from some quarters for his willingness to positively present games to maintain exclusives, regardless of their actual quality, and to accept industry PR at face value in an October 2012 column published in Eurogamer. In December 2016, Keighley was picked as a judge for the Viveport Developer Awards (VDAs).
Keighley had been a participant of E3, the annual video game trade show, since its start, and starting in E3 2017, Keighley had arranged and hosted the E3 Coliseum, a live-streaming event running over the course of E3 that brought in developers and publishers at E3 for interviews and other discussions. However, with the Entertainment Software Association making significant changes to the format of E3 2020 (prior to its cancellation due to the COVID-19 pandemic), Keighley stated he will not be organizing an E3 Coliseum event nor attending the show for the first time in 25 years.
With E3’s cancellation among other several other trade shows and events like Gamescom from the pandemic, Keighley worked with several major publishers and video game industry leaders to launch the Summer Game Fest from May to August 2020. During this period, Keighley will help developers and publishers present game announcements and other presentations , along with Steam and Xbox to provide game demos during this period.