The hugely popular Game Awards event celebrates the achievements of developers in the past 12 months, but there are usually new game trailers and reveals sprinkled in for the thousands of fans that tune in from home, making it a must-watch event whether you care about the prizes or not.

2021's ceremony is nearly here. If you want to know when it takes place, how to watch it and what to expect from the show this year, then keep on reading. We also have a similar article for Oppo's Inno Day

When are the Game Awards 2021?

The Game Awards usually take place in December, and this year is no different. The main show will be airing this Thursday 9 December. It will kick-off at the following times:

  • 1am GMT (10 December) 
  • 8pm ET 
  • 5pm PT
  • 2am CET (10 December)

There will also be a pre-show 30 minutes before the main event which could include some extra news. This will be aired on the same stream as the main awards. 

The runtime in total is expected to be around three hours. If you're in the UK, you're in for a late-night/early morning. The event will broadcast live from the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles, where an in-person ceremony will be taking place. 

The Game Awards statuette

How can I watch the Game Awards 2021?

The organisers promise that you'll be able to watch the Game Awards across more than 40 global video platforms, including YouTube, Twitch and Facebook.

We've embedded the stream above, so you can bookmark this page and watch directly from here. 

Streamers will also have the option to co-stream the event as it airs for live reactions. You can sign-up for co-streaming here

Who will be presenting the awards? 

Geoff Keighley is back to host the evening, and there will be numerous celebrity cameos to help distribute the awards. This year, the line-up includes Keanu Reeves, Carrie Ann-Moss, Simu Liu, Laura Bailey, Ming-Na Wen, Giancarlo Esposito, Reggie Fils-Aime and more. 

There will also be musical performances, including one from Grammy Award-winning artist, Sting. The Police frontman will perform the song “What Could Have Been”, which is on the soundtrack for the Netflix series Arcane, a show inspired by League of Legends from Riot Games and Fortiche Productions. 

There be an orchestra performance medley dedicated to the nominees, and Imagine Dragons will take to the stage. 

The Game Awards Geoff Keighley

What trailers and announcements will be made?

Besides those getting awards, we'll also see a whole bunch of exciting news for 2022 and beyond, including trailers and new game reveals, special in-game events, and even playable demos dropping during the show. There'll also be a Game Awards Sale that runs across multiple PC and console storefronts.

There will be gameplay trailers for Saints Row, Dying Light 2, and new titles coming to Amazon's new cloud gaming service, Amazon Luna. Whilst not confirmed, it's possible we could also get news for the Breath of the Wild sequel, Starfield and Horizon Forbidden West.

Presenter Geoff Keighley says that one announcement has been planned for over two years - so we're expecting something rather big. 

In addition, there will be a new trailer for the Sonic the Hedgehog movie sequel, along with other Sonic news which is suspected to be a trailer for Sonic Frontiers, a new open-world Sonic game that is on the way. The movie trailer will be revealed by the film's stars, Ben Swartz and Jim Carrey. 

There will also be a first look at the new Halo live-action series, and an exclusive clip of The Matrix Resurrections. 

Game Awards 2021 nominees

Nominations have now been revealed, with Deathloop leading the pack which is up for a total of nine awards.

The winners are decided by a combination of jury and audience votes. Audience vote only counts for 10% of the overall score - the remaining 90% is decided by the voting jury. Votes for the 2021 nominees are now closed.

Here are all the nominees for the 2021 Game Awards:

Game of the Year

  • Deathloop
  • It Takes Two
  • Metroid Dread
  • Psychonauts 2
  • Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart
  • Resident Evil Village

Best Game Direction

  • Deathloop
  • It Takes Two
  • Returnal
  • Psychonauts 2
  • Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart

Best Narrative

  • Deathloop
  • It Takes Two
  • Life Is Strange: True Colors
  • Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy
  • Psychonauts 2

Best Art Direction

  • The Artful Escape
  • Deathloop
  • Kena: Bridge of Spirits
  • Psychonauts 2
  • Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart

Best Score and Music

  • The Artful Escape
  • Cyberpunk 2077
  • Deathloop
  • Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy
  • Nier Replicant ver.1.22474487139

Best Audio Design

  • Deathloop
  • Forza Horizon 5
  • Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart
  • Resident Evil Village
  • Returnal

Games for Impact

  • Before Your Eyes
  • Boyfriend Dungeon
  • Chicory: A Colorful Tale
  • Life Is Strange: True Colors
  • No Longer Home

Best Ongoing Game

  • Apex Legends
  • Final Fantasy XIV Online
  • Fortnite
  • Genshin Impact
  • Call of Duty: Warzone

Best Indie Game

  • 12 Minutes
  • Death's Door
  • Inscryption
  • Kena: Bridge of Spirits
  • Loop Hero

Best Mobile Game

  • Fantasian
  • Genshin Impact
  • League of Legends: Wild Rift
  • Marvel Future Revolution
  • Pokemon Unite

Best VR / AR Game

  • Hitman 3
  • I Expect You To Die 2
  • Lone Echo 2
  • Resident Evil 4
  • Sniper Elite VR

Best Action Game

  • BAck 4 Blood
  • Chivalry 2
  • Deathloop
  • Far Cry 6
  • Returnal

Best Action/Adventure Game

  • Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy
  • Metroid Dread
  • Psychonauts 2
  • Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart
  • Resident Evil Village

Best RPG

  • Cyberpunk 2077
  • Monster Hunter Rise
  • Scarlet Nexus
  • Shin Megami Tensei V
  • Tales of Arise

Best Fighting Game

  • Demon Slayer -Kimetsu No Yaiba- The Hinokami Chronicles
  • Guilty Gear -Strive-
  • Melty Blood: Type Lumina
  • Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl
  • Virtua Fighter 5: Ultimate Showdown

Best Family Game

  • It Takes Two
  • Mario Party Superstars
  • New Pokemon Snap
  • Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury
  • Warioware: Get It Together!

Best Sim/Strategy Game

  • Age of Empires IV
  • Evil Genius 2: World Domination
  • Humankind
  • Inscryption
  • Microsoft Flight Simulator

Best Sports/Racing Game

  • F1 2021
  • FIFA 22
  • Forza Horizon 5
  • Hot Wheels Unleashed
  • Riders Republic

Best Multiplayer Game

  • Back 4 Blood
  • Knockout City
  • It Takes Two
  • Monster Hunter Rise
  • New World
  • Valheim

Most Anticipated Game

  • Elden Ring
  • God of War Ragnarok
  • Horizon Forbidden West
  • The Sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
  • Starfield

The Player's Voice winner - an award decided entirely by public voting - is Halo Infinite