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. 

When are the Game Awards 2021?

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

  • 1am GMT (10 December) 
  • 9pm ET 
  • 6pm PT
  • 3am CET (10 December)

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, so it's a safe bet that those will include YouTube, Twitch and Facebook.

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.

Whilst we haven't had any confirmation on which games/companies will make announcements, there are possibilities of news for the likes of the Breath of the Wild sequel, Sonic Frontiers, Starfield, Horizon Forbidden West and more. 

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

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.

You can cast your vote over on the Game Awards website - votes will close on 8 December at 6pm PT. 

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