Last night’s Video Game Awards were one of the most endearing, uplifting, and monumental moment’s of any award’s show in recent memory. Packed with tons of incredible moments -The Pathless debut, Joker in Smash, and Shawn, Phil, and Reggie standing shoulder to shoulder- none could measure up to the finale.
Leading up to the close, Red Dead Redemption 2, a game that is considered a technical, financial, and sales juggernaut- was considered the front runner. My twitter feed, mainstream gaming sites, and personal friends included- all were under the assumption that it had Game of the Year won just by those feats alone.
Than something happened- God of War won “Best Game Direction”- and Corey Balrog, in an almost tear ridden speech – echoed a humility, a candor, and a sentiment that brought me back to the tears I felt during my playthrough. And I assumed this was it, the final hoorah, and the celebration for what I consider my personal game of the year.
Than it was time. The announcement for “Game of the Year” started. Orchestral pieces were performed in a climactic fashion accompanying video footage of what I consider some of the greatest games of all time. The Creative Director of Overwatch, a former Game of the Year Winner, slowly came back to the podium making a terrible forgettable joke- and muttered into the microphone:
“The Winner for Game of the Year is….. God of War.”
That instant something magical happened. God of War winning meant more to me than I initially ever thought about. God of War wasn’t just a tale of Kratos and his son, but it was a journey that resonated on a spiritual and emotional level with me- more so than any game I can think of in recent memory.
God of War isn’t just a victory for PlayStation, but it’s a victory for Studio Santa Monica. Following God of War: Ascension- Sony Santa Monica was rifed with cancelled projects, multiple reboots, and rumors of closure. Irrespective of all this- Shu Yoshida, Shawn Layden, and the upper Management at PlayStation decided to give them a second chance.
A Second Chance. In an industry where studio closures, job stability, and trends shift like the winds – PlayStation decided to take the high road and give the team an opportunity to prove themselves. This could have been the greatest decision ever made.
God of War is greatness.
What Sony Santa Monica went onto produce is one of the greatest games of all time. A game that proves Metacritic scores, rumorous pessimism, and prior failures aren’t what define you or your success. They produced a game considered a landmark achievement in cinematic scope, artistic flourish, and character development. But more so than anything else- they believed in art and the people behind it. That’s something truly magical.
I, Rayyan, at Remote Play just wanted to say a huge thank you. Thank you Corey Balrog and Shannon Studstill. Thank You to PlayStation. Thank you to Sony Santa Monica. Thank you to Shawn Layden and Shu Yoshida The PlayStation Nation, the gaming community, and as a editor for a small UK based gaming website – I have been inspired.