Death Stranding Nominations at The Game Awards Raise Conflict of Interest Concerns

Geoff Keighley's involvement in Death Stranding has left many fans somewhat uneasy after the title received so many nominations at this year's show.

Yesterday, the list of nominees for this year’s edition of The Game Awards came out and, perhaps unsurprisingly, Death Stranding ended up being one of the year’s most-nominated titles. In total, Death Stranding was nominated for eight different categories including the highly-coveted Game of the Year award, which is essentially the highest achievement that The Game Awards hands out each year. While this normally wouldn’t cause any concerns whatsoever, some have taken issue with the fact that the host and showrunner of The Game Awards, Geoff Keighley, is directly involved in Death Stranding.

On social media and various other platforms, some have started to express that Keighley’s involvement with Death Stranding in the cameo role of “The Ludens Fan” is a conflict given the fact that he also organizes The Game Awards. Many have started questioning Keighley specifically on Twitter, asking him how he thinks this process can be fair whatsoever given the circumstances. Keighley, in turn, has responded to some of these concerns, making clear that he has no role whatsoever in voting for the eventual winners at the show.

If you’re unaware of the voting process at The Game Awards, the nominees and eventual winners are selected by a panel comprised of 80 media outlets from around the globe. The general public can then also contribute and vote for each category as well, but their collective votes only make up 10% of the final count. No outside influences, such as Keighley, have any role in the voting, otherwise. You can read more about this on The Game Awards website if you’re interested.

Personally speaking, I do think that this whole situation is somewhat of a conflict of interest on Keighley’s behalf, but I also don’t think it’s one that should make Death Stranding unable to be nominated for any awards. As long as Keighley isn’t involved with voting, which he explicitly isn’t, then there’s not a problem to be had.

If anything, this whole situation is just a bit strange from an optics standpoint more than anything else. If The Game Awards 2019 ends with Keighley handing over the award for Game of the Year to Hideo Kojima, a man he has for years proclaimed to be a very close friend of his, then it’d just look very weird. Still, there’s no denying that Death Stranding is likely very deserving of many of the nominations that it has and as such is a worthy contender

Regardless of how some may feel about this whole situation, it’s not going to change the fact that Death Stranding is nominated for many of these awards and will, in all likelihood, take home some hardware. We’ll have to wait and just see how successful it may or may not be though in a few weeks.

The Game Awards 2019 is set to take place on Thursday, December 12 at 8:30pm EST/5:30pm PST.

Logan Moore

Logan Moore is the Managing Editor around these parts and enjoys the video game Super Mario Odyssey.

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