Nintendo often walks to the beat of its own DK bongos, racking up its own first-party ads for sporadic Nintendo Direct presentations – with one exception: Geoff Keighley’s annual The Game Awards. Over the years, we’ve seen some startling announcements and reveals from House of Mario at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, so it’s no wonder Nintendo fans expect a surprise or two when playing. this year’s TGA ceremony on December 9.
But what should we expect? Well, Reggie is back with an award and rumors suggest a long-planned world premiere that some believe may be tied to Zelda. Beyond that, it’s hard to predict, so we’ve scoured the previous seven shows and gleaned a pattern that may or may not hint at what Nintendo has in store for the 2021 Game Awards.
We start at the very beginning, a very good starting point …
The Game Awards 2014 – Koji Kondo, Reggie and Breath of the Wild
Famous Nintendo composer Koji Kondo opened the inaugural year with a piano interpretation of the Super Mario Bros. theme, followed by an opening speech from legendary (and now former) Nintendo of America president Reggie Son-Aimé. It was enough to trigger warm, nostalgic feelings even in the most hardened Nintendo fan.
The rest of the show didn’t have any total surprises in store for Nintendo during the three-hour event, although the games featured were impressive. Shigeru Miyamoto showcased some awesome gameplay footage for the upcoming Super Mario Creator on Wii U, and our first look at the gameplay of the game then untitled The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild booked the show. Instead of a hype-inducing trailer, Miyamoto and Eiji Aonuma sat down next to a TV and described the game as if we, the audience, had just passed off for a glass of fresh Lon Lon milk and a slice of monster cake. The picturesque layout showed many of the features that Breath of the Wild became famous for, but Aonuma stating that the game would be released in 2015 made us choke on our Doritos.
The show ended with a collaboration between Koji Kondo and Imagine Dragons. We’re not sure it was as strange then as it is now.
Our rating for Nintendo’s presence at TGA 2014? B for Bokoblin.
The Game Awards 2015 – Tribute to Satoru Iwata
A quiet year after a relatively substantial debut, Nintendo did not reveal anything of importance at TGA 2015. We were then well into the lean years of the Wii U, with Switch (or “NX” as the mysterious project was called. ) still some time and “nothing to report” from the company, despite a lot of things behind the scenes.
However, Reggie made an appearance again, this time to honor the late Satoru Iwata, a man who shaped and enriched our lives through the incredible games we grew up on. We still miss him a lot here at Nintendo Life, and despite the company’s slim TGA on the gaming front, 2015 was a touching sight for Nintendo fans.
We will refrain from rating TGA 2015 due to emotional compromise.
The Game Awards 2016 – Breath of the Wild
After the exhilarating Breath of the Wild trailer revealed at E3 earlier this year, TGA 2016 has relegated new footage of the expected title to the pre-show.
Nintendo Treehouse took Breath of the Wild’s love story with TGA forward by giving us a gameplay premiere mid-show, but it seemed like it was included to appease Nintendo fans who otherwise didn’t. were not represented in the two-hour event.
In terms of rating, TGA 2016 only receives the Triforce of Courage of us for daring to bring so little. Wisdom and Power weren’t there this year.
The Game Awards 2017 – More Breath of the Wild
Already see a model? Not only did Breath of the Wild clean up the house by winning three awards (Game of the Year, Best Game Direction and Best Action / Adventure Game), Aonuma also dropped the second DLC – The ballad of champions – for his masterpiece, after releasing the Master Sword on stage.
Aonuma’s dizzying revelation and award acceptance speech still puts a smile on our face all these years later, and with the announcement of Bayonetta 1 & 2 for Nintendo Switch, TGA 2017 deserves no less than 762 Korok seeds out of 900.
The Game Awards 2018 –
Breath of the wild Smash Bros. Ultimate
Breath of the Wild took a well-deserved gap year, passing the baton to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate for one of the most out-of-left-field challengers, a surprising challenger reveals we’ve ever seen – Joker’s Persona 5. Considering Persona 5: the attackers wouldn’t be revealed for a year, and Persona 5 still not on Nintendo Switch (seriously – where is he?) it is safe to say that no one saw this coming.
While Nintendo hasn’t announced much else, the launch of Smash Bros. Ultimate and The Phantom Thieves’ hiatus from presenting the Game of the Year to announce Joker as the first character in the Fighter’s Pass DLC reminded us that the company still had a few tricks tucked up its sleeve that didn’t involve a Zelda open world game.
TGA 2018 obtains 6 of 8 Phantom Thieves Business Cards.
The Game Awards 2019 – Bravely Tumbleweed
TGA 2019 let Nintendo fans down. Good ol ‘Reggie made an appearance despite his resignation as president of Nintendo of America. He gave a speech on the importance of indie games and presented the Fresh Indie Game award. He had nothing to do with Nintendo except that he worked there and Nintendo fans love him.
Fire Emblem won the award for best strategy game. Luigi’s Mansion 3 took home the best family game award and we got an announcement Courageously Default II. A good game, but that was it.
We reward the TGA 2019 1 of 4 chibi anime protagonists.
The Game Awards 2020 – Mario gets impaled
For some reason, TGA 2020 was held online rather than in the Microsoft Theater. While we sorely missed the cheers and hype from the crowds, most of us still watched the previous six shows from our computer chairs, so for viewers it was business as usual in a year that was not.
For Nintendo, 2020 mirrored 2019 quite closely. Ultimate has once again taken the reins, with the announcement that Sephiroth will join the massive ensemble as the third fighter in the Second Fighter’s Pass.
While not as shocking as Joker, Sephiroth certainly surprised people and excited fans. He is, after all, one of the most iconic villains in video game history, and for a brief moment he appeared to have killed Mario.
TGA 2020 wins one-winged angel among two-winged angels.
The Game Awards 2021 …?
The Game Awards 2021 return to a live performance at Microsoft Theater and Nintendo has shown it can surprise fans, though each year only features one major reveal – if it does – with perhaps one. smaller ad by an exclusive third party to accompany it.
Looking back on all the previous years draws a clear picture: if it isn’t Breath of the Wild, then Smash Bros. to arrive at. Since Sora was the last Super Smash Bros. Ultimate DLC, we’re 99% certain that Masahiro Sakurai won’t come down to announce Goku and a third Fighters Pass.
However, the still untitled The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2 has not yet been shown in depth. We know it’s slated for 2022, so we wouldn’t be surprised if Nintendo does a gameplay demo or similar world premiere to TGA 2014 and 2016, maybe even with an official title announcement.
But who knows? Maybe Nintendo will change course and show us more Bayonet 3. After the success of Terror Metroid and her game of the year nomination, maybe – just maybe – Metroid Prime 4 will come out of the abyss. And where is Mario hiding after Super Mario Odyssey? The possibilities – and the hype – are everywhere. At least we don’t have to wait long to see what we get.
What year do you think Nintendo had its best performance? Be sure to vote in the poll below and let us know what you think we’ll see this year in the comments.