Geoff Keighley (//) is a Canadian video game journalist and television presenter. He was most known for hosting the video game show GameTrailers TV, and for co-hosting the now-defunct G4tv.com. Keighley is also a freelance writer whose work has appeared in Kotaku, among other publications. Keighley was the executive producer of the Spike Video Game Awards, and has served as the executive producer and host of The Game Awards since its inaugural show in 2014. He has also hosted the E3 Coliseum event at the Electronic Entertainment Expo.
|Born||1978/1979 (age 41–42)|
|Occupation||Video game journalist, presenter|
Keighley's foray into video game reporting and presentation had been through Cybermania '94: The Ultimate Games Awards, the first video game awards show broadcast on television. Keighley was fourteen at the time, but was brought in to help write lines for the celebrity hosts to read. The show was not considered successful, aimed more for comedy than celebration, but from it, Keighley was inspired to develop some type of equivalent of the Academy Awards for video games in his career.
In addition to GTTV, Keighley has been involved in many other video game-related projects on television. On Comcast's G4 network, he appeared as the network's lead anchor for its E3 press conference coverage, interviewing CEOs from companies like Sony and Electronic Arts. For MTV he created the concept and produced (with LivePlanet) "Gears of War: Race to E3" and "Gears of War: Race to Launch", two specials that took viewers inside the development of the hit Xbox 360 game from Microsoft. And in 2007, the Discovery Channel aired a five-hour documentary on releases including those of such companies as World of Wonder Productions, based on a treatment by Keighley, who also served as consulting producer. Geoff has also hosted and co-produced a number of video game launch specials for Spike TV, including "Madden NFL 08 Kickoff" featuring a performance by Ozzy Osbourne and "Halo 3: Launched!" featuring a performance by Linkin Park. He was also interviewed on what became a controversial Fox News' segment on Mass Effect, and was later praised by gamers online for being the only one on the show who had actually played the game.
Keighley was invited by the producers of Spike's Video Game Awards program to help with the programming from 2006 onward. In 2013, Spike changed the format of the show and rebranded the awards as the VGX Awards. To Keighley, the format became more commercial and promotional rather than a celebration of video game achievements, and subsequently left the show. Through 2014, he funded his own efforts to put together a new awards show, gaining the support of Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo as well as major publications and industry leaders. Keighley thus established The Game Awards which were first presented in December 2014, and which Keighley remains the primary host.
Keighley is known for writing reviews and previews and going behind the scenes of the game industry for in-depth business profiles and lengthy feature pieces. While initially a writer at GameSpot from around 1998, Keighley wrote the site's column "Behind the Games". This column evolved into a series of articles "The Final Hours", where he has in-depth access to the various studios near the end of a development period and write in depth about the process as the game is nearing completion. In more recent years, these articles are released as mobile apps. In a July 2008 interview on The Jace Hall Show, Keighley spoke about the importance of this process, stating "There's such a lack of investigative journalism. I wish I had more time to do more, sort of, investigation. Really dig into some of these bigger issues, so I could look at like, the 'Red Ring of Death' problem. That's never really been properly reported about, like what really happens." However, he has faced criticism from some quarters for his willingness to positively present games to maintain exclusives, regardless of their actual quality, and to accept industry PR at face value in an October 2012 column published in Eurogamer. In December 2016, Keighley was picked as a judge for the Viveport Developer Awards (VDAs).
Keighley had been a participant of E3, the annual video game trade show, since its start, and starting in E3 2017, Keighley had arranged and hosted the E3 Coliseum, a live-streaming event running over the course of E3 that brought in developers and publishers at E3 for interviews and other discussions. However, with the Entertainment Software Association making significant changes to the format of E3 2020 (prior to its cancellation due to the COVID-19 pandemic), Keighley stated he will not be organizing an E3 Coliseum event nor attending the show for the first time in 25 years.
With E3's cancellation among other several other trade shows and events like Gamescom from the pandemic, Keighley worked with several major publishers and video game industry leaders to launch the Summer Game Fest from May to August 2020. During this period, Keighley helped developers and publishers present game announcements and other presentations, along with Steam and Xbox to provide game demos during this period.
In a column on Eurogamer, former journalist Robert Florence accused Keighley and others of often being "in bed" with the video game industry. The controversial piece was met with both praise and criticism with several changes made by its editor Tom Bramwell due to legal action.
- Keighley, Geoff (2011). The Final Hours of Portal 2. ASIN B004XMZZKQ.
- Keighley, Geoff (2012). The Final Hours of Mass Effect 3. ASIN B007KVXSFG.
- Keighley, Geoff (2013). The Final Hours of Tomb Raider.
- Keighley, Geoff (2014). The Final Hours of Titanfall: Behind the Scenes at Respawn Entertainment. ASIN B00JQFIE1W.
- Keighley, Geoff (2020). The Final Hours of Half-Life: Alyx.
- "Geoff Keighley's lifelong obsession to create a video game Oscars". Los Angeles Times. December 5, 2017. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved December 7, 2017.
- Flynn De Marco (February 10, 2008). "McWhertor Invades GameTrailers TV". Deadspin. Retrieved July 9, 2016.
- Keighley, Geoff (November 20, 2014). "Nominees announced for The Game Awards 2014". The Game Awards. Archived from the original on November 23, 2014. Retrieved November 29, 2014.
- "YouTube's E3 Live Stream Garnered Eight Million Views In 12 Hours". Tubefilter. June 22, 2015. Retrieved June 23, 2015.
- Martens, Todd (December 6, 2017). "Geoff Keighley's lifelong obsession to create a video game Oscars". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 6, 2017.
- "Geoff Keighley Pwns Fox News With +1 Truth Power". SarcasticGamer.com. January 22, 2008. Archived from the original on March 27, 2012. Retrieved October 28, 2014.
- Brian Crecente (January 22, 2008). "Keighley Sets Mass Effect Record Straight... Or Tries To". Kotaku. Australia. Retrieved July 9, 2016.
- "FOX NEWS on MASS EFFECT Sex Debate". GameTrailers. January 21, 2008. Archived from the original (video) on May 9, 2013. Retrieved October 28, 2014.
- Brian Crecente (November 13, 2014). "VGA host backs new gamer-centric award show out of his own pocket". Polygon. Retrieved December 9, 2014.
- Pavlus, John (May 5, 2011). "iPad App Goes Behind The Scenes Of 'Portal 2', Pushing Limits Of Storytelling". Fast Company. Retrieved August 19, 2019.
- "Jace Hall, Ep 7: Is Video Game 'Journalism' Legit?". The Jace Hall Show. Season 1. Episode 7. July 16, 2008. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- Robert Florence (October 24, 2012). "Lost Humanity 18: A Table of Doritos". Eurogamer. Retrieved December 9, 2014.
- "Viveport Developer Awards Jury & Community Choice". VIVE Blog. Retrieved December 6, 2016.
- Shanley, Patrick (February 12, 2020). "Geoff Keighley to Skip E3 2020". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 12, 2020.
- Spangler, Todd (May 1, 2020). "Summer Game Fest 2020 Steps in to Fill E3 Void for Video-Game Biz". Variety. Retrieved May 1, 2020.
- Gera, Emily (August 19, 2019). "Death Stranding features a breastfeeding ghost baby, and Geoff Keighley". VG247. Retrieved August 19, 2019.
- "Media, Ethics, Tomb Raider and the Streisand Effect". WorthPlaying. Retrieved October 28, 2014.
- "RPS's Position On The Eurogamer/Florence Debacle". Rock, Paper, Shotgun. Retrieved December 9, 2014.
- William Usher. "Eurogamer Writer Loses Job For Pointing Out How Much Video Game Journalism Fails". CinemaBlend. Retrieved December 9, 2014.
- Erik Kain. "Eurogamer Confirms Journalist Lauren Wainwright Threatened Legal Action". Forbes. Retrieved December 9, 2014.