Another year, another snub for Forza Horizon in Game of the Year. However, this year, above all others, it stings the most. In a year where Forza is not only the most acclaimed but also the most played of the potential nominees, its absence sticks out like a sore thumb and reflects poorly on the TGAs as a whole.
However, I have a wee bit of an admission to make. The one series I am a fan of, above all else, is Fire Emblem. And I’ve been through this shitty rodeo before. In 2019, Fire Emblem: Three Houses was snubbed largely on account of its genre. The game was largely considered among the year’s best, yet was relegated to the Strategy/Sim category. Or was it?
Yes, in a stunning move of unity, the Fire Emblem community fought back against the bullshit genre biases and myopic selections of the “panel” to award Three Houses the Player’s Voice game of the year. It was a brilliant move of solidarity, a loving case of egg on the faces of every single snubbing party, and it got Intelligent Systems the love they deserve.
Now it’s Playground’s turn. Year after year, Playground Games has gone above and beyond our expectations of them, regularly raising the bar with unique open worlds, jaw-dropping graphics, tight controls and experiential storytelling. And year after year, they get no place at the “Adult’s Table” by an industry so ashamed of itself, it’d rather nominate a game that reviewed a whole letter grade worse. This ends now.
In about two weeks, the Player’s Voice category will open. I want you guys to storm it. Vote Forza, convince your brothers and sisters to vote Forza, your parents, your grandparents, your great grandparents, your dogs. Let’s give Playground (and Turn10, seriously, they need some love here too) the award they deserve. Tweet with the Hashtag ThankYouPlayground. Spread the word to the furthest reaches of Reddit, Twitter, Pinterest, TikTok and even the Purple site. If the industry has their heads too far up their asses, I say we rip them straight outta there for them.
In the meantime, voting for all other categories is open. Go spread some love to Forza, Psychonauts, Age, Deathloop and whatever else you want (Shoutouts to The Artful Escape from me). But when the Player’s Voice category opens, I say we take matters into our own hands. Who’s with me?
#ThankYouPlayground #ThankYouTurn10 #ThankYouXbox #EndTheGenreGap