Spike TV nominates unreleased games for 2008 VGAs

November 14, 2008

Spike TV announced the nominees for its 2008 Video Game Awards and some of them haven’t been played by gamers yet.

Left 4 Dead, Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe, Skate It, Shaun White Snowboarding and Naruto: The Broken Bond all received nominations before being available to consumers. A majority of the nominees for the yearly awards were released after September with many, like Quantum of Solace, Mirror’s Edge and Gears of War 2, having been out for barely a week.

Since its inception in 2004, Spike’s Video Game Awards have been heavily criticized for nominating games released close to the show’s air date and acting as advertising for those games instead of legitimate nominations. Critics have also said the show rewards popularity over quality, ignores Nintendo products, and makes questionable nominations such as 50 Cent: Bulletproof for Game of the Year in 2005.

Some of gaming’s most popular franchises dominate the 2008 Game of the Year nominations, which will be presented along with the other awards on a live broadcast on Dec. 14. LittleBigPlanet is the only original title to be nominated for the biggest prize along with sequels Fallout 3, Gears of War 2, Grand Theft Auto IV and Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots.

Spike is introducing a Best Independent Game Award for the first time. Nominees are Audiosurf, Braid, PixelJunk Eden and World of Goo.

Other nominations were announced for awards that will be handed out to studios, voice performers, musicians and individual games according to genre and platform categories. Full details are available on Spike’s Web site.

Spike may be open to criticism for being in conflict of interest, as well. MTV-owned developer Harmonix is nominated for Studio of the Year and their game Rock Band 2 is nominated for Best Soundtrack and Best Music Game. Spike TV is a division of MTV. In the past, the awards show was used to promote a game based on TNA Wrestling, which airs on Spike TV.

Previous Game of the Year winners have been BioShock (2007), The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion (2006), Resident Evil 4 (2005) and Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (2004).

Nominees for other game awards programs such as Virgin Media’s Golden Joystick Awards have not been announced yet.