The Game Awards Winners Told to "Wrap It Up" During Rushed Acceptance Speeches

The winners at The Game Awards were rushed and told to "Wrap It Up" via teleprompter after 30 seconds during their acceptance speeches, while other awards weren't given on stage at all, and segments unrelated to awards received the lion's share.


Published: December 8, 2023 1:38 PM /

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The Game AwardsLarian Studios and "Please Wrap it Up"

The Game Awards was definitely a long show yesterday night. It lasted about 3 hours without the preshow. Yet, the one element that wasn't long at all was the winners' acceptance speeches.

Very few awards were actually delivered to their winners on stage, with many not involving an acceptance speech at all, and some even confined to the preshow. 

On top of that, when the developers did get invited to the stage to receive their hard-earned trophies, their time under the spotlight was severely limited. 

Eiji Aonuma at The Game Awards
The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom producer Eiji Aonuma while he delivers his acceptance speech, with the "wrap it up" message on the other side of the camera.

Today we get a bit more insight into what was going on behind the scenes, or more precisely, behind the cameras. 

Meta Quest Store Operations Manager Javiera Cordero provided footage of teleprompters displaying a 30-second countdown from the start of each acceptance speech and warning developers to "wrap it up" when the countdown expired. 

In a video published on X (Formerly Twitter), we get to see the tail end of the super-quick acceptance speed for the Best Adaptation award, which was won by The Last of Us.

We hear executive producer Asad Qizilbash as he completes his half of the speech while the countdown expires and the "wrap it up" message appears.

Funnily, the game's creative director Neil Druckmann started the speech off by saying "All right, ok, clock's ticking." We may not have realized it while we were watching the show as the teleprompters weren't shown on camera, but the clock was literally ticking. 

A second video posted by Cordero shows The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom producer Eiji Aonuma's speech as he accepted the Best Action/Adventure Game award, with the "wrap it up" message displayed halfway through as his words were being translated.

The fact that Aonuma-san wasn't given more time considering the need for simultaneous translation feels even weirder if you consider that actor Simu Liu, who presented the award, leisurely took about a minute to talk about his torn Achilles' heel while playing basketball and the importance of stretching.

Don't get me wrong, I wish Liu a quick recovery, but the priorities feel a bit off here. 

If you think the winners of the coveted Game of the Year award weren't rushed off the stage by the infamous "wrap it up" message, think again. A third video posted by Cordero shows exactly the same happening to Baldur's Gate 3 director and Larian Studios CEO Swen Vincke as he accepted the trophy.

If you watch the recording of the show on demand, you can basically feel him accelerate when "wrap it up" appears on the teleprompter. Luckily, he held firm and still managed to hold the stage for a whole minute. 

Wrap it Up Teleprompter at The Game Awards
This is what Swen Vincke was seeing while he was delivering his acceptance speech (courtesy of Javiera Cordero)

Ultimately, I get it. Live broadcasting is a cruel master, so specific timeframes need to be allotted to every segment. It's the nature of the beast. Considered in a vacuum, it's easy to understand. 

Yet, when you consider the rest of the show, things are a  little less clear-cut. One could likely argue that there was a lot of room to trim other parts that weren't about the awards at an award show.

This is especially true if you look at the fact that many awards were just rushed by reading them in sequence without giving the developers who won it the chance to speak at all.

FromSoftware won Best Action Game with Armored Core VI: Fires of Rubiconbut they didn't get a single second on stage. That's just an example among many like Final Fantasy VII Rebirth's Most Anticipated Game, Final Fantasy XVI's Best Music, Cocoon's Best Indie Game, and more.

Yet, Gonzo from The Muppet Show was given two minutes to talk about chicken. The segment about Hideo Kojima's new game "OD" lasted 8 minutes while showing a whole lot of nothing.

Don't get me wrong, I love Kojima-san's games (and this certainly isn't his fault), but this specific reveal certainly shouldn't have taken 4.5% of the running time of an award show in which the awards themselves were rushed.

Games backed by Tencent including Exoborne, GTFO, Den of Wolves, Last SentinelWarframe, and Lost Records: Bloom & Rage were given over 11 minutes on stage combined, including presentations by their developers that didn't feel nearly as rushed as the award acceptance speeches. 

I could go on for a while. This is not to say that any of the games and developers that received the lion's share of the time didn't deserve the visibility, but The Game Awards is supposed to be an Awards show. It's in the name. 

Perhaps the organizers should reflect on whether they want The Game Awards to be an awards show going forward, or simply a show. Yet, if they truly do want to honor game developers and their accomplishments, they may want to give them some time (and the opportunity, for those who didn't get it at all) to say "Thank You." 

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Giuseppe Nelva Profile Picture
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News Editor at TechRaptor since January 2023 following over 20 years of professional experience in gaming journalism both on print media and on the web.… More about Giuseppe