Divisive 2013 Spike Awards draw 1.1 million viewers

"It exceeded our expectations," organizer says about 2013 Spike VGX.

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The 2013 VGX Awards, formerly known as the Spike VGAs, drew 1.1 million viewers who spent an average of 32 minutes watching the 180-minute show, organizers told Polygon today.

Viewers watching just 32 minutes out of a 180-minute show may sound like a failure, but Viacom Entertainment Group EVP Erik Flannigan doesn't think so. He pointed out that 30-minute TV shows only need to be watched for six minutes to be counted by Nielsen ratings.

"It exceeded our expectations," Flannigan said.

Past Spike awards shows were broadcast on cable TV, but the 2013 VGX opted for an all-digital format, streaming live to more than a dozen destinations.

"Maybe the distribution of where the views came from was different than we may have thought, but we knew the consoles may be heavy and they were," he added. "In terms of total streams, we were very, very pleased. I think the number that shocked us most was the 32 minute session time. The idea that people were watching longer than a half hour show on television was, that was way beyond our wildest dreams."

The show was not loved by all, not by any stretch. It's this divisive nature that proves the show has legs, Flannigan argued.

"Death to us would have been apathy," Flannigan said. "Death would have been no one talking, no one caring, no one having an opinion about it."

Some viewers called out co-host Joel McHale as a low point for the show, criticizing the jokes he made and his level of attentiveness and enthusiasm throughout the event. Flannigan said he was not surprised that the "hyper-critical" gamer market reacted the way they did. McHale will be considered for next year's show, if there is one, he said.

"You take Joel's very funny, snarky detached point of view he can bring sometimes and you throw that into a bunch of gamers who are about as hyper-critical as you can be, and I say this as a reflection of their passion and their interest, and we gave him a three hour show where they are sitting on their computers looking for something else to do when they watch," Flannigan said. "What are they going to do? They're going to post on message boards and they're going to tweet about it. It was kind of a formula for feedback and Joel became the place where they pointed a lot of their attention."

For more on everything from the 2013 Spike VGX, check out GameSpot's news round-up and editorial addressing the event.

Discussion

58 comments
RevLux
RevLux

No man's sky looks interesting. The goal of the game is to reach the center of the universe which makes me wonder how that universe was created since ours doesn't have an actual center. Hopefully that's something that will be answered in the game. I've never been a big fan of procedurally generated content except when it is used for side quests and things like in Skyrim. When the entire levels are randomly created in that way they often seem generic and quickly get boring to me. I'm still looking forward to seeing more about it though. 

Hurvl
Hurvl

Just because it's bad, it doesnt mean that people won't watch it.

LJNkickstarter
LJNkickstarter

Camille Luddington is the only thing i enjoyed in this awards

kbaily
kbaily

I like that only a measly million point one viewers watched for a small part and Spike thought this "exceeded expectations."  Seriously Spike, just stop with the VGAs.  You clearly don't care enough to make this good.  Go spend your production money elsewhere.

Riddick123
Riddick123

Gamers, "Your show pretty much was lack luster and sucked."


Mr. Flannigan, "  ,,|,, o(-_-)o  "

blackace
blackace

LOL!! Watching 32min out of 180 mins show IS A FAILURE!!. I like Joel McHale comedy, but not when it involves video games which he knows nothing about. Geoff didn't seem to care for him. If they want to increase ratings bring add Olivia Munn or Morgan Webb as a host. Even Rob Dyrdek would be more fun and interesting then Joel. Doing the streaming is fine, but why not put it back on TV as well. Also, the show needs to be shorten. It dragged on way, way too long. Two hours is plenty of time to show Premiers give out awards. This isn't the Oscars or Grammys. Even the people who won the awards didn't have a good time at this show. They need a LOT more changes. Gamers are going to boycott it next year. 

Snakepond1
Snakepond1

I missed the show. Where can you watch the full version of it. All I see are clips.

b74kd3th
b74kd3th

Hopefully this was the last one

MonocleOwl
MonocleOwl

Oh ffs, you're not going to "get hyper-critical gamers to talk, blog and tweet about it" when you get the human stain that is Joel McHale to host it again. You're gonna "lose all the people the show is made for in the first place", and then it's the gamers fault for not being interested. Idiot.

xsonicchaos
xsonicchaos

Let me try to recreate an example of McHale's sense of humor: "If a game is not on this show, it doesn't exist. Just like the female orgasm." crickets...

Fortunately and unfortunately, ET The Video Game is a real thing.

xsonicchaos
xsonicchaos

That doesn't mean it was good. We watch all kinds of stupid s**t. I watched it for about an half hour in the hopes that it might become good, but it didn't, so I stopped. Others just watched it for the premiere trailers, not for the lame jokes.

Darth_Starwind
Darth_Starwind

So, according to this Flannigan guy, anyone who had negative comments about the show and/or its co-host is "hyper-critical". Its no wonder the host of the show was considered out of touch with the audience when the producer of the show seems to be totally out of touch with the audience. I don't consider this to be a big loss for the gaming community however. This show or should I say its predecessor lost a lot of its validity years ago.

jenovaschilld
jenovaschilld

I am sorry but Bioshock Infinite should have taken all of the awards, not that the other games mentioned didn't deserve nomination, BI was a game far above the industry dredge that is brought out year after year.  

Dannystaples14
Dannystaples14

1.1 million people who now think less of gamers as a result. Thank you Spike Awards.

deathstream
deathstream

I only watched for about 5 minutes and forgot to shut it off when I went to take a big dump.  When I realized the stench coming from my PC was worse than the stench I just left behind, I turned it off.  So it ended up being on for about 32 minutes.

Greyslay
Greyslay

I didn't even watch the show because I guess I wasn't paying attention and thought the VGA's were still going to happen. It must have been pretty bad as much as people talk about it. I honestly can't imagine why they went away from what was as far as I could tell wildly successful. I'm hoping maybe another network will make it back to the real awards show next year if Spike decides to do this again next year.

Ereheru
Ereheru

So, he thinks the show is a success because people went on and on about how bad it was?  I have a feeling that the apathy he fears will set in for next year's broadcast based on the "success" of this year's broadcast...

Coonfoot
Coonfoot

Geez, those are pathetic numbers, especially for an awards show. I've seen great normal-length shows on other Viacom channels get low ratings before *coughLegendofKorracough*, but even the ratings for those shows weren't as bad as this.

Hollowdimension
Hollowdimension

"It exceeded our expectations," Flannigan said.


It was about exactly what I expected. Warm, juicy crap.

horror_spooky
horror_spooky

There was nothing "divisive" about it. VGX was universally panned and hated by everyone that watched it.

SavoyPrime
SavoyPrime

Let me get this straight. McHale ruins the show and they are actually thinking about bringing him back? o_O


Flannigan is on a spaceship.

Rhino_All
Rhino_All

So McHale being an ass and everyone hating him... was... a good thing? Flannigan's logic is so incredibly skewed, lol.

shadowkratos774
shadowkratos774

If they want to be the joke of the internet then I won't stop them.

dr_jashugan
dr_jashugan

That probably happened because people wanted to see how far the level of stupidnes can this show offer. 

Looks like they went pretty far. 

GalvatronType_R
GalvatronType_R

This guy is really out of touch.  I wish Spike, GT, and Geoff Keighley all consume too much Mountain Dew and Doritos and all have massive heart attacks.

RicanV
RicanV moderator

Next year : 0 Viewers. C/o Joel McHale.

ne0182
ne0182

he does know this was recorded and can be played in front of his face, right?^^


did he actually see this train wreck?

cavs25
cavs25

1.1 million people who were watching a train wreck and couldn't look away.

Won't happen again next year.

dribblesbarbax
dribblesbarbax

And thats probably 1.1 million viewers that wont return next year. Shambolic show. 

Pyrosa
Pyrosa

There you have it:  "APATHY WOULD HAVE BEEN DEATH FOR US."   So next year, plan on NOT watching, and we won't have to endure this crap again.    Just wait 4-5 hours and all those same trailers will be posted online by their publishers.

BrunoBRS
BrunoBRS

is it me, or is the "binge responsibly" part of the logo actually part of the steam sale header, and gamespot's been using it as the official header for everything?


'cause "binge responsibly" doesn't sound like the slogan of an award show...

BuBsay
BuBsay

Wow, how do they think that people tuning out after only watching 30 minutes of a 3 hour show is a success?


Imagine if a theater full of people walked out of a movie in the first 20 minutes, I'm not really certain that the production company would be greenlighting any sequels to that.

DIGN
DIGN

That's what happens when you don't give GOTY to it's true victor, CoD Ghosts.

MonocleOwl
MonocleOwl

@RevLux

Spore had the "goal"of reaching the center of the galaxy. Once you got there... Well, anything can happen. Solar 2 puts you in the role of an asteroid that grows into a planet then into a sun, going through the stages of the sun and then a black hole, one of its goals being to basically eat up everything, and again, once you do eat everything... Anything can happen.

It's interesting though what they'll come up with as an award moment when you do reach the center of the universe.

Strategizer
Strategizer

@kbailyI agree they either need to make it right or not make it at all. Not to say they didn't have any neat ideas but they way they were hyping it up I expected more and also what is up with 40 mins of music from the GTA sountrack I understand they won soundtrack of the year but I thought this show was supposed to be about Games. If I want to hear the music I will go and listen to the music. Come on Spike also I liked Geoff doing the show but Joel just kinda killed it he wasn't really being funny. If you want a celebrity to help host I am all for it but let it be someone who "KNows games"

xxmavr1kxx
xxmavr1kxx

@xsonicchaos I got really annoyed when he kept grabbing for the stereotypical comments about gamers, and being overweight with no social life jokes. 

Carpetfluff
Carpetfluff

@xsonicchaos Yup, just watching it doesn't endorse it or mean they enjoyed it...heck, plenty of people can't stop themselves rubbernecking at car crashes but mostly it's not for the enjoyment factor.

Strategizer
Strategizer

@jenovaschilldStory wise you may have a point with its neat little twists but gameplay felt lacking to me sorry. I thought that if anything they did a good job with the awards I just wish since we the gamers bought and played them or rented however you put it that we should be able to vote on all of them.

Pyrosa
Pyrosa

@BrunoBRS NoScript and AdBlock Plus for Firefox -- I don't see any of that crap, ever.  (You just whitelist the actual sites, and none of the ad sites' content ever appears in your browser.)

ne0182
ne0182

@DIGN it could be a new thing. if you're not knowing what you're talking about. 

do the joel, do the joel... whup whup^^