The GamesMaster Golden Joystick Awards has been revamped for 2011. Future Publishing’s editorial co-ordinator George Walter explains to MCV what has changed for this year’s event and what companies need to do to win...
What’s different about this year’s Golden Joysticks?
This year, the Joysticks’ 29th, the awards are in partnership with GamesMaster, our long-standing multiformat magazine brand. This affiliation gives the Golden Joysticks a clear editorial voice and enables us to make the brand live all year long.
One big change is we’ve excised the traditional ‘long list’ stage and gone straight to shortlists. These were chosen by a panel of Future games editors, chaired by GamesMaster editor-in-chief Robin Alway.
The effect? It’s not just the most popular games that are included in the shortlist. Many games that may not have made it past the old long list phase are represented: games like Rising Star’s Deadly Premonition, Capcom’s Ghost Trick Phantom Detective and independent titles like Joe Danger and Frozen Synapse.
So, from now until mid-October, the gaming public can vote for the winners at www.goldenjoystick.com.
Furthermore, we’ve revamped the website. Voting is quick and easy and we’re offering a prize incentive to users who vote in all categories.
We’ve also integrated Facebook and Twitter into the site to ensure gamers can share their voting experiences via social media. We’ve already seen our Facebook page grow by over 4,000 ‘likes’ in just a week as a result. We’ve optimised the site so gamers can vote from tablets and mobile devices too.
Future has previously said this year’s Joysticks would be more “forward-looking”. What does this mean exactly?
We’ve got a new format for the award ceremony, which will include showcasing exclusive video reveals of unreleased titles, a lot like with the Spike TV Video Game Awards in the US. With all the media attention the show gets, it offers great exposure for the games involved.
What kind of editorial and marketing support are you giving the awards at Future?
Our magazines and websites will feature bespoke editorial coverage of the awards and the 200 or so games that are in the shortlists.
We’re already seeing the fruits of this campaign in our August issues, with more in September.We’re also supporting the awards with ads across our print and digital products and via the voting site.
Social media plays a key part too across Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. We’ll feature over 90 bespoke pieces of video content to promote each shortlisted game and each category.
Last year we invited key bloggers along to the awards to report live and we’re doing this again – only this year there will be a lot more of them. And with the first-look reveal trailers, the 2011 GamesMaster Golden Joystick Awards will have other news angles beyond the winners.
How has voting been going so far?
We’ve been tracking the voting from day one and we’ve already been overwhelmed by the volume of votes. Currently we’re on target to beat last year’s total.
What advice would you give to publishers and developers to give themselves a fighting chance of winning?
The most important and obvious thing is to engage your communities. We’re pulling out all the stops across Future to ensure maximum coverage for the awards and the games. All publishers need to do is make use of the resources we’ve made available, and motivate their fans to vote.
That’s easier than ever with the prevalence of social media – we've already seen community managers spread the word about their games being nominated. It’s encouraging how quickly the smart publishers are mobilising their social media followers. It’s odd that some don’t and then wonder why they don’t win.
This year’s GamesMaster Golden Joystick Awards is at the Westminster Bridge Park Plaza on Friday 21st October. To vote, visit www.goldenjoystick.com.To book a table or talk about other commercial opportunities, contact James Haley on 020 7042 4114 or firstname.lastname@example.org.