The ratings for the Spike TV Video Game Awards keep getting worse every year.
The 2010 Spike TV Video Game Awards were meant to be huge this year. The event had more announcements and reveals than any previous show, and put Dr. Horrible at the helm. Unfortunately for Spike, ratings still dropped.
Variety reports that the ratings figures for the 2010 VGAs were the lowest in the program’s history. In 2007, the VGAs had 921,000 viewers. In 2008, there was a big drop to 680,000, 2009 saw 647,000 people tune in, and in 2010 just 627,000 watched.
Despite improvements in certain demographics, such as the number of males ages 18-34 that tuned in rising from 218,000 in 2009 to 251,000 in 2010, this is still an overall drop. Even with DVR playbacks that will be counted through December 18, there wasn’t any kind of marked improvement in what was surely meant to be a big year for the awards show.
I didn’t watch the VGAs this year so I can’t criticize its showing in 2010. In previous years they weren’t all that enthralling, but I think the problem with VGA viewership at its root is that the awards just don’t matter, partially because of a lack of credibility. Gaming is a personal experience, so why do I care what a television network says is good? A television network that airs programs like Manswers and Hooters: Snow Angels no less?
Even though Spike TV doesn’t choose the winners itself, there are a million other avenues, such as websites like The Escapist, to find out what great games came out in 2010 with detailed descriptions of exactly why they’re so good. The only real reason to tune into the VGAs for someone like me is to check out the exclusive reveals, but why set aside a couple of hours to watch a bunch of skits and “witty” banter in between things I care about when all of those reveals will be posted on the internet within minutes? I like that a network is at least trying to replicate something like the Grammys or the Golden Globes for the game industry, but something needs to be done to make people actually care about who gets what.