One thing has to be acknowledged, and that’s that The Game Awards 2023 didn’t leave practically anyone indifferent. This year’s award ceremony, hosted by Geoff “Doritos” Keighley, was particularly notable due to the short time given to the winners to express their gratitude, to the extent that they were cut off in the middle of their speeches.
However, the event also had entertaining moments for the viewers. Following his lengthy speech last year upon receiving the award for best actor for his role as Kratos in God of War Ragnarok, Christopher Judge returned to The Game Awards this year, but this time as the presenter of the same award he had won a year earlier.
Obviously, the gala’s writers didn’t want to miss the chance for the actor playing Kratos to mention his “TED talk” from last year (which helped win several of the Steam Decks raffled off): “Alright, alright, I got it. I got it. I’m not going to stand here giving lengthy speeches. I’ll stick to the script. No eight-minute speeches like last year.”
But the phrase didn’t stop there, as the actor took the opportunity to deliver a “mini-roast” of a well-known game series among players: “But here’s a fun fact: my speech was actually longer than this year’s Call of Duty campaign.” After the numerous laughs from the audience, the presenter concluded by saying, “another company I’ll never work for.”
However, while practically no one saw even a hint of malice or ill will in Judge’s words, the joke at The Game Awards didn’t sit well with several developers of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III, whose campaign received numerous criticisms for being, among other things, very short.
“It’s funny,” said Ajinkya Limaye, a former employee of Infinity Ward, on Twitter. “But yeah, the metrics in which CoD absolutely destroys all the God of War games (probably combined, to be honest) are equally laughable (if not more).”
Limaye ended up deleting the tweet but later posted another clarifying the reasons behind his comment: “I deleted the tweet because it was drawing unnecessary attention and was meant to be an indirect response to a joke that I found quite harsh to hear given the circumstances of development. I didn’t convey it well, so I apologize for that. Obviously, it’s not out of hatred for GoW. Peace ✌️.”
Another developer from the series, who also deleted their post after receiving insults and threats from some users, joined in to comment on the difficulties the studio has faced: “Honestly, as developers of Call of Duty, we’ve heard much worse. But I completely stand by it. Chronic overwork, brutal deadlines, and ruthless layoffs that absolutely proliferate in our industry, all in the name of profit-making without regard for the human cost, it’s an absolute damn shame.”