The Preemptive 2009 Game Awards

Well guess what? GamesRadar has got this shit covered. Last year we began the tradition of preemptively handing out awards for games we mostly haven’t even played yet, giving you the power to make possibly informed purchases all year. These awards are entirely speculative and have no real guidelines, but they’re still better than reviews, which only contain neat golden ribbons when they’re for games that are about golden ribbons. Speaking of the ribbons… we fully expect every game mentioned here to feature our award prominently on its box (what an honor!), so look for that when browsing the aisles this year.

Guesstimated Award Probability: 84%

Great games are only occasionally rewarded with great sales numbers. The first Beyond Good and Evil was first-rate, but it suffered from too many simultaneous big releases. And maybe the title was too cerebral. And maybe no one wanted to play as a female reporter named Jade. But that’s all a cryin’ shame, because it was a great game.

This year we all get a second chance to overlook greatness with Beyond Good and Evil 2 – a sequel Ubisoft was rightfully reluctant to invest in. It deserves to succeed, so I’m going to give it slightly better odds by iterating a few things which, by chance, suggest a relationship between Beyond Good and Evil and a certain game selling phenomenon: it’s made by Ubisoft, the main character is named Jade, and it was developed by the creator of Rayman. Woooeeeoooo…

Other potential winners:
Operation Flashpoint 2: Dragon Rising – Ultra-serious conflict simulations tend to be a bit overlooked by the mainstream, but what we know of OF2 suggests that it’ll be spectacular.
Ghostbusters – This might be a great game, but the people who are going to be really excited about it are people who remember the ‘80s, so it may be overlooked by the young crowd. Or maybe we underestimate the youths’ ability to soak up reflected nostalgia.

Guesstimated Award Probability: 78%

Blizzard’s speedy development cycle is practically unmatched. Ha ha. That was sarcasm. We won’t be playing Diablo III for a while. Don’t fret - you might get Starcraft II this year! Or maybe a third of it.

Above: Nope

The fact is that if you’re freaking Blizzard you can release your games whenever you damn want. We’re still playing and enjoying games they made 10 years ago, so why should they rush anything? Blizzard’s slow and steady attitude has consistently resulted in immaculate games… which they’ve continued to patch for over a decade - that’s dedication. Thanks for staying cool Blizzard – we’ll wait for you.

Other potential winners:
Duke Nukem
– Because it will never be released.
Final Fantasy XIII –North America and Europe almost definitely won’t see this until 2010.

Associate Editor, Digital at PC Gamer