North American cable network Spike TV has announced that its Video Game Awards 2005 will be hosted by actor and producer Samuel L. Jackson, who was a winner at last year’s show for Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. The show itself takes place on Friday, November 18 at the Gibson Amphitheater in Los Angeles with the two-hour “games vs. games” extravaganza premiering on Spike TV Saturday, December 10.
The nominations for the awards have also been announced, with perhaps the most interesting aspect being a number of nominations for games that have not yet launched. Peter Jackson’s King Kong: The Official Game of the Movie from Ubisoft tops this year’s VGA nominations with seven including “Best Action Game,” “Best Graphics,” “Best Performance by a Human – Male & Female” for actors Jack Black and Naomi Watts and Michel Ancel for “Designer of the Year.” 50 Cent: Bulletproof (Vivendi Universal Games); World of Warcraft (Blizzard Entertainment); James Bond 007: From Russia with Love (Electronic Arts) and Call of Duty 2 (Activision, Inc.) and each have six nominations.
Of particular interest to game professionals: 'Game Of The Year' nominations were for God of War (Sony Computer Entertainment America), Resident Evil 4 (Capcom), Call of Duty 2 (Activision, Inc.), World of Warcraft (Blizzard Entertainment), and F.E.A.R. (Vivendi Universal Games). The 'Viewer's Choice' nominees for the most addictive game include We Love Katamari (Namco Hometek Inc), World of Warcraft (Blizzard Entertainment), Lumines (Ubisoft), Nintendogs (Nintendo Co. Ltd), and Meteos (Nintendo Co. Ltd.).
According to Spike TV, ballots were sent out to the VGA Advisory Board, which was responsible for advising on categories and determining nominees in selected award categories. Winners of the VGAs are determined by votes from the Video Game Industry Voting Council which is made up of more than 200 industry journalists - all of which will have presumably received review copies of the unreleased games in time to vote. Winners in two “Viewers Choice” categories will solely be determined by viewer voting.
The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Vin Diesel, The Rock, Missy Elliot, Snoop Dogg, Carmen Electra, Xzibit and Ozzy Osbourne are also set to appear at the third annual awards event. Casey Patterson, Executive Producer of the awards, commented: "Video games have taken over the world as the most creative, cutting edge platform for major names in entertainment to showcase their talent and reach a massive audience. Sam Jackson is one of the coolest guys on the planet; we’re thrilled to have him hosting this year’s show which promises more stars, more rock and more games than ever before."