The Game Awards contain all the pizzazz of traditional awards shows, combined with the youthful pop culture sensibilities of the video game world, but what really sets this show apart are the world debut announcements.
In addition to celebrating the year that was, The Game Awards also show off the future of the medium with all new trailers for the hottest games of the future. One such announcement in this year's show is Scavengers, an online multiplayer survival/cooperative/competitive experience.
The game is developed by Midwinter Entertainment, a small team of around twenty people who look to mix triple-A pedigree with scrappy indie spirit. Scavengers puts players in teams of space-faring soldiers who must team up to survive and subsist on a hostile alien world, working together to survive against a feral ecosystem and violent raiders. After conquering the landscape and achieving team objectives, players are then pitted against each other in a competitive, winner-take-all battle. All of this happens in every single match of the game, creating an amalgamation of familiar modes which combine to create something wholly new.
The trailer, consisting entirely of pre-rendered CG footage, shows a group of space travelers crash-landing on a mysterious alien world, and little more. Unfortunately, the trailer doesn't show off any gameplay, but Midwinter's Josh Holmes took the stage with Game Awards host Geoff Keighley afterwards to provide some additional teases for Scavengers, the first game from the Seattle-based studio.
Details such as player count and concrete release dates remain to be revealed, but it's plain to see there's already a ton of potential in the premise. For now, Scavengers is nothing more than a pretty trailer and a fantastic premise, but it's enough for the time being. It's easy to imagine Scavengers taking equal advantage of both the emergent gameplay scenarios of survival games like The Forest and ARK (as well as Far Cry 5 and Fallout 4), combined with the heated competition of games like Fortnite and Call of Duty.
Members of Midwinter Entertainment have worked on esteemed shooter franchises like Halo and Battlefield, so the pedigree is certainly there to bring into something brand new and exciting into the crowded online multiplayer space. If Scavengers can pull off its intriguing mix of survival, cooperation, and competition, genre fans could have something truly special on their hands.
Midwinter Entertainment is currently taking reservations for Scavengers beta playtesting in 2019, though no specific dates have been announced.