Geoff Keighley responds to backlash surrounding Dave the Diver’s TGA “Best Indie” nomination

John Esposito
Geoff Keighley responds to backlash surrounding Dave the Diver's TGA "Best Indie" nominationTwitch: thegameawards

The Game Awards host Geoff Keighley finally weighed in on the discussion surrounding Dave the Diver’s nomination. However, it left much to be desired.

With 2023 coming to a close, the gaming industry is preparing one last spectacle for viewers – The Game Awards. Dozens of titles will battle across various categories to claim the title of best in their respective category.

While the industry agreed upon most of the nominees, Mintrocket’s Dave the Diver made waves across the web. Despite billion-dollar company Nexon overseeing, The Game Awards nominated the title for Best Indie Game of the Year.

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Many are still furious at the nomination, and after plenty of silence, Keighley spoke on the controversy surrounding the title.

Geoff Keighley speaks on Dave the Diver’s nomination

"Geoff Keighley responds to backlash surrounding Dave the Diver's "BestMintrocket

In an hour-long Q&A session, Geoff Keighley fielded fan questions regarding the upcoming Game Awards show. One fan went straight to the point and asked: “Curious to know the thinking behind Dave the Diver for being nominated for Best Indie Game?”

Keighley’s answer went on for a while, starting with, “Independent can mean different things to different people, and it’s sort of a broad term.”

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He continued, “You can argue, does independent mean the budget of the game, does independent mean where the source of financing was, does it mean based off the team size?” He also mentioned the “spirit of a game.”

Keighley explained it’s a slippery slope to define, as previous years have raised this same discussion. He mentioned Death Stranding, made by a smaller studio, was funded by Sony, yet many consider it an indie game.

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More examples of this dilemma are Baldur’s Gate 3 and Journey, the latter a joint effort by PlayStation and Annapurna Games.

Ultimately, Keighley let the jury use “their best judgment” since no set rules define this category. However, the jury’s best judgment led the industry to the current outrage and continued debate on what defines a true indie game.

The Game Awards premieres December 7, 2023, at 4:30 PM PT/7:30 PM ET. Viewers can watch it on Twitter/X, YouTube, Twitch, and Facebook Live.

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About The Author

John graduated with a degree in Sport Management in 2017, before discovering he had a hidden joy for writing. Since then, he's worked for GameRant, Twinfinite, and Jaxon, covering everything related to gaming. Currently, he's a Games Writer for Dexerto, and all tips and tricks welcome: john.esposito@dexerto.com