The 10th International Gaming Awards (IGA) show was held last week. The organizer describes it as the “Gaming Industry Oscars” on its Twitter bio. There is at least one big difference. The Oscars doesn’t permit sponsors to be in the film industry. That seems like a great policy to me as it avoids the appearance of impropriety and conflicts of interest. Viewers might question the legitimacy of an awards show if a majority of the winners are sponsors of it.
The International Gaming Awards doesn’t follow the same policy. The list of sponsors on its site appears to be entirely comprised of companies involved in the gaming industry.
The IGA says it’s prestigious and transparent, so it must be, and winners get to brag about the award they just won. Nothing else should matter. Nothing to see here.
Well, you know where I’m going with this…..
Sponsor Results at the 10th International Gaming Awards
Sponsors got hit by the deck this year at the International Gaming Awards. Of the 19 companies that are displayed as sponsors at Gaming-awards.com, the website of the IGA, 12 went home with an award. One company took home three when including related brands. It was nothing short of an amazing coincidence.
Mr. Green was the main official sponsor of the ceremony, according to something that looks to me like it originated from a press release. The company went home with an award for “Best Online Gaming Operator of the Year.” I’m sure they were shocked that they were selected for such an honor.
Mr. Green was proud of its accomplishment, just like any company would be, so the company published a press release bragging about it. I’m sure the omission of the sponsorship deal was simply an oversight.
Gold Sponsors are listed as the top tier in the sponsorship directory on the ceremony’s website. Eight companies were honored with this special privilege, one that costs an unknown amount of money because it doesn’t appear to be disclosed on the IGA website, but must come with some great perks, because otherwise they wouldn’t call it gold. Seven of those companies won coveted IGA awards.
Many of these winning companies took to social media and issued press releases bragging about their big score. None of the shameless boasting that I saw included a disclosure that the winner sponsored the event. I’d consider that important information. These companies seem to disagree with that opinion.
BBIN was the only Gold Sponsor that got left out of the party. It was nominated for three categories. I hope that it had fun congratulating the other Gold Sponsors that took home two of those awards. There’s always next year.
There were eight Silver Sponsors for the event. Four went home with awards. In all, 14 of the 26 total awards were given to those listed as sponsors of the event on the Gaming-awards.com website or related brands. Similar results were reported in previous years. Do you believe in coincidences?
Do you need help carrying that baggage?
The International Gaming Awards drew hundreds or more attendees from across the industry to watch sponsor after sponsor hit the podium to give acceptance speeches. Guests either didn’t care or didn’t know that the self-proclaimed “most prestigious and most transparent” International Gaming Awards has a history of blatant plagiarism and using fake authors to do it, or that its Twitter accounts @gamingawards and @igamingpost have a 42% and 73% fake following, respectively, according to Twitteraudit.com.
Some might say that’s a lot of baggage for such a prestigious and transparent awards show. At least the International Gaming Awards handled itself apologetically and with pure class when its misconduct was uncovered:
[email protected] long overdue legal action is on the way for slandering industry charityevent+accusing industry judges of corruption
— Gaming Awards (@gamingawards) May 20, 2013
John Mehaffey @Pokeraddictnet and his Unreported affiliate income should be checked by @IRStaxpros
— Gaming Awards (@gamingawards) May 20, 2013
Don’t worry. I have screenshots of these blustery tweets in case they should mysteriously disappear.
In a shocking non-development, “long overdue legal action” never came my way. The IRS didn’t either. Maybe that’s because @IRStaxpros “does not collect comments or messages on this site,” according to its Twitter bio. It’s a good thing that the IRS never found out about my $0 in affiliate income.
On a more serious note….
You probably caught the satirical and snarky tone in the article up to this point. It’s intentional. I was going to write a serious column about this but decided it would be better to make it a joke that I feel resembles the subject.
Back when the intention was to write a serious article, I reached out for comment to International Gaming Awards on Twitter to see if they would explain why so many of their sponsors go home with awards year after year and get more information about the process. I included my email address. They didn’t respond to my tweets or email me, but they did block me.
I decided to give IGA another chance by emailing them over the weekend. I asked more about the judging process and pointed out some issues about their business that I discovered during the course of my research. They did not respond to my email either. However, the company did seem to stop using fake authors I pointed out as all posts since then are attributed to “staff.”
So much for the International Gaming Awards being “most transparent.”