Gamers Debate Existence of ‘Xbox Tax’ Bias in Game Awards Nominations


The Controversy

As award season heats up, gamers are buzzing about the perceived bias against Xbox games in major nominations. With this year's Game Awards, many fans were surprised to see Xbox's highly anticipated game, Starfield, receive only one nomination. This has led to speculation about an alleged 'Xbox tax' in the gaming industry, suggesting that biases against Xbox result in more negative reviews and limited award recognition.

The Xbox Tax Theory

Social media has been abuzz with discussions about the 'Xbox tax' theory. According to this theory, industry insiders including jury members and media professionals hold a bias against Xbox, leading to less favorable coverage and recognition for Xbox games. The limited nominations for Starfield, despite positive reviews, have reignited these conversations.

Examining the Game Awards Nominations

Starfield, which received an impressive 83 rating on review aggregate site Metacritic, was overlooked for major awards like Game of the Year. On the other hand, games like Resident Evil 4, Alan Wake 2, Baldur's Gate 3, and PlayStation exclusive Marvel's Spider-Man 2 received nominations. There were also two Nintendo exclusives, Tears of the Kingdom and Super Mario Bros. Wonder, in the mix.

Understanding Biases

It's important to note that individual writers and judges may have their own preferences when it comes to consoles. In the past, there was a clear bias towards PlayStation, which had a larger library of quality exclusive games. Additionally, PlayStation dominated the handheld gaming market with the PS Portable and PS Vita, while Xbox lacked a handheld alternative. However, in recent years, Xbox has carved out its own niche in gaming, especially with the Series S and Xbox Game Pass, appealing to budget-conscious gamers.

Recognizing Xbox Exclusives

While Starfield may have been overlooked in several categories, another Xbox exclusive game, Hi-Fi Rush, received nominations in key categories. This demonstrates that Xbox titles can still receive recognition, challenging the notion of an inherent bias against the console.

If you're interested in learning more about the winners and losers of The Game Awards 2023, be sure to check out the full article.