Data Dump: GOTY 2020 Staff & Guests Breakdown

Pascal always has the best insights.
Pascal always has the best insights.

The 13th annual Giant Bomb Game of the Year Awards. Thirteen years. Damn. Thirteen years of asking "does it hang?" is a long-ass time. If you've been here since the beginning, you're old. Congrats! And, if you've been here anywhere near that long, you probably already know that I love stats. Back in the good ol' days, I used to post monthly Data Dumps, achievement tracking, and annual reviews data, but those haven't been possible for years. Alex's drumming has provided an all-year stat opportunity, so that's been fun. But, Game of the Year is still one of the few chances I have to put some spreadsheets together these days, so let's do this thing!


We'll never forget Jan trying to explain 13 Sentinels to the rest of the crew.
We'll never forget Jan trying to explain 13 Sentinels to the rest of the crew.

First off, some ground rules. Since not everyone decides to do a nice and tidy one through ten list, I had to get a little creative with how to tally everything.

  • A "regular" ranked list results in a total of 55 points available. (1 point for 10th, 10 points for 1st, etc.)
  • No list can earn more than 55 points.
  • No vote can be worth more than 10 points.
  • If a person gave 10 games but did not rank them, each game gets 5.5 points.
  • If a person gave less than 10 and did not rank them, they still only get 5.5 each.
  • If a person gave less than 10 and did rank them, they forfeited their points available for 10th, 9th, etc. (i.e. a list of 8 ranked is a total of 52 points)
  • If a person doesn't rank their list, but specifically says the last game they talk about is their GOTY, then that game gets 10 points and the rest get 5.
  • If a person (@will) is a weirdo and calls three games their GOTY, then lists seven other unranked games...I made it work.
  • If someone gave a spot a tie between two games, I split the allotted points. For example, if someone put two games in their 1st place spot (10 points), I gave each game 9.5 points. If you can't make up your mind, your choices take the hit. Sorry.

So, what are we actually doing here? Well, what if we good ol' mathematics to determine the site's GOTY rather than hours and hours of arguing? Sure, the deliberations are fun, but if we deployed a spreadsheet, how different would the final results be? As I've said before, I don't necessarily believe this is how it should be done, but it's just fun to compare the cold, hard stats to what happened on the stream.

Staff's Top 25

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The Realest Top 10

Now that the deliberations are final. Let's see how the math stacks up to what happened on stream. Here is the official Top 10. The numbers in parentheses are where it placed based on the math.

  1. Hades (1)
  2. Yakuza: Like a Dragon (2)
  3. Spiritfarer (6)
  4. Ori and the Will of the Wisps (7)
  5. Astro's Playroom (4)
  6. Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales (3)
  7. 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim (14)
  8. Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1+2 (13)
  9. Kentucky Route Zero (16)
  10. Animal Crossing: New Horizons (5)

As you can see, seven of the ten games in The Math List made it to the real list. The ones that didn't hang were the bottom three (Minecraft, Final Fantasy VII Remake, The Last of Us Part II). This makes sense given how previous GOTY debates go. What I mean by that is that the bottom slots on the GOTY list usually end up being someone's hill to die on. A game that maybe only one person supports, but does so with enough passion that it gets on "the site's" list. This year that was 13 Sentinels from Jan, Kentucky Route Zero from Alex, and Tony Hawk from Jeff.

I hear you yelling from the back of the room. "WHAT ABOUT RORIE?!" I didn't include him on the first chart because he wasn't on the stream and therefore didn't have a chance to make a difference in the results there. But, for fun, let's add his data into the sheet and see what happens.

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Okay...well. Literally nothing changed in the Top 10. Or the top fourteen for that matter. Turns out that Rorie likes a lot of stuff that the other guys don't. Weird, right?

Why are Rorie's numbers strange like 4.25 and 2.2? Well, he named 14 games on his list, so I had to get creative with the points. He still has a total of 55 points among his games like everyone else.

Guests' Top 51

Now let's take a look at those guest lists. There's way more data to wade through with these. And since guests have no rules, I have to get a little more creative with the math sometimes.

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Hades, y'all. This is by far the biggest landslide victory we've ever seen since I've been doing these stats.

  • 184 different games were voted for by the forty-five guests. 210 games were named last year.
  • Four games got a 1st place vote with no votes from anyone else: Judgment, Sludge Life, Valorant, and Star Ocean: The Second Story.
  • Hades ran away with the points by getting eleven first place votes. No other game had more than two (Animal Crossing: New Horizons, Half-Life: Alyx, Kentucky Route Zero, and Microsoft Flight Simulator).
  • Hades had the most overall votes with twenty-nine. That's 64.4% of the guests.
  • Just nineteen of the forty-five guests actually gave a ranked list of ten. That's 42.2%.
  • Final Fantasy VII Remake (3rd place) was the highest ranked game that got no first place votes.
  • No games starting with the letter "Z" were named. Every other letter in the alphabet is represented.
  • Only 106 games out of 184 were originally released in North American in 2020. That's 57.6%.
  • The oldest game named was Uncle Poo (1983).
  • Yes, I included all of @drewbert's arcade games. I considered them as his #6-10 games.
  • No, I did not include any tabletop games, anime, books, albums, or TV shows.

That's all for now. Hopefully I'll have another opportunity to share a bunch of stats in 2021.